Life can throw many of us curveballs, some being minor hiccups, others being very serious life altering problems. Usually people are understanding, but every once in a while you get somebody who just can’t see the big picture. The following story is about one of those situations, and deals with horrible illness, and unimaginable suffering.
A Mesa, Arizona, man named Keith Milligan is suing his former employer, construction firm TDIndustries, after alleging that he was fired for seeking cancer treatment.
Milligan was hired on August 22, 2016, and was diagnosed with anal cancer in September the same year. Despite the incredible difficulty of working in a construction industry job while receiving sporadic treatment and even a hospitalization for a debilitating form of cancer. Despite this difficulty, the lawsuit alleged that Mr. Mulligan received positive reviews and was qualified and capable of doing them.
While pulling through the tough situation and making the best of it, his cancer required that he seek more intense forms of treatment. As a result of the condition, and at the behest of his doctor, he requested four weeks unpaid time off in January 2017 to deal with his immediate medical needs.
The company said that four weeks unpaid time off wasn’t feasible, although longer term employees are covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical or maternal leave.
In response to his immediate medical situation and need to recover from cancer, Milligan took the time off anyway, and was fired after returning to work. He then filed a lawsuit against his company on the allegation that he was fired in retaliation for disability, which his lawyers argue is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that all employees are covered by.
Milligan took his case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an agency which investigates workplace discrimination and hostile workplace laws, to determine if his rights had been violated. The EEOC stated that it was very likely.
The lawsuit and cancer treatments are ongoing.