A Philadelphia mother who lost her job while she took a leave of absence to donate a kidney to her son has been put back on salary – but it is unclear if she will ever get her job back.
The drama when Claudia Rendon told her bosses at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance that she needed to take time off so she could undergo surgery to give her kidney to her ailing 22-year-old son. She said she would be gone from July 19 to September 1.
Her bosses were fine with it, saying she would have her job when she returned. However on her last day of work, Rendon said that she was asked to sign a letter acknowledging that her job was not guaranteed.
They said, 'If you don't sign this letter, you are abandoning your job and quitting,'" Rendon told ABCNews.com. "I said, 'I am not abandoning my job. I am saving my son's life.'"
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She said she signed the letter after one boss said she was a “good employee,” and it was very likely she would have her job upon her return.
That return date got pushed back on August 24, when Rendon said she was suffering from severe back pain. A letter from her doctor said she would be able to return to work on September 12.
However when Rendon paid a social visit on September 8, she learned her job had been filled two days earlier.
Philly TV station Fox 29 jumped on the story, and after local outrage and the story going viral worldwide, the company had a change of heart. On Tuesday bosses admitted they made a “mistake” in letting Rendon go, and said they will immediately begin paying her usual salary. And when the next job opens, Rendon can apply for it.
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However Rendon is skeptical that she will ever get a job there again, and told Fox 29 she has retained a lawyer.
Incidentally, Rendon said she had to take the leave of absence because she had already used all of her vacation time this year. None of it was for vacation, though – she had to care for and eventually bury her mother, she had to take care of her father who was diagnosed with leukemia, and then her son’s kidneys began to fail.