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MI] I am a single 53 year old father of 2 daughters and I…

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MI] I am...

MI] I am a single 53 year old father of 2 daughters and I suffer from anxiety and depression.  I have been treated for anxiety and depression for about 30 years.  I recently was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had a radical prostatectomy in March 2017 where I was off work for 6 weeks.I also had Chondrosarcoma about 10 years ago and was treated for this cancer.  Had a Discectomy about 15 years ago and the beginning of 2017 they found a herniated disc in my neck.I work for a local hospital and financially they are hurting and will probably be sold.  Recently there was talk of every department having to cut a percentage of their workforce to save money.November 21st we had a department meeting and our manager said that he cut costs on advertising and that we should not have to cut employees hours.  Two days after that my boss called me into his office and said that he needed to cut my hours.  I was shocked and said ok.  I left that meeting and started to think of the situation and was not happy about having my hours reduced.  I emailed my boss and expressed my feelings and he asked if we could meet the following day.I asked why my hours were cut and he said because of the too many days I was sick.  He felt I took too many days off.  He proceeded to read my email’s that I sent when I was sick.  He said that’s it’s just business and when an employee is not producing, they have to go.  I reminded him that I just had prostate cancer surgery and I’m struggling with depression.I also brought in all my medical bills and RX bills to show him what I have been through.  He said, “Dude, look at you…you’re a mess, and whatever you’re doing isn’t working.”  He also said “I have to put on my big boy pants when I have to do difficult tasks.”  He said that he hasn’t had cancer or depression so he can’t relate.  He also said that someday I will look back on this and thank him.  He felt that since I missed many days of work that he was helping me by cutting my hours.I have never felt so discriminated against in my life.  I left the meeting feeling so bad about myself because of the things my Boss said to me.A couple days later I had a meeting with HR and my Boss and we discussed everything that was said to me by my Boss.  He admitted to everything he said and HR said that it’s something they wouldn’t have said but didn’t feel I was being discriminated against.  I asked for additional hours in another department and they said no.  I asked if we can cut marketing merchandise to save my hours….they said no.  They said the decision has already been made.I could have handled my hours cut if I was just told that my hours were cut, but the more my Boss spoke, the more offensive and discriminatory he became.Finally, the days I took off I had accrued and had every right to take those days off.  I have never had a bad review or was never told I was taking too many days…..never even had a warning.  Do I have any legal rights in this situation?Age: 53
Location: Michigan
Sex: Male
Status: Divorced with 2 daughters
Conditions: Chondrosarcoma on rib, Prostate Cancer, Herniated disc Discectomy, lower back, Herniated disc in neck, anxiety, depression and

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Michigan

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

It’s non union and I currently work 30 hours per week so I’m not sure

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No, thanks.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 10 hours by:
12/4/2017
Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,928
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Verified

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question. You don't say whether or not you had been using FMLA previously and whether or not you had applied for intermittent FMLA. Just based on the limited information I have, I would say that there is a possibility that you may have legal recourse, both under FMLA and also the ADA reasonable accommodation rules.

I say "may" because no one that is not your attorney or a Government agency with the full access to all facts, employee and employer presented, can say with certainty. However, assuming that you had enough hours worked in a 12 month period, and had only used 6 weeks of FMLA, you should qualify for intermittent FMLA of up to 6 more weeks in a 12 month period, which would provide job protection for those absences.

That said, if you had used up all of your FMLA, the employer, if they have an attendance policy, can enforce that policy against any employee, regardless of why they are absent. Meaning they can terminate or cut hours, etc., for an employee who doesn't meet the attendance policy. However, there is one more layer of protection for employees who have disabilities. That is that the employee may ask for a reasonable accommodation of their disability. That can include a relaxing of the attendance policy. If the employer can accommodate them without causing an undue hardship on the business and the employee can perform the essential functions of their job when they are at work, then the law says the employer must do so. The employer, however, does not have to make or offer a different job to the employee.

Based on those factors, I might recommend that you sit down with a local employment law attorney and discuss these issues to see if they think you have enough facts on your side to go forward. It certainly is more favorable for you that the employer made the statements that they did as those imply a discriminatory bias against you as a disabled employee. If you don't have the funds to hire the attorney, although I would still recommend that you at least have an initial consultation as recommended above, you can go ahead and file a discrimination complaint with the EEOC (for the ADA reasonable accommodation and discrimination claim) and would also, if you didn't receive the FMLA you were entitled to, file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. DOL, which enforces the FMLA.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment and reply to this answer and let me know that I covered your question, and also to leave a positive rating in the ratings box on this page,the Site will give me credit for assisting you today. Thank you

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Employment Lawyer: Marsha411JD, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 4th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.

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