A young woman in Des Moines, Iowa, was nearly fired after asking for time off to recover from a kidney donation to her stepmother.
Heather Watson-Vance, who was born with polycystic kidney disease, was thrilled when she received the news that her stepdaughter, Cori Vance, was a match to be an organ donor, WHO13 News reports.
It turned out that Cori’s employer, Windsor Windows & Doors, wasn’t as happy with the news.
“The [human resources] lady had said that they’ve been talking and we need to talk about the days off and if I would be coming back, and so she recommended that she would give me a week to come back,” Cori told WHO13 News.
The young woman said the company offered her two weeks off at most, and that there could be no restrictions on her work activity once she returned. Cori's usual daily activities include paperwork as well as loading and unloading metal.
“I had informed them that I wasn’t going to be able to come back without any restrictions,” Cori said. "And what I do is the paperwork, that I would have a 10-pound restriction, and then she asked me, 'Would you be able to stand -- for eight to 10 hours?'
“And I said, 'It's all up to my doctor; I don't know right now,' and she ... just told me that my last day would be Oct. 30.”
Cori said she’d need four to six weeks off for recovery.
WHO13 News paid a visit to Windsor Windows & Doors to investigate the claims. The company’s divisional human resources manager, Pete Crivaro, reportedly had no comment.
Crivaro subsequently released a statement clarifying the company would be allowing the young woman the full time off she needed to recover from the surgery.
“Windsor Windows & Doors respects the privacy of our employees and we do not speak about their personal circumstances. Every employee is valued and we do our best to support them,” Crivaro wrote in an email to WHO13 News.
“Cori is doing a kind and courageous act and she understands that Windsor will hold her position for her. We admire Cori for her generosity and wish her a successful outcome.”
A GoFundMe page was set up in support of Cori during her leave from work, as it would be unpaid.
Though the situation has been rectified and Cori was granted the full amount of time off, she and her stepmother said the issue is bigger than just getting the time off.
“I don't want other people who have thought about donating ... not to do it because they're scared or companies aren't giving them a chance neither,” Cori said.
“We just really feel like, with an organ donation, that's going to impede other people from maybe wanting to donate an organ if they were treated this way at their job or they're not going to receive their job back after the donation,” Heather said. "You can't put your own family in jeopardy, even to save a life."