Saturday, March 8 2014 3:52 AM EST2014-03-08 08:52:49 GMT
Conservative activists heard from several possible candidates for president during meetings held in Maryland.More >>
Conservative activists heard from several possible candidates for president during meetings held in Maryland. More >>
CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) - The day Elise Madonia learned she had cancer, she thought things couldn't get any worse, but they quickly did.
Madonia said within hours after her doctors told her employer she would need time off for cancer treatments and surgery, they fired her.
She filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, property management company S-37.
"I've been fighting for my life," Madonia said. "I say, not only I'm being hit with a disease, that I have cancer? Now you take my job, too, away from me?"
Madonia's ordeal began last October, right after doctors told her she had Stage 3 esophageal cancer. Doctors sent letters to Madonia's employers informing them of her circumstances.
Madonia said her boss called her in to the office less than two hours later, suggested she resign and offered to pay six months of COBRA unemployment health insurance if she signed a separation letter.
Then, they terminated her.
The attorney for S-37, Brian Garelli said he was unable to comment because he had not seen the lawsuit.
Madonia's attorney, Eugene Hollander, said S-37 should have done more for its sick employee.
"I think they had an obligation to sit down with Elise and say, 'Hey, what can we do here? Can you work three days a week? Can you telecommute for some period of time?'" Hollander said. "Instead of the knee-jerk reaction of firing her on the spot. That's illegal."
Madonia had surgery two weeks ago after several months of treatment. She is supposed to get out of the hospital this week.