Thursday, March 04, 2010

Looks like I'm going to be unemployed

I got a letter from my employer Research In Motion (RIM) today. Because my insurance company changed my claim type from "own job" to "any job" (meaning I can't work any job) in September, 2008 and changed my claim to "total disability" in December, 2009, the company I work for is terminating my employment as of June 18, 2010. My long-term disability payments will go on until I'm dead or 65, whichever comes first, but all my other benefits will end as of June 18.

They'd called me last week to tell me this and I asked them to please send me something in writing... so they did. My first thought was to contact a lawyer to see what my rights were and to see if I had any other choices, but I'm wondering now if it's worth spending my energy to do this.

It's just that when I look at this from the company's perspective, what they're doing makes sense, even though it sucks for me personally. My doctors and the insurance company have said that I'll never work again, so if there's no chance that I'd go back to any job there, why would they keep me employed? And they've certainly given me lots of notice. I did a quick scan of various legal acts and it doesn't seem like they've done anything wrong.

The fact that the company has done something they're allowed to do doesn't change the fact that it's kind of a crappy thing for them to do. It sucks and it's very upsetting. I cried for hours after they called me last week and I slept the entire afternoon today after receiving the letter.

I'd like to think that I don't define myself by my work or my occupation anymore, but the prospect of being unemployed is still upsetting. I guess I never expected this to happen; I expected that the company would continue to provide medial/dental benefits as long as I lived... especially given the fact that my life will be shortened by the cancer.

So even though I understand why they're choosing to terminate my employment, I think it's a crappy thing for them to do. Seriously, would it have killed them to keep me employed and to provide me with benefits until I die? Would it have cost them that much? They've spent more on any one of their damn patent disputes than they have on benefits for an employee.

F*ck you, RIM.

Thankfully, I'm not without options. I'm covered under Ian's benefits. I can also purchase benefits from the group benefit insurance provider, or I could apply for provincial benefits.


Anonymous said...

I wish I could make things different for you ;(

I know why they are terminating you. They are a big company and it would be a legal precedent. Still sucks though.

Will you have to give up your Blackberry? I can't imagine you without one now.

love you lots, Mom

Anonymous said...

My union unsuccesfully tried to get a clause regarding not being terminated for medical reasons written into our latest collective agreement. My wife's employer has been good so far to allow her to continue to contribute to their medical/dental plan while she's been off the past two years. They may be more accommodating though because the employees pay the full cost. Hopefully you make out alright on your spouse's plan.

manchester fat acceptance said...

i admire your gumption to include the company name in your bost... that is so ballsy, woot! large corporations are, by their very nature, evil. (i was going to throw in a little IMHO, but can anybody really disagree with that?)


Chantelle said...

Thanks :) This is the first time I've specified my employer in my blog. I did it because even though what they're doing is totally legal, it's still a crappy thing to do. And I want the world (well, that part of it that reads my blog) to know what they're doing.

I'm more used to the idea now... I still don't like it, but I'm used to it.

And yes, I'll have to give up my Blackberry :(. I'll be getting a new cell phone.