After Carl Sorabella’s wife Kathy was diagnosed with stage 4 incurable lung cancer, he notified his boss at Haynes Management that he would need to work a modified schedule to care for her. One week later, his boss informed him that his services were no longer needed.
Sorabella said he and his wife of 23 years, Kathy, learned she had stage 4 incurable cancer in late April. He said he asked his employer, Haynes Management, a real estate company in Wellesley Hills, Mass., that week for a more flexible work schedule to deal with his wife’s care.
“When I told my boss, she said ‘We were thinking about laying you off.’ I thought, ‘You can’t do that,'” Sorabella told WCVB.
Oh, but they did do that, Sorabella claims, even after he offered to work nights and weekends.
“Ultimately she said don’t worry about it and come in on Monday, and when I came in on Monday I got a letter that I would be laid off,” he said. Sorabella said the letter stated he was being laid off due to “workforce modifications.” But one week after he was fired, he says he saw a listing for his job on the company website.
Because Haynes is a small company (less than 50 employees), it is protected in such situations under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The rationale being that small businesses cannot afford to let an employee take extended leave to care for a sick relative or loved one like a large company can. Legal or not, it’s probably safe to assume that Haynes isn’t much for Employer of Choice initiatives.