| | Help with ex-employer statement
I am new to this forum and have a question that I can not seem to find an answer to.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue in October of 2011. I was working as a Youth Minister for high school teens at the time. This past year, the number of youth attending meetings had dropped; partially due to the fact that where we live we have a lot of younger families foreclosing and moving, partially due to severe budget cuts, and partially due to the fact that I was unable to keep up with the pace of my previous type of work with the teens.
I spoke to my Rheumatoid specialist about going out on disability in February of 2012, but decided to stick out the rest of the school year, as I was in charge of a Confirmation class that did not end until May 24.
When I was diagnosed, I immediately informed the office manager (our Pastor would rarely be in the office, and he would tell the employees to give all and any information to her anyway), but did not do so in writing. I never informed her about my previous conversation between myself and my doctor regarding disability.
On June 6, I was called into the Pastors office and was told that my position was being eliminated as of June 21 due to poor performance. I attempted to explain about my condition, and the fact that I also ran two other very successful programs. It turns out the the office manager never informed him that I was diagnosed with a disability. One of my biggest mistakes was that, since my hours were flexible and only part time, I did not miss any work, and when I was there I did not complain, but did my job to the best of my limited abilities. I tend to be private about my personal life -- perhaps too private.
On June 10, I applied for the private long term disability that was part of my benefit package. My Pastor gave the employer forms to the office manager to be filled out and mailed in. At that time, she was arguing with me (in front of the Pastor) that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was more than capable of working 26 hours a week.
I received a phone call from the long term disability company. They had informed me that they did receive the filled out forms from the office manager, but that she also included a separate note stating that I did not apply for any benefits until after my position was eliminated.
The insurance company representative implied that I was attempting to commit fraud, yet I have medial records showing my diagnosis and I do go to pain management for my FMS.
It seems that eliminating my position without informing the Pastor of my disability is illegal, yet I can get no one in the main office to listen to me. I guess everyone is just trying to cover themselves.
However, was sending that extra note with my information to the insurance company some how a violation against the Privacy Act? I know that the office manager (alone) was the person who was in charge of my termination and the Pastor just took whatever she said at face value. I think that my lack of complaining (even though she knew that I had many doctor appointments during the past few months) made her believe that I was not really sick.
Sorry that this post was so long!
Thank you for whatever advice you might have for me.