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  1. #1
    terja is offline Junior Member
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    wrongfully let go...

    What is the name of your state? Texas

    Hi, I'm a first time visitor to this forum, and well, im looking for some legal advice.

    About 4 weeks ago, i started a job at a call center in Texas, 3 weeks of paid training, etc
    on the 3rd week, they do a training bay, where you come in, take calls, etc work on your call time n such. Sadly due to a car accident where i was rear ended by a garbage truck, i was forced to stand out in the cold wet sleeting rain while the car accident was resolved, which IMO gave me a really bad cold and i ended up with pneumonia and wound up in the hospital for several days and got out on x-mas, my doctor told me i had to stay home and rest for a week. during that week i was basicaly unable to speak due to a very bad cough, bought on by my pneumonia--- Started as a small cough from being exposed to the cold weather on the day of the wreck, got worst as i went through training, ended up in the hospital with very bad case of pneumonia, got out of the hospital, and had a cough for a week, still have a mild cough.

    before i ended up in the hospital, i went to the doctor who gave me a note saying i needed a few days off from work, due to severe conjestion. ONE of my trainers said it was no problem, and that as long as i called in every day, and had a doctors note, i would only take a total of one point (points are how they did tardys, absences, one absense = 1 point as long as i called in, multiple absenses with a doctors note = 1 point total as long as i called in each day. -- 7 points = termination.

    After several days of my cough, i ended up in the emergency room basically unable to breathe, and was admited to the hospital. I was in the hospital for 3 days (got out on xmas). and was told i needed to stay home and rest and get better for another week (during this week i was basically unable to complete a setence without hacking and coughing a lung up) after several days, and having my father call in for me since i couldnt speak, we wanted to make sure i still had a job once i got back. So we left a message for someone in HR....

    She told us, that since I had just started my job, and was not there long enough, i could not request a leave of absence, and since i had already missed several days, even with a doctors note, it was their policy to terminate me, and she gave me 2 choices.
    either voluntarily leave, or be fired. If i left voluntarily she said i would be eligible for rehire, and honestly it looked better to me than being fired.. so she put me down as voluntarily left due to personal reasons.

    Was what she did... legal ? normally i wouldnt care, but I'm a network technician/admin, and its a pain to find work these days, what i really want to know is can i sue for my job back ? or unemployment ? or lost wages ? cause when i got this job, i was very releived, that i could pay off my bills, and get out of debt, now i find my self even deeper in the hole... what do you guys suggest ?
  2. #2
    VP of HR is offline Junior Member
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    Hello im a Vice President of Human Resources for a Fortune 1000 company. Sorry for your terrible accident and the loss of your job. Unfortunally your former employee was within every federal legal grounds for terminating your employment. You being out ill for an extended period of time, most likely caused a hardship in the business., most employment applications, ask the question, Are you able to perform the minium required funtions of this job?, and if you answered yes to that question., your former employer has every right to terminate your employment, based on that reason alone. Yoi caused a hardship on the business, regardless of your medical documentation. In the event you were a tenured employee, then you would be able to use your sick time, vacation pay and / or personal days to cover the loss of time. Many employers may allow, at thier sole decretion, to take a personal leave of absent.
  3. #3
    terja is offline Junior Member
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    nuts..
    thanks for the quick response.. guess im out of work and back into debt...
    would i qualify for unemploment though ?...
  4. #4
    terja is offline Junior Member
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    hmm this is probably a stretch, but figure i'll ask it anyway, as i said in the original post, 4 weeks ago i was in a car wreck, out in cold wet sleeting weather, and got a servere cough from it, which ended up in full-blown pneumonia. Me being 21 years old with weak lungs (birth defect, etc). wet and cold weather are very bad for my health. Now since i got pneumonia from a cough that i "PROBABLY" got from being forced to stand out in the cold on the day of my accident, and the pneumonia led me to being in the hospital, and missing several days of work. Could i go after the insurance for lost wages ? lol
    granted its a stretch, but i figured it wouldnt hurt to ask. esp since im desperate and need to find a job asap.

    also
    would i qualifiy for any type of unemployment, in texas ? or was i simply not employed long enough ?
  5. #5
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by terja
    hmm this is probably a stretch, but figure i'll ask it anyway, as i said in the original post, 4 weeks ago i was in a car wreck, out in cold wet sleeting weather, and got a servere cough from it, which ended up in full-blown pneumonia. Me being 21 years old with weak lungs (birth defect, etc). wet and cold weather are very bad for my health. Now since i got pneumonia from a cough that i "PROBABLY" got from being forced to stand out in the cold on the day of my accident, and the pneumonia led me to being in the hospital, and missing several days of work. Could i go after the insurance for lost wages ? lol
    granted its a stretch, but i figured it wouldnt hurt to ask. esp since im desperate and need to find a job asap.

    also
    would i qualifiy for any type of unemployment, in texas ? or was i simply not employed long enough ?
    What is your birth defect causing weak lungs? You may be eligible for disability and or unemployment. Since you resigned with the understanding that you could be rehired, have you regained your health to th epoint of being able to work without becomming ill again?

    Since this was caused by being rearended by the truck, have you consulted your insurance about the lost wages? You may want to consult with an attorney if this was related to the accident. The pre-existing lung condition may also play a role.
  6. #6
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Could i go after the insurance for lost wages ? also would i qualifiy for any type of unemployment, in texas ? or was i simply not employed long enough ?

    I'll give you a very weak maybe on the lost wages. It's exceedingly unlikely but if you want to waste your time on a claim you will probably lose, you can try it. That's not meant unkindly - simply an attempt at total honesty. There are some states where you might win such a claim, but I don't think Texas is one of them. In my experience they tend to be a bit employer-friendly, and such a claim would be weak in any case.

    As for unemployment, that's too situation and state specific to answer. Off the top of my head I don't know how long Texas requires you to have been employed for UI purposes. In my state, it's how long you've been employed IN TOTAL, not just at one employer, but that varies with the state and I haven't had employees in Texas since 1999. I will mention, however, that in most if not all states, in most circumstances you cannot collect if you are unable to work, so IF (it's not clear from your post if this is the case) you have not yet been cleared medicallly to return to work, then you would probably not be eligible for UI until you have been. There is, however, absolutely no reason you shouldn't apply for unemployment; the worst that can happen is that you're turned down, in which case you're no worse off than if you never applied in the first place.

    BTW, I agree absolutely with the other poster that your termination was legal. Despite what many people appear to believe, the law does not say that if you are out sick you are guaranteed to be able to hold your job. Unless you are eligible for FMLA, which you were not because you had not worked there long enough (Texas does not have a state equivalent) you are only entitled to whatever time your company policy provides, no matter how legitimate the medical reason.
  7. #7
    terja is offline Junior Member
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    i resigned with eligiblity for rehire. but i doubt they'll ever rehire, cause before i was let go, and one week after being highered, they announced they would be closing one of their other offices, and incorporating the employs from it to ours, then after that they were going to be reducing our headcount from over 2,000 to 250.... So the rehire thing was basically a slap in the face, or an attempt to be nice so i can use them as experience "3 weeks...." on a resume.
  8. #8
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    In any case, being eligible for rehire does not obligate the employer to rehire you.
  9. #9
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    So the rehire thing was basically a slap in the face, No, it wasn't. One of the first things a prospective employer will inquire about when contacting past employers for references is whether the individual is eligible for rehire. A "yes" response is critical to your future employment prospects because a "no" response almost always means the employee had performance problems and/or was a pain-in-the-ass in some regard.

    When an employer tells me that an ex-employee is not eligible for rehire (unless they're one of the rare employers who have a blanket "no rehire" policy for everyone who leaves), it speaks volumes.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  10. #10
    terja is offline Junior Member
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    ohh okay, so it actualy helps me, since im eligible for rehire i can use it on my resume, even though it looks like i left after 3 weeks, being eligible for rehire, basicaly means they liked my performance thus far, and im welcome to return. ok! thanks for the clarification

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