Can my boss make me work against doctors orders? Can he fire me but not others for the same reasons?
I have been working where I'm working for 5 years, with CVS Pharmacy. I've transferred twice, making 3 stores that I've worked at. I'm a shift supervisor. I have two kids. Just recently, I've been having quite a bit of health issues with myself and my son. I feel that I am being "watched" at work to make one wrong move, let alone (Heaven forbid) my son gets sick again. Just last week my son started to not feel well and at 2am (I had to open the store at 7am) my son woke up crying and I took his temperature and it was 103.3 so I got him ready and took him to the ER. On my way, I called my store manager to let him know what was going on. He said alright and to keep him posted. So at 5:30am I called him back and told him we were still in the ER and I wouldn't be able to open. He said "alright, thanks" and hung up. I made sure I had a doctors note from the hospital when we left. After being discharged, filling his script and getting home, it was already 8:30am. He was diagnosed with a really bad inner ear infection. I was scheduled off the next day (August 18th) and in the mean time, I had gotten an infection that was quickly spreading on my inner, upper left thigh. I went to work on the 19th and my store manager wrote me up for having to take my son to the ER. I told him he couldn't write me up for it because I had a doctor's note and it was a medical emergency. He told me it didn't matter that it was still considered an absences. He handed me the attendance policy which clearly states that medical reasons are an excusable absence and do not count toward attendance. Which didn't comply with his actions. He said if it continued, that he would have to bring me back into the office and "document it" again and I could face possible termination. But then said if it were another 6 months from now, it may not be such a big deal. He did note the other 2 times that I have called off, both of those other times I had doctors notes from the ER: once for myself and the other time was for my son as well.
That night, I had to go to the after hours walk-in clinic because of the infection on my leg. They took me off work on Friday and said I had to make sure I kept my leg elevated and hot packs on it and gave me a dose of medication before I left and told me to begin my prescription the next morning. They drew a line around the infection and said if it gets any worse that I needed to go straight to the ER. I feared for my job because he had just told me that he would have to write me up again and possibly lose my job for it. So I went in Friday morning before my shift to fill my script and gave him my sons doctors note and mine from the night before. In which, he keeps telling me he does not need my doctors notes even though he said he does have a file for them specifically??? After giving him my doctors note excusing me from that day, he said he preferred that I worked because he didn't want to work a double, but if I could find someone to work for me, that would be alright and then he wouldn't have to "document it" either (document is his word for write ups). So I worked, but I told him before and during my shift before he left that I may need to go to the ER if it gets any worse. He said OK. That night, I called him 3 times during my shift to tell him I needed to go to the ER. I never got ahold of him those 3 times and left him voice mails telling him I needed to go to the ER.
After my 3 attempt of calling him, about 3 minutes later he called me back and said he was sorry he missed my calls that he was at dinner in Clark Lake and if he left to come cover my shift, it would take him about an hour to get to me and at that point it'd be about 9pm, since we closed at 10pm he said it wouldn't make much sense. Then he went on to say "you only have a couple hours left any way". I was shocked and very upset. My fellow employees were also shocked at his reaction and were also upset. I told him that as soon as I got out I was going to the ER. So I did. They weren't happy that he made me work on doctors restrictions and said it didn't help my situation. They then took me off Saturday and Sunday. I called him from my cell phone in the ER and told him that they said making me work didn't help my situation and they were taking me off 2 more days. He took a deep breathe and exhaled deeply and said "alright, thanks. Bye". They said if it got any worse, to come back and they would probably admit me. By Sunday night, the infection had spread a good 5 or more inches. So I went in and they admitted me. They had me on a constant IV, taking blood tests, giving me a shot to thin my blood, morphine for pain, ultrasound of my leg, etc. He was not concerned at all. All he was worried about was when I could return to work. They let me out Monday evening on the basis that I would not work until I had a follow up appt. with the surgeon I saw in the hospital just to make sure it was healing alright and that I didn't have to be on a constant IV and that it didn't need to be cut open. Again, he made a fast comment to get better and and asked when I could come back to work.
I feel my sons health and my health means nothing to them and that he is actually trying to replace me with his friend that works there because he is interested in my job. Before all the problems began, I saw a few different e-mails to our District Manager asking her to give his friend a 5% annual raise, which our annual raises are 2%. I've seen him ask to move his friend into a full time status and she's denied both because she said our store just isn't bust enough for any of that and our quota isn't high enough. Then I saw him mention to her that he has been having his friend go to the shift supervisor training classes (which I never got because they never properly trained me), he's been doing his assessments and certifying him, and he went out of his way to tell her that he is a good, hard worker who gets a lot done. Now that I'm going through all this trouble recently, I feel that is why. The only way he can get his friend what he want is to get rid of me and give him the position. I wish now that I would have made copies of those e-mails for myself, but I never thought I may be losing my job because my store manager wants his friend in my position, or because my son and I have been very ill as of lately. I feel that I am treated differently, taken advantage of. I've worked a double for him at the last minute so him and his wife could go stay at her parents cottage on the 4th of July. He even gave me $25 out of his pocket to con me into it. He's paid another employee to give to her babysitter to watch her kids because he needed her to come in and work. He bought another employee Applebee's to work a double shift for him because he didn't have anyone else.
There are a couple girls that I know of that work in the Pharmacy that have had weeks at a time no call no shows and he's allowed them to come back and work there, one of them is getting ready to go on maternity leave. There's another girl that is always ill as well as her parents and she was going to apply for FMLA to take care of her sick father who had undergone surgery and he told her she didn't need to that he would keep her position for her and to take the time she needed. She's called of multiple times in which he has only written down the dates for her and said he was going to tell her she needed to be there or she was going to be let go, but she's still there and still calling off all the time. He doesn't have kids.
I am extremely stressed. I'm the only income in our household. We cannot afford day care; therefore, my fiancee (I call him my hubby) cannot work and he stays home with our kids. I pay for everything from the kids needs and wants, to the house needs, and our needs and wants. We're buying our mobile home and the park is very strict on their monthly lot rent payments. We cannot afford for my boss to fire me. I'm a good hard worker and I fear that when I return to work at the very least he's going to document me for having to be off work for my medical problem and being that he's written me up for my son being in the ER, he may fire me. If not this moment, then extremely soon.
I know you're in Chicago, but I don't know what to do. I'm 26 years old, my hubby will be 26 in November, and our kids are 10 months and our daughter just turned 3 on August 18th. We go paycheck to paycheck every week, but we make it work with a little help from our parents and my grandma. Please help. Any advice is needed. Even if it's just where to start. I have to maintain a roof over our children’s head and I've been working since I was 14 years old. I don't know what I would do if he fired me for this. I feel discriminated against in an array of aspects. Do I have a case and what are my rights??
Thanks in advance for any help!
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