Dad is allegedly fired because of daughter's cancer
My heart broke after hearing about the firing of Palm Beach, Florida dad Yovany Gonzalez from his position as a securities broker at Wells Fargo, just three days before his 6-year-old terminally ill daughter, Mackenzie, was scheduled to have a tumor removed. First of all I can't even imagine what a parent has to deal with when having an ill child with a disease as deadly as cancer. And if his allegations against his former employer are true, it's even harder to understand how corporate companies could be so callous. Gonzalez is suing the company because he claims that he was fired because his daughter's illness was too expensive.
The distraught father began working irregular hours and at different locations around the time of his daughter Mackenzie's diagnosis in 2008.
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According to Gonzalez, he was told he was being fired for falsifying his time records, but he believes that his daughter's medical bills were the real reason for his termination. His lawyer, Jack Scarola, claims that any issues with time cards were due to working away from the bank and the lack of signatures from his supervisor to sign off while his daughter was ill.
"On many occasions, Gonzalez was unable to record time when he was working, with bank approval, from a remote location," stated the lawsuit. The father is seeking $15,000 in damages and claims the company changed its time entry system for employees which only allowed them to clock in with the assistance of a supervisor. He recalls being told that he was only expected to enter the amount of hours he worked to the best of his recollection and that a supervisor would take care of the rest.
Wells Fargo denies his allegations and said: "Mr. Gonzalez's termination was completely unrelated to his family's health care needs." In July 2010, Mackenzie needed to have a tumor surgically removed and was expected to be operated on the following month at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. At this point, Gonzalez's wife was contacted by the company's health insurance, United Healthcare inquiring about the cost of the child's surgery.
Due to the untimeliness of his termination, Gonzalez had to cancel his daughter's costly surgery, but thanks to sizable charitable contributions, he was able to finance the surgery using the money raised. Sadly, Mackenzie passed away on March 2, 2011. On a positive note, because of all the media attention the lawsuit has received, many, people have offered to help pay for the family's legal expenses.
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As great as it may be that this family has the support of many, it won't help bring back their daughter. At least they are trying to get justice for the unfair treatment Gonzalez allegedly faced at his company. I hope this brings more attention to the plight of other families dealing with similar difficulties.
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Image via Yovany Gonzalez