Veteran police woman fighting to keep her job while battling breast cancer

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 21, 2015)-- Marytza Toy is a veteran policewoman who has done things even her boss doesn't want to think about.

"There have been times when she's come and consulted with me one-on-one and told me about things that she's done that I'm not privvy to talk about now that would scare the beejesus out of me to put myself in that position," said Rufus Bud Myers, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Housing Agency (IHA).

"She volunteered to do it because she knew it was the right thing. "

Now that Detective Sergeant Toy is battling cancer and IHA has turned down her request for a six month leave of absence, the mother of a teenage daughter said it appears her agency and city are turning their backs on her.

"Doesn't it appear that way?" asked Myers, "And that is exactly what I am trying to get corrected."

Last November, Toy was diagnosed with an agressive form of breast cancer.

Within a month she logged her last shift at IHA, underwent surgery and availed herself of her federal rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and began chemotherapy treatment.

"I did what is called FMLA which is 90 days," said Toy behind a surgical mask to protect her from infection, "And then after that there was four weeks that IHA allowed me to be out of work, and then IHA informed me that I had to be back to work by April 14 or I will no longer have a job. I told them I could not go back to work so they said that my last day at work was April 14."

"She is now been seperated from service because of her leave time has expired, her FMLA leave time," agreed Myers, who said IHA policy was flexible enough to grant Toy four extra weeks of leave time but his agency has turned down her request for an additional six months of unpaid time off.

"I'm not sure that those city rules apply," said Myers.

But Myers said, maybe they do. IHA is a independant municipal agency that doles out federal money as a state entity that provides housing vouchers for low-income residents.

Toy, as a police officer, is represented by the Fraternal Order of Police while other IHA workers are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the public employees union.

Myers said that even though IHA spun off as a city agency in the late 1990s, it still follows some city rules.

"What we have is an addendum to the master contract that we follow and that is what governs us, that addendum to the master contract," he said.

Despite FOX59 inquiries that began Monday, and Toy's own questions last week, Myers said he had never asked his legal or human resources departments whether city rules to grant an additional unpaid leave of absence would apply.

"My answer to the question, 'If you can't do it or won't do it?' is that we can't do it under the policies that exist here now," said Myers. "As far as, 'Won't do it?' My answer is, we will do it after I get the opinion from my legal counsel and my outside legal counsel that gives me a way to do it so it applies to all agency employees."

"I'm going to find a way, I'm going to work on a way that it can apply to Toy."

Toy, who returns to Chicago for another round of chemo this week technically as an unemployed police officer, won't be deterred by this latest bureaucratic set back.

"I'm not asking for any favors," she said. "I just want a chance to do what I need to do and beat this. I'm not asking for anyone to do anything special for me and I can beat this but I can't get beat down while I'm trying to do it."

"I could still kick some ass."