Laid off due to diagnosis?

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Question from AngelA: I received a lay-off notice on Thursday, and had had my first breast cancer surgery the Monday prior. The margins did not come up clear, and a sentinel node tested positive. I live alone and am self-supporting. I was offered a severance package, but can I get additional compensation due to my precarious stage of treatment? I'm 52 years old.
Answers - Barbara Hoffman The timing of being laid off is very suspicious. If you were laid off within just a few days of your employer learning of your cancer diagnosis, that's a red flag that you're being laid off because of your cancer, which would be illegal under most circumstances. So I would recommend that before signing any kind of package with the employer, that you consult with a local employment attorney who can give you advice so you don't sign away what you may be entitled to. Additionally, you may want to consider whether you want to stay and keep your job, which you may be legally entitled to keep, or if this is a sign that this is not a terrific employer to work for, and ending your employment under the best possible terms may be better for you.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Working During Treatment featured Barbara Hoffman, J.D., Irene Card, and moderator Ruth Oratz, M.D., F.A.C.P. answering your questions about the legal, financial, physical, and emotional aspects of working during breast cancer treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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