Would you donate a kidney to your boss? More California workers and other workers in the U.S. might respond to this question with a “heck no” after hearing about one worker’s story that made national news a couple of weeks ago. The employee donated one of her kidneys so that her boss could receive a kidney transplant, but she was fired shortly after doing so. The woman has now filed a lawsuit against her employer citing wrongful termination.
Employees throughout the state of California and the U.S. are protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows employees to take time off of work for childbirth, surgery or to care for an ill family member with a serious condition. In addition, the employee does not have to worry about being terminated from his or her position during this medical leave. In some cases, an employer may even need to make special accommodations for an ill or injured employee when the worker returns to his or her job.
However, an assistant at a car dealership in New York said she was fired after helping her administrator get a new a kidney by donating her own kidney.
The employee donated her kidney to another transplant patient so that her supervisor could receive a perfect match from another donor. The employee did take some time off of work to recover from the surgery. But when she returned to the workplace, she began to experience painful side effects from the operation. One day she went home due to increasing symptoms from surgery complications, and her boss called her and said she could not miss work.
The woman claims her boss brushed off the issue as a personal problem and became angry when she mentioned the surgery. The woman was then transferred to a dealership that was miles away and then terminated. The employee said the reasons she was given for the dismissal included making mistakes and a lack of performance at her job. However, her lawsuit argues that she was fired because of her poor health, which is unlawful.
Source: CBS News, “Suit: Woman fired after donating kidney for boss,” Jim Axelrod, April 24, 2012