Oh, that is so terrible! They are acting against the law
Hi everyone, maybe this is an old thread, but I need some advice because I had spinal surgery. I need a body recovery period, but at work, I already start calling me, asking me, and blackmailing me to get fired. To understand that I have been working there for 30 years, half my life, I can say that I gave myself this, and now this is the situation. I found a forum https://www.trinityschoolofmedicine.org/blog/understanding-and-preparing-for-the-mcat where I was advised that if he kicked me out of my job, I could sue them and get hurt, but I don't know. Is this possible, or do I need to consult a lawyer?
Hi everyone, maybe this is an old thread, but I need some advice because I had spinal surgery. I need a body recovery period, but at work, I already start calling me, asking me, and blackmailing me to get fired. To understand that I have been working there for 30 years, half my life, I can say that I gave myself this, and now this is the situation. I found a forum where I was advised that if he kicked me out of my job, I could sue them and get hurt, but I don't know. Is this possible, or do I need to consult a lawyer?
You go girl, if you are entitled it then why should you not have it, after all how exceptional circumstances can you have than bc xxx
Wow that is amazing and will be of big help to anyone else who is having problems with their employer xxx
Hi Alibobs and BlueMonday,
It is way too soon for employers to be putting such additional pressure on you when you haven't yet had all your treatment and have GP fit notes. It not right, unfair and could negatively impact your recovery.
My employer was dreadful when I returned to work on phased return and when I gave them 2 fit notes from 2 different GP's told me it, "caused them a problem," since their occupational heath nurse (who didn't seem to know much at all about breast cancer) thought I should be able to return to full hours much quicker than the 2 different GP's/fit notes. I was crawling home from work and having to go to bed before I had enough energy to cook dinner. It was no joke, and my employer was trying to get me back even quicker than their occupational health nurse.
So, the top tip for how to send a warning flare across your employers bow (excuse any puns - sticking with the Seabreeze theme). Best done now given they are putting pressure on soooo mega soon:
I have to give my GP a degree of credit on this.....she was far from impressed by my employer, and said, "Well, if they won't take my word for it, you could always ask your oncologist for a letter. You can't get any higher than that!" It was a very valid point. I spoke to my oncologist (who was appalled) and offered to write a letter (before I asked if that would be possible).
So, occupational health (OH) nurse (and possibly an OH doctor above the nurse) versus specialist breast cancer oncologist. Pretty hands down on who is going to win that one on medical knowledge!
I think that would send shudders through any employer behaving badly and putting pressure on a breast cancer patient going through treatment, recovering and/or when returning to work. It did mine, I only wish I had done so sooner since I felt the stress caused by my employer upon my return was worse (because it was unnecessary and I had extreme aneamia during later stages of recovery), than the stress of the diagnosis months earlier. Before the letter from the oncologist I had written a formal letter of complaint about OH setting it in the context of professional OH standards which I felt OH had failed. While I was informed there were insufficent records to address many of my points, I found out later that the OH company lost their consultancy appointment with my employer soon after my complaint. It may just have been a coincidence.
If you don't have an appointment with your onc for a while, you could always call the hospital, track down the oncologists administrative assistant, and leave a brief message explaining that you feel you are being put under pressure by your employer, what the employer is doing, that the employer does not seem to be accepting your GP's advice and ask if, given the circumstances, your onc would be prepared to consider writing a letter since you are worried this could affect your recovery.
1 - Keep a time line of all conversations, requests, meetings etc with your employer and include dates of your treatment, meetings with GP, fit notes, onc, radiologist etc on the same calender. Keep it going all the way through your treatment and return to work.
2 - I think granting your permission for your GP to speak to your employers OH is one thing, and demonstrates you have nothing to hide, however having access to your records sounds too much of a personal intrusion. Macmillan have a special employer issues advice team. When I called them they took a message and I received a call back from the specialist team a few days later.
3 - Are you a member of a union or is there one you could join? If you can take a union rep with you to a meeting it will (from your employers perspective) bolster your seriousness about matters.
I would strongly urge you to speak to your oncologist now, if your employer is being like this at this early stage it doesn't bode well for current or later stages of recovery, let alone phased return.
Prepare the rocket launch and send that rocket out!
Do let us know how you get on. Happy to provide any other support/comment ideas from my experience.
Seabreeze (now nearly 4 years on and wanting to help get fairness through recovery!)
I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this on top of everything else. As Blue Monday has said, surely the sick note says it all. I've sent my manager regular sick notes and a phone call here and there and he has told me to take as long as I need. HR have not requested any further information.
Breast Cancer Haven run a free Employment Law Seminar and one of the areas covered is 'Rights to privacy and confidentially - what should HR, Occupational Health and yr manager be told about your diagnosis'.
Its worth going along if you are close to a Haven centre.
Best wishes xxx
Good....so you will get to see it first.....if thats the choice you are happy with then I hope its the last you hear about it from them. x
I'm interested in how you got on in resolving this matter, of your medical records?
You don't need any additional pressure at this time. I would also refuse to share my medical records, as a diagnosis of breast cancer and GP/hospital certificate covers your absence. There is a very good Macmillan leaflet for employers, which may help you. I think they may also support you with work issues on a personal level. Your BCN should be able to point you in the direction of the local office. You do have some protection through the Equalities Act also and are protected against discrimination. Good luck and do keep using the forum. x
I thought that even if you wanted to read your own medical records as a patient, there are still certain procedures to go through. This seems terribly intrusive and insensitive of your employer. I know what I'd say! It's not fair to give you this added stress. I hope you get this sorted soon.
Best wishes xx
I might ring them tomorrow to clarify but I can get quite emotional at the moment talking about it, it might be better to wait until I have more of an idea of what might be happening. I have an appiontment on Friday to see the oncologist so I will know more then.
So, do you get the impression they are asking as they want to know how much time you need off ? Oh for goodness sake, yes, it is too early and the pressure is too much !
thanks for your reply, yes you can ask to see what is sent to them, so I will think about it, it just seems a bit soon to be asking we are not sure about what treatment I will be having so dont know what time off I will need!
Thanks for your support xx
I have no experience of this at all, as I wasn't working when diagnosed - BUT - I know how I would feel if within a short while of diagnosis my employer asked to see my medical records! I would be really upset and wonder why they were asking, and feel that they had no right to see and read such personal things. I've just read up a short article about the legality of this...yes, they can ask...but you can refuse your permission (as Jobey states). You also have the right to specify what the employer can see, and have the information being sent by the medics to come via you first. If they are wanting it to make reasonable adjustments to your working environment, and planning a phased return for you, I think this can be done via occupational health rather than them seeing all your records. Are you in the type of relationship with them where you can ask their reasons for requesting access?
This was the article I read, of course it was only a quick google search and I hope others will be along shortly who have been in this position and can offer informed advice....
Would I have given permission? No way. I would have provided proof of diagnosis and verbal information about the treatment I expected to receive, and possibly continued doctors notes if it were really necessary. However, it is grossly insensitive of them in my opinion and legality aside, a very poor way to deal with someone who has had a bc diagnosis.
I've had a quick google and it seems they can ask you but you are under no obligation to give your consent, it's a new one on me I must say! My employer would have been told to jog on had he asked me that so thank goodness he didn't! 😜
Gosh did not know it was legal. Asking and getting permission are two different things. I believe your medical history is private to you and should remain that way. If they get your records it will show everything in the life's history. Only allow access to what is pertinent to the just now and only if they are paying you whilst you are off. So the start date and nothing before. It's none of your personnel departments business and you certainly should not be having to deal with nonsense like this during this distressing time. Make sure your doctor is very aware of any decisions you come to and that it is recorded clearly in your records.
Well it may be legal for them to ask but I'm sure you don't have to give your permission, and yes what else do they think they can find out, almost sounds like they are checking up on what you have told them? Like we go around making up a cancer diagnosis! Maybe a copy of your diagnosis letter would be enough ? Xx
Apparently it is legal but they have to ask your permission first! Just not sure what else they would want to know as the sick note from the doctor said 'breast cancer' I have also kept them informed as to whats happening!
Hi, welcome to the forum 😊 Always seems and odd thing to say I know but everyone is very welcome on board!
I must say I've never heard of an employer asking to see your medical records and I certainly wouldn't be in agreement, I may be wrong but I doubt they have any rights to either! I told my employer about my diagnosis but that was it , he certainly never asked any further information. Don't feel pressured in to giving any information your not happy with and I would challenge their rights to it anyhow.
I hope you are recovering well from your surgery, there are various threads across the forum covering all manor of treatments so feel free to join in at any time Xx Jo
I have recently had surgery 9th December and am waiting to find out what treatment I will be having after the result come back from an ocotype text. I recieved an email this morning from work with an attached form , I have been asked to fill it in and return it. It is asking if they can write to my doctors to ask to look at my medical records. Is this something that is normally done, I feel its a bit early as I dont even know what treatment I will be having.