September 14, 2011

Via Fox News:

A Philadelphia mother was left jobless Tuesday after she took time off work to donate a kidney to her dying son and was fired during her absence.

Claudia Rendon did not hesitate when doctors delivered the news that her son Alex was in desperate need of a life-saving kidney transplant and offered him her kidney, reported.

But she had already used up her vacation time at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, in northeast Philadelphia, earlier in the year following the death of her mother and uncle and her father's diagnosis with leukemia.

Randon said, "Everything was coming down all at once. I felt like the best thing that happened to me this whole entire year was that God gave me the blessing of being able to give my son my kidney."

Through it all, Rendon showed up to work but needed a leave of absence to donate her kidney to her son.

Before Rendon left, she said her boss made her sign a paper, saying her job would not be guaranteed, and late last week -- just as she was preparing to return to work -- her employers told her they had hired someone else.

Rendon's former boss refused to comment and a company representative said it was in its legal rights to let Rendon go as the Family Medical Leave Act, which covers an employee for 12 weeks leave, does not apply to companies with under 50 employees.

Since this story aired a couple of days ago there's been international outrage, with stories in the UK's Daily Mail, the Associated Press, ABC and others. The ensuing horrible publicity has forced her former employer to make an offer only a lawyer could write:

A day later, Berry told Fox 29 he was wrong.

We asked Berry why the change of heart. “We had time to reconsider. It was simply a mistake."

Berry then read from a prepared statement, which said Rendon would be paid her full salary until another position opened at the company.

Fox 29 asked Berry if the Aviation Institute Of Maintenance would pay Rendon until she can reapply, and then decide if they would give her the job back after it received her application.

"Yes, that's what the letter states,” Berry said.

We then asked if the offer was not the same thing as giving Rendon her job back.

"No, it's according to our policy and procedure,” Berry said.

Doubtless stung by the horrible publicity and now trying to protect themselves from a lawsuit. "What a country!", as comedian Yakov Smirnoff used to say.

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