I have an employment question. I have been employed at this medical center for 7 years, I am an RN. I have worked since I was 14, always had good reviews! (I am now 53 years old). Anyway, I've had a couple of serious illnesses last year and this year. My supervisor, Alice, was amazing last year (2014) when I was hospitalized both in February and November with very serious medical problems. Each time I was hospitalized (in our hospital) for close to a week, and then off work for an additional couple of weeks for recuperation. Alice stopped by to visit almost every day, inquire how I was doing, etc. She was amazing, and it really helped. Anyway, Alice retired earlier this year because she had cancer, and Angela, previously the "second in command" became nursing director of the ER. Angela was trying to "catch up" with Alice's reviews, which Alice wasn't really timely with. This past September, 2015, Angela gave me my employee
review. It was all fine, except Angela told me that she needed me to sign a verbal warning about my call ins last year (2014). I had called in sick several times both in February and November, 2014. Both of those months I had been hospitalized, repeatedly, with "idiopathic anaphylaxis". These were very serious illnesses--I had anaphylactic shock, with no known cause. Anyway, Angela said this was routine, that HR sends the director reports of absences, and I needed to sign the verbal warning, just routine. So I signed it.
This year I called in sick a few times--once in February because the road was closed, due to snow, once in April, I can't remember why, and then a third time in April, I went to work, and got hurt lifting a patient, and had to go home early. After that I didn't call in in May, June, July,, August, September, or October. In November I was in a car crash, and my neck was hurt, so I called in on November 15. (I did go to acute care, so there is a medical record of this real injury). Then on November 21, I went to acute care and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Given antibiotics, so I called in both November 21 and 22. On November 25 I went to (my own ER), and was admitted with pneumonia, bilateral pneumonitis, respiratory failure, congestive heart failure, and hypoxia. I was inpatient for 5 days, almost died. I was very, very sick. I was discharged, still sick, on November 30, and had my doctor follow up appt on December 9. On December 2 I got an email from Angela, saying I had a written warning for absenteeism, and she would put it in my locker. I saw my doctor on Dec 9, and when I got home, there was a thick packet in the mail from work, with my "requested" short term disability
paperwork. I hadn't requested STD, so I called Angela. She said since I was so sick, employee health said I had to request STD, since I was off work for 3 or more days. She asked if I would be back to work last weekend, I said yes. Had my Dr send a release. I worked Saturday, oh my goodness it was really rough, but Sunday I didn't last 2 hours, had to leave. Angela called me yesterday, Wednesday, said she needed to see me about my weekend package. I went in, she fired me. "Terminated" me from my weekend package. Due to absenteeism. At the same time, offered me an open position in the ER, very part time, 12 hour nights. I am to call her tomorrow with my decision, whether I will take the job or not.
My STD paperwork is still at my doctor's office. It said that I am not eligible for FMLA protected leave, so once they get the paperwork, it is up to HR and Angela to decide whether or not to grant the leave.
Is it legal for them to fire me for "absenteeism". when I was actually sick, and in their own hospital?
Why would they fire me for absenteeism, and then offer me a job in the same department?
I have short term and long term disability insurance
through this employer. If they believe I am not able to work, due to illness (Absenteeism), shouldn't they be counseling me about my long term disability insurance? (I pay for this through this employer).