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Discussion Starter #1
well, here I am, sitting here with no job anymore. i've worked for this company for 8 years. Today I went in and my boss fired me on account of me having lupus & being sick sometimes. I know they really can't do that legally, but if I were to sue I'm not sure I would really want my job back anyways. It was way too stressful and I'm wondering if all that stress had an affect on my health. I'm sure it did. The funny part is that I can't decide if I'm happy to not be there anymore or what! I've been in a good mood since it happened. The only thing is that yes, I do worry about what I'm going to do now. But I don't know or don't think I can hold down a full time job. I do have a lot of bad days & can't do anything. How will that affect the new job? Any advice???
 

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:( Well, sort of a good news - bad news day for you. The good news is you don't have to go in to work, the bad news is you don't have to go in to work! What to do!

The laws in every state are different, but I would bet that if you were fired for missing time due to a chronic illness, you probably qualify for unemployment benefits. I know it has always taken some while for my benefits to kick in after applying. You might want to head over tomorrow and get that paper work started.

While you are at it, check out your states disability program, some have them, some don't. You may need to start looking at SSDI benefits. Make sure you pick up the COBRA payments on your insurance.

In the next weeks, you might need to reassess what you can and can not do. As you said, at least the stress of working is now gone.

Hard choices ahead of you - do let us know how things are going, and good luck to you!
 

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Hi,

I don't know whether to say congratulations or offer you my sympathy :)

I do understand your not wanting to fight it. I have been in that kind of position over work before. The employer certainly shouldn't be firing anyone for being sick and in some ways we don't want them to get away with it but that all depends on how stressful fighting it is going to be.

The stress of certain jobs is certainly something to be taken into account. I have been off work now since August 07 and only back working a few hours a week since March this year. The important thing for me is that most of those few hours a week are done at home, when I feel up to it, with no-one staring over my shoulder.

My job wasn't stressful in the usual sense because I was my own boss but I taught people English in companies and I just found coping with that amount of concentration very stressful. Just staying alert and responsive for a two hour lesson, followed by another and then another was sooooo hard. I now have one day where I have 2 hours followed by 3. I have only done the full day three times since starting back as it is so hard to do and some weeks I just haven't been able to.

I'm very lucky as I can change direction and build up far more business from home (I also did translation and that's nearly all I do now) but for others it is not so easy.

My rheumy would like me to stop working but understands that financially it's not really possible and also, when my brain can be counted as "present", I enjoy working even if it does very much have to be at my pace.

One of the hardest things for me to deal with is the brain fog issue with concentration and memory problems. They make teaching very hard to do. At least with translation, if it doesn't come to me, I can leave the documnt five minutes, come on here, have a cup of tea and then go back to it. I can't do that in class. I have to be "active" and push and encourage etc. and I simply don't have the energy.

Yesterday a translation colleague said to me "but surely you need that one day's teaching to see people" - well no, I would be deligted not to see anyone if seeing them means teaching them!! :rotfl:
Thankfully I see plenty of other people and am not yet ready to become a hermit!

Financially it is always a big question and I know for many people living off whatever disability they can get is not an option but, often, we think we couldn't manage with less and we can. When we HAVE to, we find ways of doing it. I know I'm not the only one on this board to have survived a long "rest" period. Of course, it all depends on your individual circumstances and only you know what is right for you.

Life in general can be pretty paradoxical. Sure it is not great to be kind of forced to stay at home through illness but, if I hadn't been, I would never have had the time to develop my translation business which is what I really wanted to do (and also means 2 hours less driving - and fuel - every day).

Being self-employed in Belgium is not at all recommended if you're sick as the disability system doesn't work the same way but, on the other hand I have no stress. If I feel I can't do a job, I just say no - that's it - no one shouts or screams or even raises eyebrows, no is no, that's it. I work pretty funny hours. I'm hopeless early in the morning, so I come on here, get my English back in gear, browse the web a bit, have a chat with a friend on msn and then, gradually get going. I then might work for a couple of hours or even 3 or 4 if I'm feeling good. Then take the dog for a walk, pick up the kids, relax a bit and then, sometimes, I'll work another hour or two in the evening. Generally if I do all that in one day, the next day is pretty much a rest day. Rather like my brain has fried itself :lol:

crikey, you have my life story now :rolleyes:
Katharine
 

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Dear Erenae,
Well that was a rotten thing to happen, but I expect you half thought it might so at least things are clear now.
Please do sort out the money side as soon as you can.
I can't work. I am fortunate to get High Rate Disability which takes the worry away, well almost.
x Lola
 

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Hi,

You have been worrying about the possibility of this happening for some time and are probably relieved that it is finally over. Definitely apply for any benefits that might be available for you. Also let your doctor know what has happened. The doctor has to agree that you are unable to work before you are able to get any state or federal disability funds.

Try and get some much needed rest.

Take care,
Lazylegs
 

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Oh my word Erenae1974

I am so sorry that this has happened to you! It is so bad of them to do this!

I do worry sometimes that this may happen to me to as seen as I feel at times I don't perform to my best (brainless bimbo comes to mind).

As I have not been in your position I don't feel that I have much advise to offer to you, but I do hope that things work out for you!

Take care

Claire:hug:
 

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Hi there,

Well things happen for a reason, maybe it is time to sit back and decide what to do next... Maybe you need a change and maybe part time is all you can handle for the moment... Being fired is not allways the worst thing sometimes it has it's benefits... It is giving you the time to think on where to go next and what you can and cannot handle..
I used to work all kinds of hours now I work part time... I am still busy but it is a different busy and I feel so much better for it... And I found out my health is more important...the jobs I do have.. I can take time off if I need to... I work in the home for one and I work at a friends house for three hours a day... so it is much easier... I hope things work out or the best for you, Take care of yourself first and Good luck..

Love Penny
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for all your replies. i'm doing pretty good today actually. I got outside & did yard work. I got unemployment set up for now, but I probaly will keep looking pretty hard for something. AFTER I take a few weeks off. I am just wondering what that will be like because I won't have stress or not as much anyways and will probably feel alot better. I'm hoping anyways. I will tell my dr. about it, see what she says. I know that she has suggested that I cut back on hours if I could, which I kinda did, but that didn't work out for them. I am going to check into disability. I don't know if they would give it to me or not. The only reason they might is because I know from experience that I get sick, cant' work full time, even if it was part time I can't promise that I would be there on certain days because if it's a bad day I won't be going. My bad days include headaches, aching all over my body to the point of not being able to walk to move my arms & stuff, throwing up, and just plain old tiredness & lack of concentration. I do have at least 2 of these days per week and they are not predictable, so I'm not sure how that will work with a new job. Well, I guess I'll just take it one day at a time & do what I can.
 

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As Penny said - sometimes things happen for a reason. I've been off sick since April and it's the best thing that could have happened to me!

My doc, friends and family have been telling me that I needed a rest for as long as I can remember and they were right. I know this sounds like I've been over medicating but I can now see the colour of the sky, the grass, the trees, smell the flowers and hear the birds sing.

You don't realise how life passes you by until you stop and take a look at what's around you. I've been catching up with friends, spending time with family and reading some great books. I am also due to be made redundant in August so will be looking for a new job - but I'll worry about that nearer the time. Some things are just more important.

It sounds like you are already accepting your situation and I really hope things work out for you.

Hugz, :hug:

Pam xxx
 

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Hiya

I hope you enjoy the break. It sounds as if you really needed it. You also sound relieved.

If you can, take time out until you feel ready to start a job, and take time to try hard to find something you really want to do. It's hard, but sometimes something that is 'bob on' just turns up out of the blue.

I don't have a clue how your benefits system works, but i am routing for you! If you can get some financial help it so takes the pressure off. It sounds like part-time flexible work might be right for you if and when you feel ready.

It's just finding it ... all the best. Take good care and enjoy the break.
 

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Hi,

I can't give anymore advice but I wanted you to know you have my support. Sounds like you need a good rest. Then you can see how you are feeling without that stressful job you had.

Take care of yourself.
:hug:
Lyn
 

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go to SSI and fill out forms for disability...Lupus qualifies and it was the best thing i did for myself...no more stress...less flares...I go to the gym when it is convenient for me...I sleep when i am tired...if I can't sleep at night I dont have to worry about getting up so I am not late...feel so much better...even making doc appts is less stressful because I can do the odd times that no one else is looking for...talk to doc and ssi now!
best of luck...feel good!
 

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I just wanted to agree with the others and believe it or not as stressful asit is to wait for ssd it is less stressful than worrying about your job. I had the perfect job, loved what I did, but HATED having to call in sick and disappoint my co-workers and students. I wish I could work, but I can't and once we accept that-the world does open up:) Thing happen for a reason and you need to really think about why this happened now:wink2:


Good Luck:luck:

Becca
 

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Did anyone hear your supervisor say why she fired you? Have you been out missing days? Did they try to put you on a flexible FMLA (which would have secured your job for up to 3 months of time out)? If you can prove they fired you for Lupus, I would encourage you to go ahead and sue them, but for money, not for your job. You can sue for lost income.

Meanwhile, I agree, go talk to your doctor and see about filing for disability. You need to have at least one doctor who will agree to compile paperwork (preferably your GP). Social Security will want to be certain you are under the care of a doctor, the more often you see one the better from their point of view.

The new rules looked to me to boild down to "if you have one body system affected by Lupus AND have fatigue or malaise or (some other items), then you qualify for disability." I will hopefully know more after I see my doctor in a week, I left a copy of the new rules with her (per her request) so that she could go over them.

Good luck, don't be surprised if you start sleeping better. I know I am.
 

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Good news - bad news indeed.
I hope all will work out for you.
As to your stress, I think there is nothing that exacerbates Lupus like stress. It pains me to admit it but reality is reality: I do not do well with stress, even minor stress. I just look at it as any other handicap.
May the rest of your life be as pleasant as possible.
Douglas+
 

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I do understand your dilema about wanting wanting/not wanting to go back to work. Is the company you worked for very large? Were you offered other positions with in the company?
I think you may want to considered a call to Minnesota Disability Law Center,
http://www.mndlc.org/index.cfm?pagename=homepage
which is your state Protection and Advocacy Center. If nothing else you might make it easier for others with disabilities to work without fear of losing their job because an illness causes missed days of work. I would also seek to have fired taken of fyour employment and have it changed to mutal termination of employment. You may feel up to working again in the future and to have being fired on your record would make it much harder to find emploment you would like to do.
Joanne
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It was a very small company that I worked for, there were about 8 office & about 10 field. It was a remodeling company and I did the design work as well as 2 others. My boss basically said this: It just isn't working out, we need someone who can be here all the time. I was scheduled to work M, W, Th, & F. They gave me Tuesdays off to work from home thinking that if I could have at least one day per week to not have to go into the office it would help. I still did get sick & call in sometimes. I know that they legally can't fire me for being sick, and the more I think about it the madder I get about it. This is a guy who once told me that he would not give me a promotion that I wanted because I was a woman just getting married & didn't know where my life would end up because women usually follow their husband's career!! I let that one go without a fuss too. There was another woman sitting in her office who probably heard the conversation. This company was the cheapest one I can ever imagine. They took away my medical insurance when they found out I had lupus, told me that flex plan was not available even though others had it. I don't know. Part of me wants to let it go & part of me wants to be upset & sue. I am going to make an appt. at the SS office next week. Just even to go talk to someone about where to even start with it. I have had many people tell me to try going on disability with reasons being that I can't handle work & stress. Although I could probably do things still I can not be dependable. If I work one full day usually the next day I can forget about doing anything! I know you all know what that is like. I want to thank you all for your support right now, it means alot to me. JoD, I will check out that site, even if I don't do anything about it, I'm still curious. I understand their point of view, that it is hard to have an employee that calls in sick or works from home or something. But, don't you just wish that for one week, some of these people could experience what we do, just so they have some kind of idea of what it's like. I don't wish for anyone to be sick, but after that 1 week, take it away. That way they might understand. That's a bad thought.
 

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Maybe it's a bad thought, but I have thought it sooooooo many times. The only people I've found who sort of understand the fatigue are pregnant ladies while they're pregnant.

I agree with everyone about at least telling someone (govt agency) about what happened with your job/boss. It might not be worth it to you to legally pursue damages, because it would probably take a long time and involve a lot of stress. Then again, there might be lawyers out there who would do most of the work for you, and then just take a big cut of, probably, your settlement.

I left a job in April for the same reasons - I was an assistant, but couldn't guarantee that I would be there all of the time, due to medical appointments and flares. I was first diagnosed in the first few months of my job, and went through many specialist appointments and much stress. Luckily, I worked for a large company with very good benefits, and was able to take short-term disability, both for time off and to work 30 hrs/week while being paid full-time. Still, in the end, and even though I could have used FMLA, it was an unworkable situation for my supervisor, and I was miserably stressed out.

It's been very difficult to accept that I need to find something part-time and/or flexible. I'm still sort of in denial.

I worked in legal, so my boss would never have just up and fired me, like yours did, no matter how much she would have liked to. That kind of thing is so way illegal and causes big problems for employers.

Has anyone on the forum ever taken action against an employer? I wonder how much is involved with it, and how much stress it would be, or how much energy it would require. It isn't worth it if it is too stressful and if you're able to get assistance from social security, in my opinion - health is most important, and the money will work itself out.

Good luck, and please keep us posted!
 

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Hi

Sorry for the late reply. I just read this today, and frankly I am angry and quite fired up (no pun intended). I am going through a frustrating situation with work myself, and I understand when you're so ill, the thought of fighting is overwhelming. But there are advocates for you out there. I live in Canada, but i checked, and the Lupus Foundation of America has advocacy programs for people in your situation. You don't have to do this alone. Lupus is a poorly understood disease already, and a little more awareness as to rights might do the next poor employee at that company some good in the future.

Take care
Lady
 

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Hi sorry to hear you got fired, i was also fired on Friday as i have been on sick for a while
my company were quite happy to keep my job open till they were told i also had sle lupus,i worked for the company for 7 years plus. sandy123 gateshead england
 
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