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Unfair Firing Due to IBS

Share Your Story: IBS Work Discrimination Stories

By Nicole

Updated February 15, 2011

What was the nature of the discrimination?

I was unfairly treated because I was diagnosed with IBS and I had FMLA to cover me at work and because they could not legally fire me due to this they came up with a bogus excuse even though they had just given me my yearly evaluation and they said I was doing a good job.The next day they wrote me up stating that I had been making errors that I was not ever informed of. Two days later they suspended me with no pay and then fired me. I had been sick with my IBS right before this happened (about two weeks prior) and had to call off again. This caused my boss to have to cancel an appointment and her treatment of me changed drastically.

What did you do in response to the discrimination?

When I was fired for the first time in my life after nine years of working there I told Human Resources it was unfair and I didn't understand how they could tell me I was doing a good job, then the next day tell me I made all these errors. I then contacted the board of work relations and they suggested I contact a lawyer. They also just fired a girl with FMLA and we are contacting a lawyer. There are more people and we have contacted one other that was also fired under FMLA and so far we have three people unfairly fired under FMLA. One person had cancer, the other had nerve problems in her spine, and I had IBS and was sick often with horrible pains, diarrhea, and constipation with gas and had been hospitalized right before I was fired. I am also fighting unemployment because I was unfairly let go and when I told unemployment I was going to sue I received a letter from my employer stating they would no longer fight my unemployment.

Lessons Learned

  • The lessons I have learned is that no matter what happens to you or what stress you are under you can never give up. Always work your hardest and prove that you are like every one else. Just because I have this illness does not make me a bad person and it does not make me a slacker. I have also learned that documentation is everything. No matter how hard you work, if you have this illness most bosses just do not understand it.

How did the employer respond to your complaint?

They sent me a letter stating they would not fight my unemployment after I told unemployment that I was seeking a lawyer. When I was fired I was so distraught that I broke down in front of the Human Resources woman and my boss and told them how hard I had worked. They only said "We understand."

Did you file a formal complaint with the EEOC?

No I did not

Was the issue ever resolved? How?

It has not been resolved. We are hoping to have a case against them. When I was diagnosed a year ago they started treating me badly, being hateful, not answering emails, nitpicking over little things and trying to find any thing they could to either make me leave or fire me. It took them a year

Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D., About.com Irritable Bowel Syndrome, says:

I love that in spite of your ordeal, you still have the capacity and desire to help others. Good luck with your lawsuit!

For more information on FMLA, see Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for IBS

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