Cheryl Corin-Bonder, a new employee at a small company discovered she had a serious blood disorder which resulted in the need for extended days off and a stem cell transplant. Cheryl was devastated by the lack of support, compassion and the decisions the company made.
Here's her story.
I was working with a small company that dealt with fundraising and public and media relations and was very excited about starting at this company. Unfortunately several days after starting my new job I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. It was very shocking because I was completely asymptomatic. I needed to follow through with further blood tests and doctor visits so I spoke to my employer and let her know that I would have to be taking some days off. I just told them I was having some medical issues and I needed to take time to see doctors. They did not offer any time off, or any leave. Initially they were paying me then I was taking the time without pay. They initially seemed to be empathetic but that only lasted a couple of weeks and then they were causing additional stress for me because they were really focused on what my future treatment was going to look like and how many days of work I would be missing.
I really was not sure what that looked like because my disease was so rare. A stem cell transplant was recommended so I need to see doctors in many different medical facilities. I explained that following the stem cell transplant there was no specific plan on how long my treatment would be required.
My medical team established that I needed to see the doctors regularly. I explained this to them however they did not offer me an opportunity for any type of sick leave. They were actually very arrogant, not sympathetic or empathetic. The rest of the team who I started to develop a rapport with really detached from me so it was a very isolating feeling. Then in April I was terminated. I was very upset by that because it was a small company less than 50 people. They refuse to allow me to get my insurance coverage or to go on COBRA. I had to battle to get information regarding temporary disability after I was put on temporary disability Iinformation was needed from my employer which was another battle because they were not forthcoming with a lot of information. The company denied the fact that I was terminated because I was ill. they said I was making a lot of errors at work and they had events coming up and they really needed someone to be present. The experience was really very disheartening.
The question I think should be answered is "How would you handle this situation?" Being prepared for this type of scenario will help you avoid issues that could lead to charges of discrimination or legal action.
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As the founder of Trignano Consulting, LLC, I have a diverse blend of corporate and entrepreneurial experience with expertise in communications, sales and business development, human resources, and coaching. I offer professional workplace consulting and mentoring. I also specialize in helping managers with finding workplace trauma solutions with a human resources and management focus from early stages to late stages of trauma, grief, and loss. My process is compassionate and in-depth. After an initial consultation, I prepare a tailored program based on your specific needs. Coaching encompasses one-to-one manager or staff member training or the entire team or company. If you are interested in setting up a no obligation call or zoom meeting with me, contact me at www.TrignanoConsulting.com, set up a zoom meeting or 551-800-1127.