Indianapolis teacher says she was fired after telling employer she needed brain surgery

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Amanda Anderson says this is one of the toughest moments of her life.

She was diagnosed with a brain tumor after going to the doctor for severe headaches. Three days later doctors went in to remove the tumor. The 32-year-old pre-K teacher alerted her employer, Child Adult Resource Services (C.A.R.S.) in Mooresville, to let them know she would be off from work.

"So maybe it will be a couple days before I can call you, but I wanted them to know what was going on. Oh, I'm sorry you're fired," Anderson said.

She'd been a lead afternoon pre-K teacher since September 2016.

"My supervisor told me that I would need to talk to her director in the corporate office because she didn't think I'd been there long enough and she'd have her call me. Five minutes later I got a phone call that said my employment had been terminated," Anderson said.

Since she was employed less than a year, that means she didn't have leave coverage under the family and medical leave act or FMLA.

"We work with you as much as we can on the amount of benefit time that we have but we then say we cannot hold that position you are welcome to reapply once whatever your life crisis is averted," said C.A.R.S. CEO, Basil Weinman.

The termination letter shows she was fired the day before her surgery, even before Amanda knew how long she would be gone from work.

FOX59 asked Weinman how long the employee has before they're terminated.

"It's after their benefit time has expired. And it's not termination, it's just separation of employment. We're not terminating like somebody has been terminated for poor job performance," Weinman said.

Amanda couldn't afford health insurance through the company, so she wasn't looking for help to cover the surgery. She says she only wanted to wake up knowing she still had a job or to at least discuss her employment after learning more about her prognosis.

"I know that you're not going to pay me for hours that I'm not there and whatever god's plan is he's got it for me but it doesn't have to be so cold I'm already going through the worst time in my entire life," Anderson said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account here to help with medical and living expenses for Amanda and her two children.