There is perhaps little that is as difficult for a parent as watching his or her child deal with a terminal illness. A Palm Beach County, Florida, man who recently sustained such a tragedy reportedly found no support from his employer.
The man, 36, believes that his employer fired him because his late daughter's cancer treatments became too costly. His employer, Wells Fargo, maintains that the man's employment was terminated because he falsified a time card.
The man's daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, the same year that Wells Fargo acquired the bank where the man had been employed. Because of his daughter's treatment schedule, the man worked irregular hours, often remotely.
Due to Wells Fargo's timekeeping systems, it was difficult for the employee to record his hours perfectly while he was working remotely, he has explained. He reportedly once brought this up to his supervisor, who told him that it was fine and that he should simply list his hours as best as he could recall.
In 2010, three days before his daughter was to undergo surgery, he was terminated for falsifying a time card--a timecard that he says his supervisor filled out. As a result of losing his health insurance, the hospital cancelled his daughter's surgery, according to the lawsuit.
The man has alleged that the real reason Wells Fargo fired him was because the company did not want to pay for his daughter's rising medical costs. The man's employer and insurer had reportedly been frequently contacting the family about the costs.
The allegations in this wrongful termination lawsuit are very serious, and very disturbing. Florida employers simply do not have the right to terminate employees on the basis of their child's health. Furthermore, when employers do not allow employees to utilize their benefits, an entire separate area of employment law violations come into existence.
The outcome of this case remains to be seen, but in the meantime workers should remember that experienced employment law attorneys can help them stand up for their rights in the workplace.
Source: ABC, "Florida Man Says He Was Fired For Daughter's Cancer Treatment," Susanna Kim, Aug. 12, 2012
- Our South Florida law firm handles wrongful termination cases. For more information about our practice, please take a look at our website.