I'm getting fired....Have you guys lost jobs due to the time off for your difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hanging-On, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    I'm being replaced at work. Since difficult child was released from the hospital on 1/6/07 (without any notice) I've had to take time off from work to care for him, and appointments. The two weeks of Jan 8 - Jan 19, I averaged 28 hrs per week. Since then I've been able to work average 35 hrs per week. I'm getting my job done, meeting all my deadlines, being paid hourly for the time at work, and I'm accurate. But that's not good enough, because I'm not sitting in my chair 40 hrs a week. Personally I think replacing me is stupid. They're having the work done, and they're paying less for it. I know everything, and now they'll have to train someone and gamble on their experience level. I just don't understand why you replace someone with all the knowledge and experience in YOUR company, instead of working with them.

    Have any of you guys gone through this?

    I guess I'm just numb, sad, and extremely disapointed in the lack of compassion and humanity. I guess the old saying is right, "kick them while there down". :frown:

    Oh and difficult child is still barred from school. Today is the 19th week day since his release from the hospital. I'll write a separate update on all of that.
     
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm sorry, what a horrible thing to go through on top of everything else! I believe Shari has been in a similar position as you. I *think* she has been able to hold onto her position by using the FMLA to cover her absences.
     
  3. KateM

    KateM Member

    This is terrible! I'm sorry to hear this.

    I believe the Family Medical Leave Act can help with this. I do not know the details of this, but wanted to offer my support. Arrrgg, this just gets my blood boiling -- first , your son is released with little notice, then (if I remember correctly) your son's school wouldn't take him back --and now this! Have you found a school yet for your son? So sorry again!
     
  4. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    I just looked at the Family Leave Act, and it covers employers with 50 or more employees. We (or shall I say....my employer) is half that size. So I don't think it will help me. I think I'm just sol.

    I'm sitting here (at work) try to work.....but I have no intentive. Why should I even try anymore? Let the next person deal with all this stuff, and let them do it without any training or help from me.
     
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I'm so sorry. That really stinks. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif I haven't been fired because of time off but I did have to change careers and go from FT to PT to accommodate the many appointments that Rob had when he was younger. I'm so sorry that you don't have that luxury. :frown:

    Suz
     
  6. wjaes

    wjaes New Member

    I am so sorry that this has happened to you. I am also a single parent and know how difficult it is with a difficult child. What type of work do you do? Is there a union? Could you file a gieveance or ask for a leave of absence? Can you contact an advocacy group that would work with you to work with your work to retain your employment or at the minimum allow you time to remain employed while you find something else? This really stinks!!! Hugs to you!
    Wendy
     
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Since you work for a small firm, it would be relatively easy for the "power(s)" to be to see that your work is being done - it is up to them to decide whether it is up to par (and I'm assuming that it is).

    Have you actually asked the question of your boss/supervisor as to what the actual explanation if for being replaced? Have you really sat down and spoke with them about what is going on with your difficult child? I know many of us don't want to share our personal lives, but in this case I think I would be upfront about it.

    Perhaps you could fight for this job. I don't know...

    Lots of hugs Hangin. It aint ever easy with these kids.

    Sharon
     
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well, this is terrible! I'm sorry you're having to go through this, it's not right and there should be some way to get your employer to see your value. Everything you posted above is something he/she should hear. Ugh - some people are so short sighted!

    When difficult child was younger I risked losing my job, in fact, I was prepared (emotionally anyway) to quit if my employer wasn't willing to work with me. I needed to come in later and leave earlier so I could get difficult child on and off the bus. I needed to have at home hook up capabilities with my work server to telecommunicate some of the work. Well, there I was, ready to lose my job when my boss astoundingly announced that not only would this be an okay schedule, but he'd hire someone PT to cover my missed hours and pay for the computer hook up to our server. I'm still with this employer and we just celebrated 10 years in business.

    Any way you can pitch yourself to him/her again? Perhaps put it in a letter - one last try?

    It may be that there is something better out there for you.

    I will keep you in my prayers.
     
  9. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Yes, I have spoken to my boss (the owner of the small company). We actually spock yesterday, and this is when I was told that I should look for employment with the Government or a large company so that I could have good benefits. This of course is only to sway away from the real issue, becuase i have medical insurance for us. Then he commented on the time I've been out, and I told him everything "again". So Yes my boss knows why I needed and still need flex time to be able to do all i have to do. And this includes trying to get difficult child into school (which he's not in yet, and sitting home with a babysitter watching tv and playing video games)!! I also explained that if I didn't fight for difficult child and his rights, who would? I then told him that I could use his support, especially since everything is done on time and he's paying less right now. Then I went on the internet and saw my job on several sites for over a week. So he's advertising for my job now, and for some time. I just don't understand why he'd do this, and how can he sleep at night. Especially since the only thing I've done wrong is NOT work a 40 hr week.
     
  10. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I had to go to work when my husband got so ill and could not work....(worse our private disability coverage insurance co went bankrupt when we filed a claim on him)
    SO I was working for the money and for the insurance.
    Then oldest difficult child started to get worse and I reduced my hours at our county - so I was considered 32 hours but full time, with pro rated benefits. Then I had to flex time my start time and work later at nite to accomodate appts etc (I worked PM shift) - then I took full FMLA 3 yrs in a row not all in one chunk, but scheduled thruout the year to accomodate for vaarious appts etc......but then, yes, after 10 yrs of working there I lost my job. Part of it had to do with insurance issues. SOmething about, IIRC we were a drain on the insurance? so the insurance forced my employers hand to fire me or the whole place might have a major insurance premium increase? something like that, I no longer remember.
    It stunk, I am sorry it is happening. I think it is not uncommon for parents of special needs, handicapped, disabled kids to wind up either getting fired or having to quit jobs.
    DOes your child get SSI? If you are not working, and if your child qualified medically- you might be able to geet SSI for your child.....and it is also possible you might be able to get state insurance, too?
    I am sorry this happened to you. It really does put families in a bad place. I wish I had answers.
     
  11. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I am sorry. this hurts. I know when ant was at his worst and my marriage was dying, my boss asked me to take a leave of absence. I said no. work was my only normal place to be.

    I hope things work out for you!
     
  12. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hanging,

    sorry. I was kinda hoping a heart to heart with your boss would do the trick.

    As the co-owner of a "under 50 employees" company, I can tell you that it is hard to allow one person to do what you don't allow others. It could very well be causing some disention among the troops. In other words, irregardless of whether you are getting your work done, other employees see you leaving early or coming in late. That could be one of the issues.

    The other could be that your boss is just not comfortable with the absences and the quality of your work does not matter.

    Again, sorry. I had to run out of the office Tuesday just as I was completing my 1099s to put in the mail. I had everything spread over my desk - employee and contractor compensation information - when I got a call that difficult child needed me at school. I opened a drawer, shoved it all in, and left. In those times, I'm glad I work for the "family" business. I can't imagine how working for someone else would pan out in times like those.

    I hope you are able to come up with a solution that benefits everyone. You will be in my prayers.

    Sharon
     
  13. kit

    kit New Member

    I am so sorry for you and your family. I went through this just recently. I had a job with the city. Told them in my interview I had a special needs child. They said no problem. I had worked there 5 1/2 months and they fired me for taking one day off a month. I know what you are going through and I wish you the best of luck.
     
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hanging, I'm sorry this is happening to you.

    A couple of suggestions for you -

    1) You said, " The two weeks of Jan 8 - Jan 19, I averaged 28 hrs per week. Since then I've been able to work average 35 hrs per week. I'm getting my job done, meeting all my deadlines, being paid hourly for the time at work, and I'm accurate. But that's not good enough, because I'm not sitting in my chair 40 hrs a week. Personally I think replacing me is stupid. They're having the work done, and they're paying less for it. I know everything, and now they'll have to train someone and gamble on their experience level. I just don't understand why you replace someone with all the knowledge and experience in YOUR company, instead of working with them."

    Put this in writing to them. Also put in writing anything your boss said to you in the meeting where you're sure you can quote him. Ask him to verify that this is what he said. Include the phrase, "If I do not hear from you to the contrary, I will assume my recollection of your words to be true and correct."

    2) Ask for notice of dismissal (or notice that you should "look around, for maybe a Government posting") in writing. Until it's in writing, with reasons, do not accept it as final. Be stubborn but dumb. "How can I be sure I have a good understanding of what you mean, if it's not in writing?"

    Whether you ever take things any further (even if you can) is still up to you. But it also means that if a future prospective employer asks why you left the previous job, you have the letters to point to. Not doing this - you could be in a situation like husband was some years ago. He was "let go" from a job, verbally told "you know the reasons why" when he didn't, then could not get another job in the same industry. he changed careers for a lower-paid but more secure option, then about a year later, the job offers from his old industry started flooding in - they were headhunting him. Whoever had blackened his name surreptitiously had finally been shown up - too late for husband, assuming he could ever trust that industry again.

    husband could have sued, but instead chose to walk away with dignity. It hurt too much to keep fighting when you didn't even know you had enemies, let alone who it was. Frankly, I wish he'd sued. The company was definitely worse off without him - his replacement didn't even last as long as he did, and did far less. But at least he stopped working ridiculous hours and trying to please the unpleasable. I also wonder if it was my continuing disability that was also a factor for them - I have had people in the workplace treat me very strangely because of their weird perceptions of my health problems.

    SO - cover your rear end, even if you don't think you need to. Loyalty stops when you walk out the door for the last time. They will owe you none after that point. Get all references and letters of commendation before you go. Get everything else you need in writing before you go. Trust me on this - it's a lot harder to go back afterwards and hope they remember you well enough.

    And here's hoping that asking for things in writing is enough to make your boss change his mind. If he doesn't, he's out of it (his mind, I mean).

    A Warrior Mum is a fabulous asset for any company to have. if you know how to fight for your child, you will also fight for your job and the people who employ you. Tell them this, also. In fighting for your child you have skills they can benefit from.

    Good luck, whatever happens.

    Marg
     
  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am so sorry. -RM
     
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh nooooooooooo!
    I am so sorry!

    I work from home and often tell people that if I worked in a corp. I'd be fired in a heartbeat.

    I have no advice for you except to take a big breath and try again somewhere. {{cyberhugs}}
     
  17. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    Many of us have lost jobs caring for our kids. But then, many others have because they or family have been ill, it's not just a difficult child thing. But yes, it happens every day.

    I used to counsel people who were losing their jobs. I see it this way..this job is not a good fit for you. Yes, it would be much better if you arrived at that conclusion yourself and had something else lined up, with medication insur in place, etc. But this boss is not a great guy to work for, his demands are unreasonable since you're doing the work, etc. Forget him and move on to something better.

    As for why he's really terminating you I'll offer a couple of other thoughts... for a small company medication insur premiums are typically determined bas on actual experience. That is, the insur co looks at what they paid out last yr and charges that amt this yr. So if they paid out a lot for your son you are costing the boss a LOT of money in medication insur premiums. Now some states have laws to prevent the insur companies from doing this but not a lot of them to my knowledge. If the boss were honest with you you might have a lawsuit claim against him so he's not telling you the truth. Either way, he's a jerk. He should have approached you about this and asked if there was a way that you and he could work it out. He didn't. So move on.

    Having said that in my humble opinion it's best to put this behind you and move on...you could call your state dept of labor and ask if he can do this. Aside from Fed labor law, there is also state labor law. Unfortunately most states are employment at will and he does not need to have a reason to terminate you much less tell you what that reason is. Only thing I can see as a possible state law to protect you is if the state has anti-discrimination labor laws or a state FMLA which includes smaller employers. The discrimination is against a parent with a sick child and/or a person who is generating higher than avg medical bills due to said illness.
     
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OTE, you reminded me - the way the laws are right now in Australia (thanks to our not-so-beloved PM) a boss can sack anybody he wants to, any time. No reasons needed. No job security. No recourse. No more 'wrongful dismissal'.

    I guess that's why I didn't even think of anything like that in my post, I was only thinking of how a boss could be convinced that sacking someone isn't necessarily a good move. And alternatively, how to make your situation look better to the next prospective employer.

    I agree, a boss sacking someone like this isn't rally thinking about the larger picture and certainly isn't a good fit for an employee who DOES miss time, no matter how hard she works. Someone who watches the clock instead of the outcomes or the possibilities - not a good fit.

    Marg
     
  19. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm so sorry - I recently was let go of my position because of the demands of my children's needs.

    I would love to fight this sort of situation; however I have another priority - that of my difficult children.

    I hope you find something again soon. Did your employer say whether they would off a positive reference?
     
  20. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I'm fairly positive your employer is protected under "at will". Honestly, there's not really much that you can do about it if your boss is determined to replace you. Frankly, I don't think you should expend your precious energy.

    Plus,let's us imagine that you were able to get some sort of action again him, I don't think it would be a very comfortable place to work. Especially considering it is a small business. It's not like you could avoid him.

    I had to leave my job when Daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia because treatment took over two years. Ultimately, I lost my house and we struggled for years financially. After that I became a stay at home mom simply because I didn't want the job hassle. We learned to live on less and I mean, a HECK of a lot less on husband salary because he was just getting started in his job (husband was on the job ONLY three weeks when daughter was diagnosed and his insurance benefits hadn't kicked in, and my job had none]. As I single Mom I understand you don't have that option. It's very scarey position to be in. I hope this turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Though, I do wish your employer would understand that you are productive and that working with you would probably be better in the long run. But, so many business owners can't see beyond tomorrow.

    My job now is kid centered, so it's not much of a problem getting time off. It's is one of the main reasons I took the job. Plus, I have made it very clear that my children are my first priority, period.
     
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