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Company must pay $846K after firing cancer patient

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM
  • 5 Replies

Company must pay $846K after firing cancer patient

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A California civil rights agency has ordered a Wisconsin company to pay $846,000 for firing a sales manager who had to limit work travel as he was recovering from cancer surgery.

The Fair Employment and Housing Commission's award in the case of Charles Wideman is the largest payment it has ever ordered in a discrimination case, the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/pQaI71) reported Wednesday.

Most of the money is compensation for Wideman's losses. It also includes a $25,000 state fine.

Wideman was a Novato-based, regional sales manager for Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Acme Electric until he was fired in March 2008 at age 59.

Acme Electric said Wideman wasn't spending enough time traveling to meet customers during his recovery from cancer surgery in 2006 and 2007. The company argued that it had dismissed Wideman because of work deficiencies and the declining economy.

But the civil rights agency said the company's reasons were baseless and ruled the firing was discrimination based on Wideman's disability. It said the company had a duty to accommodate his requests for reduced travel during his recovery.

Wideman, who had headed Acme's largest sales region from February 2004 to March 2008, said he had intended to work for the company until June 2015, when he turned 67.

The commission said Wideman was entitled to damages for lost pay during that period, based on his past compensation of about $106,000 a year in pay and benefits, since he couldn't find a comparable job and was unlikely to do so in the future.

The company declined to comment on the commission's ruling, said Karen Bauer, a spokeswoman for Acme's parent company, Actuant Corp.

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:38 PM
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Replies (1-5):
glitterteaz
by Ruby Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Where was this lawyer when I was fired for taking a leave of absence for cancer treatments????

BleedinHeartMom
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 11:42 PM

But it would of been his fault for not saving for that cancer and having another job on layaway just waiting to hire him when he got fired. His bank would of just said the deed is his free and clear and he could of lived happily ever after.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Sep. 15, 2011 at 12:25 AM

I think it's shitty that he was fired while getting cancer treatments. I know I wouldn't want to also lose my job while struggling to stay alive. Having stated that, isn't that what FMLA is for? What about short term disability? I know, I know, some companies don't offer those options.

My neighbor is 24 weeks pregnant. She's a CNA and works at a hospital. She is a high risk pregnancy because of her advanced maternal age, as well as her epilepsy. She is struggling to do her job. Her company keeps telling her there is no light duty and she needs to ask for a leave of absence or FMLA. The problem is both of those are limited to 14 weeks and cannot be taken consecutively. She told her supervisor has been threatening to fire her for not performing. She's frustrated and scared to death she is going to lose her job. Sometimes life sucks.

I wish there was a better way for people to recuperate and/or tale necessary time away from work without getting fired.

Layla19
by on Sep. 15, 2011 at 6:01 AM


Quoting Veni.Vidi.Vici.:

I think it's shitty that he was fired while getting cancer treatments. I know I wouldn't want to also lose my job while struggling to stay alive. Having stated that, isn't that what FMLA is for? What about short term disability? I know, I know, some companies don't offer those options.

My neighbor is 24 weeks pregnant. She's a CNA and works at a hospital. She is a high risk pregnancy because of her advanced maternal age, as well as her epilepsy. She is struggling to do her job. Her company keeps telling her there is no light duty and she needs to ask for a leave of absence or FMLA. The problem is both of those are limited to 14 weeks and cannot be taken consecutively. She told her supervisor has been threatening to fire her for not performing. She's frustrated and scared to death she is going to lose her job. Sometimes life sucks.

I wish there was a better way for people to recuperate and/or tale necessary time away from work without getting fired.

FMLA, I was told, has to be set up in advance.  It's how they justified firing me for illness.


sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Sep. 15, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Amen,,,,damn sick, lazy , self entitled bastard....

Quoting BleedinHeartMom:

But it would of been his fault for not saving for that cancer and having another job on layaway just waiting to hire him when he got fired. His bank would of just said the deed is his free and clear and he could of lived happily ever after.


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