Dear Sam: I am hoping you can give me some advice on how to handle termination from a position where I was required to have carpal tunnel surgery on both hands and did not qualify for FMLA. I was only granted four weeks of leave and was told my employer would request an extension of time off. The day before my second surgery, my employer called to inform me that if I did not come back to work the next day, I was terminated. I have been applying for positions and have explained the situation, but I am beginning to wonder if I am not even being considered due to the fact that I had to have surgery. – Anonymous
Dear Anonymous: From reading your termination letter, there is nothing in it that would lead a prospective employer to think your release was anything but a company ensuring they were procedurally compliant. The letter even states that you are able to reapply for employment, reinforcing the fact that you were simply a victim of an unfortunate policy or rule.
I do not believe that due to having carpal tunnel surgery, you would be discriminated against. I am assuming you are fully recovered, as you are seeking employment. You should look at “beefing up” your resume, though, as it is very lackluster at the present time. Look at the content on your resume. Regardless of the roles you have held, you still need to think of ways you differentiated yourself from your peers. If you do not do this—through presentation and focus on ways you did a great job—you will not give yourself the chance to outshine your competitors in a saturated job market. Once you look at revamping your resume, I have a feeling the surgery and departure from your last employer will be a non-issue.