need advise about returning back to work

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/19/2005 7:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Now I am working towards going back to work in 6 weeks. I am very concerned about that. My manager says I can't come back until I can do 12 hr day/night rotation. I talked to director of HR he says she can't do that to me and must work with me. He says to sit down and talk with her and me and him and my case manager. Sounds good right??? BUT he also says if she doesn't back down we will look for another job for me... the only problem is right now there is a company looking at our business and hiring policies and they have put a freeze on positions so there just aren't any other jobs right now to be had. So told him NO I will just be off 6 wks like my doc said and return full force. Now my case manager called me and says that I need to met with them or I may not have a job anyway. She says that all the other employees that had what I had returned right away after tx and why can't I... (but I am sure that all the others managers adjusted their work schedule for them until they got their strength back) So now she says we will see what your doc note says.
I have a question. I am working out at the gym now going to a program at the hospital that helps you with nutrition, wt and exercise. I have a docs note that says I am to be off 6 weeks to get strength back from having chemo, surg, radiation. Can they fire me cause I can't jump back into 12hr shifts day/ night rotation right away. Does anyone have any ideas about this and if legally they can do this if I am trying my hardest to return in 6 wks!!! It looks like they would want to give me the chance to return and work with me doesn't it.
(Just a thought.... I think maybe my case manager is starting to be aggresive towards me cause I talked with her director in HR when I found out they wouldn't adjust my schedule and think now she has it out for me)...Need some advise... thanks skeeter1

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 8/19/2005 7:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh Skeeter

I feel for you that is a hard thing to go through. In the state I live in they can't do that they have to hold your job and go by what ever your Dr. says. I would look into your state labor laws yor HR should know all about them too. Could you get your Dr to release you a little sooner? maybe that would make them happy. Talk to your DR about all of this and see if he will give you something to PEP you up for the first few weeks if you have to do 12 hr shifts. Im sorry that you have to go through all of this, it's bad enough to have the cancer but to have to deal with people like this makes it worse.

Kepp your chin up and I will be thinking about you. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 8/19/2005 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   

Skeeter, I do not know the answer to this question, but I have some experience about coming back to work after a long absence. A year before I was diagnosed with bc I was in an automobile accident and had a broken collarbone, 5 fractured ribs and a fractured scapula. I was off from work for 3 months. After two months, my dr gave me the opportunity to drive. I started walking in the mall, building up to 2 miles a day, 7 days a week. When I went back a month later, (full activity -- driving on the road in sales - 3 states) I had a hard time for about a month.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 8/19/2005 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
THe family Medical Leave Act should protect you here.  It's federal, I believe.  The only thing you have to worry about is if you are considered a "Key" employee.  There are levels of disability, too.  The one I am on is a severe, chronic medical condition that entails periodic days off.  I can get them without pay, and the doctor's note covers me for this.  Ask your doc to cover your worry about the 12 hour shifts in the note.  I think the supervisor has to listen to HR, who has to go by the FMLA.  THey can't fire you if you're covered for disability.  YOu're allowed 400+ hours a year for it, and then there are LOA's that are possible.  See about how they handle the FMLA.  You've been out, so it's possible you've used up the 400 hours. 
HR sounds like they are with you on this.  They HAVE to follow the procedures they have in writing, and these policies almost always are.  If they don't you can sue them.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 8/19/2005 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
you know I forgot to tell you my 12hr shift I will be on my feet the whole time and running up and down long halls... uuummm

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 8/20/2005 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Ditto to what Bernadette says. You should check your labor laws. Sounds like a good lawsuit to me if they fire you. I guess some people don't know what it's like to have 1 surgery after another and radiation and chemo and what a toll it can put on you. I would think if your doctor gave you a note saying you can't do 12 hours right away that it should suffice. Some places are just so unsympathetic. The owner of my company has asked me a couple of times how I've been feeling. For themost part now I am ok. Don't know what it will be like once I start chemo. Some people are uneducated in any cancerl, I am one of those people but am slowly learning. I'm sorry you have to put up with such asses. Hopefully they will work it out with you. Me with my attitude, I would have flew off the handle. Keep us posted.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 8/20/2005 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   

Skeeter: I am so sorry that you are having to go thru this right now. I wonder how your boss would feel if it was his wife or dd? grrrrrrrrrrr

I can't remember the exact law, but it is federal, that a company cannot fire you if you have been ill if they have more than 5 full time employees. When I was rediagnosed my boss fired me. I had no recourse as there were only 4 full time employees. I agree w/ what was said about the FMLA act. Contact your state labor law agencey. In Mo it is called "Labor and Industrial Relations Agency". Don't be afraid to fight for yourself. It could help other women in your company in the future. Also, as someone else said, talk to your onco before you meet with HR. Tell him what has been threatened and have that letter stating that you need your job altered for a specific amount of time. At the end of that time your onco will re-evaluate you and see if you have progressed enough physically to return to the 12 hr shift of being on your feet. Ask your onco to cover every base in the letter. Be specific.



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