Fired For Going To A Doctor

Question:

I had a doctor’s appointment one afternoon, but I forgot to put it on my schedule that I would be out of the office. Due to low census that day I would only have to work 1/2 day in my dept anyway, so I thought “no big deal”. I told my charge nurse and my supervisor about it that morning. However, the nursing office wanted me to go to another floor in the afternoon. When I told them I had to go to the doctor, they called my Department Director. The Director told my supervisor to tell me that I was needed on another floor and that if I left, I would be fired.

I tried to reschedule my appointment, but it would be another month. I had been in severe pain for over a month and it was imperative I go to this doctor for a shot. I didn’t think I could stand it for another month. I packed up my things and left for the Doctor appointment.

Signed,

Pushed Out


Answer:

Dear Pushed Out:

I’m sorry your work situation got to this point, but it sounds as though there were already some problems. If you were considered a highly valuable member of the group, with a great work history and positive relationships, it would seem more likely that your employers would have been upset but not so quick to say you were fired if you left. If, however, you were doing fine up until then, it certainly seems that things were escalated too quickly.

There are no regulations about employer decisions of that type and in most circumstances an employer can dismiss any employee who walks away from the job. However, you may want to go to HR and ask if the process was handled correctly.

If you have a prior record of injury or pain, it might reinforce your need to leave for the doctor’s appointment. If you feel you were being told to stay unnecessarily, just to prevent you from leaving, that would also be something good to bring out. If you had a very good work record prior to this, you might be able to appeal based on those grounds.

This situation seems to be so negative now that your supervisor and Deparment Director may have made up their minds about it. But, perhaps if you can show that you were desperate and unable to think of other options at the time, it would assist you in keeping your job.

I’m afraid there is no simple solution to this–and cerainly not one that is guaranteed to help you get your job back or to keep it, if no action has been taken yet. At the least, maybe it will allow you to leave there without such negative feelings from both directions.

Best wishes to you with this.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.