Problems at Work..Will You Help?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello fellow IBD sufferers. I would like to bring to your attention the treatment I received while being employed by XXX. Thirteen years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. For the most part, the treatments prescribed by my physician kept my disease under control and allowed me to work a full time job in my chosen profession of professional cooking. However, about one year ago my symptoms became much worse. After some tests it was discovered that I had a stricture in my ileum and surgery looked like the only option.

At this time I was still able to work about 30 hours a week, but did have to call in sick several times a month. When my employer became frustrated with my absences, I disclosed my illness and impending surgery to my managers. I only spoke with them behind closed doors and made it clear I wished this information to remain private, which is my right. However, they decided to not only tell the entire staff about my condition, but to do so in a meeting calling me forward for a “round of applause.” Until this point I was unaware that they had any intention to break confidentiality and disclose my disease and treatment to the entire store's staff.

Well, the good news is my surgery was a success. Everything went exceptionally well and I recovered very fast thanks to the excellent work by the talented surgeons. After a recovery of about six weeks I tried to return to work. I was informed that my position was being filled by someone else, but they would do what they could to bring me back in. After going to work and being sent home after only three hours of work I was very frustrated. I tried to complain about my treatment and was fired on the spot, after only 5 days of returning to work.

I'm sure any of you who have had problems with employers know how difficult it is to obtain legal representation. For the most part I am powerless and there is no way for me to obtain the justice I deserve. So I have turned to you. I would ask that you refrain from eating at XXX. In addition, if you have the time, contact the central office, either by mail or through their own website, and inform them that you stand in solidarity with your fellow IBD sufferer and will not be frequenting any of their restaurants. Hopefully this will stop them from further discriminating behaviors. Thank you for your time.

[I understand your frustration with your former employer. However, it is against Forum rules to defame anyone, members or non-members. Therefore, I have removed all reference to the name of your employer. ~~ Ides, Moderator]

Post Edited By Moderator (Ides) : 1/14/2008 5:13:55 PM (GMT-7)

Becoming undone
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 1/14/2008 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hope you are doing well IBD wise. I also wish you luck on your upcoming battles.

Just as an aside, can't really eat at those restaurants and they are also overpriced...for nationwide chain, Panda is a bit better, or better yet, go authentic and locally owned.

What part of the country do you live in? I live in AZ and the laws here tend to favor the employer...Here's wishing you the best of luck on all fronts.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/14/2008 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I live in Illinois, and the employer is favored as well. I did speak with a lawyer who advised me to suck it up and move on. But it's so unfair that these big companies are allowed to do things like this to people who are otherwise good employees.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 1/14/2008 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't believe the treatment you received. Isn't that illegal for firing you because of a disability?

Blue Velvyt
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 1/14/2008 3:31 PM (GMT -7)   
A few years back I was having gallbladder attacks (Kaiser didnt know what it was at the time).

My work knew I was sick, I couldnt hide it, so I told them before it got out of control. My boss told me that if I got really sick they would have to remove me from the premisis.

What the heck does that mean? You mean If I pass out your going to carry me to the street? You mean I will be sent home until cured so as not to potentialy cause any liability issues for my work?

As it turns out I was treated very badly, harrassed daily about being a less then quality employee.

I get it, they didnt sign up for a sick person, I'm not reliable, but there has to be a better way to deal with sick people then foisting them off onto the open streets so they are someone elses problem.

I'm sorry to hear that is happening to you, sadly I had to move on to as I could not find an legal representation who would help me, I was told the same thing,t here is nothing that can be done.

Ill bet if I was Paris Hilton or Lindsy Lohan I could get away with whatever I wanted and keep my job. (Ah crazy privledged youth)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1668
   Posted 1/14/2008 5:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry this has happened to you. Why did you not use FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) when you knew surgery was going to be impending? Under FMLA you are supposed to be able to return to your former job or similar after being out on medical. Helps to keep you from being fired from your position due to medical reasons/absence.

My Daughter uses FMLA yearly to cover her absences from work when her Paid Time Off Days have been used up
for her Remicade appointments and health care appointments/tests.

You might want to get your hands on a copy of Know Your Rights - A Handbook for Patients with IBD by Jennifer C. Jaff (Lawyer & IBDer). It is available through the CCFA website. It covers Insurance, Social Security Disability, Americans with Disabilities Act, FMLA and more.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 1/14/2008 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
That was going 2 b my suggestion. I don't know why a lawyer would give u that advice being that FMLA laws REQUIRE that ur illness be confidential. I won't eat at any of those places and I'm sure one way or another they will get what's coming to them and so will you...something bigger and much better!
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 1/14/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum we are glade to have you.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/14/2008 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
It's a shame my post was moderated. I didn't think my post defamed anyone as I thought I had chosen my words wisely, but I guess I was in error. It's just another blow I have to learn to live with, as there seems to be no course of action for me, not even calling on the support of the IBD community.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 1/14/2008 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Have you told this story to your local department of labor. Your employer violated the law when they disclosed your illness. In legal terms this is actually a much more serious violation of law than firing you was.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7120
   Posted 1/14/2008 10:24 PM (GMT -7)   
cheft - You named your employer. While I support your frustration with your previous employer's lack of compassion and possible illegal firing, this forum is not the place to make allegations that cannot be verified. Several members have given you excellent suggestions; others have offered their support for you situation. That's what this community is about - support for one another -- not for making allegations against others.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 1/15/2008 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I would call the press and tell them your story i bet you will get results. That really sucks where's the humanity..
Crohns for 11 years
1 surgery so far
2 times in hospital for blockages
B12 Injections

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