On a Reddit sub-thread, a woman told how she exposed her breast cancer scars to her coworkers after they spread rumors she was abusing her medical leave.
She Is a Survivor
OP said she had breast cancer about a year and a half ago.
She had surgery to remove all her tumors but declined breast reconstruction, so she has no breast on her left side and no nipples.
She wears a prosthetic bra to hide her chest.
Fear of Cancer Returning
She was able to return to work 3 1/2 weeks after the surgery and didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation.
OP takes intermittent Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) to attend check-ups and screenings since she is at a high risk of cancer returning.
Taking Time Off
A coworker in another department also has breast cancer, but she wasn’t as lucky and had to take more time off work for treatment.
Recently, she missed an important meeting for a breast MRI and bone scan, which was approved for FMLA.
Coworkers from Hell
However, her coworkers and immediate supervisor have been spreading rumors that she doesn’t have cancer because OP returned to work so soon after her surgery.
They say she is abusing FMLA.
That ‘Cancer Thing’
She has to undergo another surgery to help with the scarring.
She let her supervisor know they are thinking about scheduling it for the summer, and he said “Right, the cancer thing again”.
Then last week, OP overheard coworkers in the office next door spreading rumors about her, claiming she was scamming everyone and did not deserve upcoming raises because she did not have cancer.
Flashes Her Scars
In response, she became upset, lifted her shirt and showed her scars to her coworkers, and shouted some opportune phrases at them.
Full of Regret
OP now regrets her outburst and is worried about potential legal consequences.
She is unsure if she should go to HR and apologize or consult a lawyer.
It’s All Gone Quiet
As of Monday, no one has mentioned anything to her, which is causing her to feel worried.
The Readers’ Reaction
One user states, “I think you’ve made your point. They’re too ashamed to do anything now. They literally were talking badly about someone who had cancer.”
Lauren1976 wrote, “If I were the company, I would be far more concerned about liability for disability-based harassment than any indecent exposure on your part!”
What do you think? Should she be worried about legal backlash, or should management be worried about the way she was treated? Leave a comment!
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