A doctor who fired a long-time employee after she was diagnosed with cancer has been accused of being ‘heartless’.
Carol Jumper, from Hopewell, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with cancer last month.
When Ms Jumper told her boss, oral surgeon Dr George Visnich of her illness, he sent a bizarre letter to his employee of 12 years, saying she was too sick to work and was being let go.
“You are currently engaged in a battle against cancer that will be demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Dr Visnich wrote, going on to say Ms Jumper would be so sick from the side effects of chemotherapy that she would not be able to work.
“You will not be able to function in my office at the level required while battling for your life. “Because of this, I am laying you off without pay as of August 11, 2014 … Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you fight this horrible disease. I hope your battle is swift, smooth and successful!”
Ms Jumper is fighting cancer in her pancreas, liver and ovaries, the Beaver Countian reports.
Her fiance Dennis Smergian says the termination letter arrived about a week after her diagnosis.
“I was pissed when I read that letter. No kind of man sends a letter like that, said Mr Smergian.
“She had been working full-time for this man for over 12 years. He didn’t even call her, he hasn’t even called her once since she got sick.”
However, Dr Visnich claims it is all a big misunderstanding — and that he wrote the letter so Ms Jumper could claim unemployment benefits while receiving medical treatment, with the understanding she would get her job back once she recovered.
Dr Visnich’s lawyer Larry Kelly said his client found the public reaction to the “humanitarian” letter to be “very troubling”.
Friends and family have rallied around Ms Jumper, starting a Facebook page to sell T-shirts and holding fundraising dinners to help pay for her treatment.