My prayers go out to Alex George. It is disgusting and shameful for her to be fired like this, probably illegal as well.
I am amazed that a corporation depending on their public persona would behave like this, beyond the pale, unfeeling actions.
It’s probably not too late for them to reverse this decision, apologize to her, and begin helping her.
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Jim, terminating a person who had to take days off because of a serious illness or injury is more prevalent than you might realize. Sometimes it's company policy. Other times, the person is no longer considered an asset, but a liability.
After over 20 years with a local company, and never taking so much as a day off (had to be forced to use his vacation days), not even when a metal door at work fell on his foot and broke it, my husband received a letter of termination in mail after being stricken with a potentially life threatening illness after five weeks of being out of work and while in physical rehab. It was company policy to terminate an employee, no matter what the situation (laid out flat in a coma even) after the employee had missed five weeks of work. I'll never forget the look of defeat and hurt on his face when that letter arrived in the mail.
At another well known nationwide delivery company where another relative suffered a heart attack, survived and went back to work, the company began a campaign to fire him over frivolous charges such as criticizing his work. The company finally succeeded in firing him. Before the heart attack he received all kinds of awards for being a dedicated employee, great worker. After the heart attack, he became a liability to the company. This is why people shouldn't be so willing to knock such programs as Social Security/medicare workers have paid into or eve other programs for that matter. At the end of the day, they're the only safety net a worker may have.
Even at companies where an employee worked long enough expecting to retire, the closer they come to retirement, the more some companies will try to get rid of them in an effort to avoid paying out retirement benefits and/or full medical coverage. This has happened even with military veterans.
Over the years I witnessed at companies I worked where employees close to retirement were either set up and forced out of their jobs, or they were so harassed and bullied they quit. Sometimes within only months of retiring. I saw people who once thought they were the apple of their managers, supervisors and company's eye breakdown, meltdown. One individual had a nervous breakdown right in the cafeteria where I once worked. He was a kind supervisor who'd come down with a serious, potential fatal illness. He wasn't my supervisor but, unlike my supervisor, he was kind to those who worked under him. He sort of put you in the mind of Chevy Chase. But the stress of the illness, the treatment of the company became too much and one day he just broke, right there in the employee cafeteria. That was over 20 years ago, but I still think about him and wonder what became of him.
People should really think twice before bashing and getting rid of those safety nets some people will ever have, because most companies only pretend to care as long as the employee is healthy or isn't close to retirement.
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While I’m not exactly sure of Alex’s tenure or the employee base of Sinclair Broadcasting, the U.S. Department of Labor has strict guidelines that all employers and employees need to be aware of to protect their rights. I’m also not sure if any of Brenda’s family members would have fallen into this category present day either as her experiences happened 20 years ago. The following was pulled straight off of the DOL website just so people are aware and educated on the current guidelines:
The Family and Medical Leave Act provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave.
FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. It also seeks to accommodate the legitimate interests of employers and promote equal employment opportunity for men and women.
FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:
for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.
Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. Whether an employee has worked the minimum 1,250 hours of service is determined according to FLSA principles for determining compensable hours or work.
Time taken off work due to pregnancy complications can be counted against the 12 weeks of family and medical leave.
A final rule effective on Jan. 16, 2009, updates the FMLA regulations to implement new military family leave entitlements enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008.