Earlier this week, we began a discussion about a wrongful termination suit filed by a South Florida man who alleges that he was fired because his daughter's cancer treatments were putting too much of a financial strain on his employer-sponsored health insurance.
His former employer Wells Fargo claims that he was fired for falsifying his time records. However, the man's wrongful termination suit alleges that this was simply a pretext to allow Wells Fargo to terminate his employment, thus ending insurance coverage for his daughter's treatments.
The man became a Wells Fargo employee in 2008 when the company he worked for was purchased by Wells Fargo. This was the same year his daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
He made arrangements to work remotely and keep irregular work hours in order to be there for his family during this difficult time. From 2008 through July of 2010, the company insurance continued to help cover the costs of her medical care and the man's supervisors seemed to find his schedule accommodations acceptable.
Then, things began to change just before his daughter was scheduled for a major and expensive surgery. According to the lawsuit, his wife was contacted by the insurer for Wells Fargo, who asked many probing questions about their daughter's health, and "several references were made to the cost of her treatment."
Around that same time, the man says he also received a warning from his supervisor that Wells Fargo was "looking for reasons to get rid of him." A short time later, he was called by a member of the company's security department who was investigating a potentially falsified timesheet.
He was subsequently fired. According to the lawsuit, "He was not asked any questions about the allegations or given any chance to explain the circumstances."
His insurance coverage was terminated just three days before his daughter was to have surgery. The family was later able to finance her care through charitable contributions. Sadly, the girl nonetheless succumbed to her illness. At just 6 years old, she died in March of 2011.
Employment lawsuits can be tricky business, and wrongful termination lawsuits in particular sometimes come down to the plaintiff's word against the company's. However, in light of the heartbreaking nature of this man's story and the suspicious timeline of his former employer's actions, it seems only right that he should choose to pursue justice in court.
Source: ABC News, "Florida Man Says He Was Fired for Daughter's Cancer Treatment," Susanna Kim, Aug. 12, 2012