I spent 6 years working at a small company. Other than the owner, I was the only employee for the first 2.5 years. I created all the processes and forms that is the foundation on which this company does business today and I increased business by more than 500%. Last summer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At this time, the company had grown to 4 employees.
The owner and the Operations/Finance Manager sat with me to discuss the situation. I was instructed to take all the time that I needed to get well and not to come back until I was 100%. The reason .... they would need to hire someone to perform my duties and did not want me to come back ..... have to let that person go ...... and then me have to leave again for more treatment and then they would need to hire someone else. So I was never led to believe that my job was at risk.
A few weeks ago the owner called and asked if I could come in to meet with him. I again met with them both. I was told that they were not permitting me to return ..... stating "business reasons" and " had to proceed as if I was not coming back".
My question is this .... when I go on interviews, I will be asked why I left my last job. I am not sure how to respond to this without letting them know what happened. I am also looking into my legal rights in this situation. I have spoken to several attorneys who will not take my case because the company is too small for it to be financially beneficial. I have an appointment with another attorney in a few weeks. If this should turn into a law suit situation, then I am not even sure how to handle not having potential new employers contact my previous employer.