Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

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Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby brandtrn » 21 Sep 2014, 00:03

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/national/ ... anc/nhMGP/

There aren't words that exist which properly express my opinion of this heartless, soulless oral surgeon who is now attempting to resurrect what's left of his reputation after a handwritten letter to one of his employees has gone viral. So, his lawyer now states that the jerk's intentions were good, and were intended to allow his staff member to collect unemployment benefits? Interesting, because in the state of Pennsylvania, one must be actively looking for work and available to work in order to receive said benefits. According to Dr. Visnich's own letter, he believes her to be incapable of working for him while she's undergoing treatment, so there's no way he can make anyone with any intelligence believe that he *really* thought she'd be able to collect those benefits. Undoubtedly, she could qualify for SSI disability, but it'll take MONTHS for her benefits to start, assuming that her application is approved on the first go-round (many of them aren't). In the article, Dr. Visnich's attorney states that Ms. Jumper may return to her job "when she feels better." It's interesting that the original letter sent to Ms. Jumper said nothing about her return to work. Yes, most states in the US allow an employer to let an employee go for any reason, or for no reason at all. Just because it's "legal" doesn't make it "right." And actually, Dr. Visnich's actions might NOT be legal, if he violated any portion of the Americans With Disabilities Act. I'll be watching this case with interest to see where it goes. Honestly? I hope that Dr. Visnich gets *enough* bad publicity to do him some real financial damage...damage which is AT LEAST equivalent to that which he inflicted upon his employee of twelve years. Grrrrrrrr!! :bleh:
Last edited by brandtrn on 21 Sep 2014, 09:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby pilvikki » 21 Sep 2014, 03:48


I hope this went viral enough so that NOBODY will trust this jerk near their mouth! unbelievably callous!

had he given her some severance pay or anything to tie her over until her well, something payments kick in, he would have at least been able to pretend he was thinking of her at all. meanwhile, the letter was dated the same day he fired her.

so, she just got kicked to the curb without any notice at all?

yep, don't let the door hit your ass...

I hope she beats the cancer and goes and beats him up!
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby brandtrn » 21 Sep 2014, 09:17

Actually, it's not likely. According to the reports I've read, the cancer is in her liver, pancreas and ovaries...three of the WORST possible places to have cancer! Reports I've read so far don't list which site they believe is primary, but it's apparent that she has metastatic disease. Chemo may buy her some time, but I wouldn't count on much more than that. If she lives long enough to collect her first SSI disability check, I'll be surprised.
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby brandtrn » 21 Sep 2014, 09:18

Also, it's gone viral enough that they're reporting this on the news not only throughout the US, but in the UK as well. The man's reputation is in shreds...he'd do well to change his name and to set up practice in another state. What I can't understand is why this man ASSUMED that she wouldn't be able to work because of her treatment. I've worked with many colleagues (and have worked myself) while undergoing cancer treatment. He should have, at least, conferred with the lady and asked her: a) if she felt as though she could continue to work under the circumstances and b) explored all reasonable accommodations which he could make to allow her to work, in the event that she still wanted to. And I agree with you, pilvikki, that he COULD have given her *some* kind of severance package, after twelve years of employment! What a poor way to express one's appreciation for so many years of dedicated service!
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby pilvikki » 21 Sep 2014, 14:46


I believe in Canada it's a week per year worked, 2 week minimum, as long as you're on permanent staff. don't quote me though, but I think it's the law. if you're not given notice, the employer may compensate by paying you the 2 wks + and then kicking you out.

the poor woman! she might as well go beat him senseless now, it's not like she'll need a reference from the asswipe.

it would have been better if he'd said "i hate your guts and I never want to see you again."
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby Ice.Maiden » 21 Sep 2014, 15:45

I think this says it all: * He should have, at least, conferred with the lady and asked her: a) if she felt as though she could continue to work under the circumstances and b) explored all reasonable accommodations which he could make to allow her to work, in the event that she still wanted to.

This's precisely it.

I doubt very much whether this poor woman with metastasized cancer'd feel up to working whilst undergoing strong chemotherapy, which means daily doses of it, BUT, he should've spoken to her about her illness first, and let her decide whether she'd be able to carry on - if only part-time. The trouble is, no one knows from day to day how poorly or well they're going to feel, and I don't think it's reasonable to expect an employee in these circumstances to have to say: "Well yes, I can come in today, but I might be off for the next 4 with abject exhaustion - or not at all".

It's disgusting that this woman'd have to wait for any disability benefits. Over here, cases're dealt with very swiftly once the gov. offices receive proof of a terminal illness, and if there's any wait, the person applying gets the back- pay from the date of their application.

I think what's happened here, is that the man should've had a private chat with the woman, and tried to make allowances for any return to work. In the UK, dismissing someone simply because they become disabled is likely to be direct discrimination which's unlawful.
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby brandtrn » 21 Sep 2014, 19:47

Just one more reason to avoid, if at all possible, discussing ANY of your health issues with your employer.
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Re: Oral surgeon lays off cancer-stricken employee

Postby Ice.Maiden » 22 Sep 2014, 11:23

Hi.

That depends. Somertimes it might be best to grin and bear it and just keep quiet, but in this poor woman's situation, sudden side effects and/or feeling lousy could necessitate time off work anyway - in which case I think that an employer should be warned in advance.

The man's obviously dealt with this in a very unkind way - possibly out of ignorance, but never-the-less wrongly. He could've had the decency to try and find a way of giving this woman part-time hours at the very least, and been understanding enough to realise that the time's bound to come eventually when she'll have no choice but to give up work.

On saying that, I've spoken to 2 terminally ill people who were both diagnosed 12 years ago. They're still here and walking around, so there's nothing to say that a person couldn't carry on working until they felt too ill to do so, or be graciously given the time off that they need, with a view to upping their hours at a later stage.
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