OMAHA (KPTM) - Erica Albritton of Atlanta, Georgia works as a customer sales representative for West at Home, which operates under West Corporation here in Omaha.
Albritton tells Fox 42 she started working for West at Home because it gave her the chance to work from home and she could set her own schedule.
Albritton said she has struggled all her life with heart problems and last December she got sick. A doctor even told her she needed to be "taking more breaks."
Albritton was sick for two weeks but said she only missed five days of work.
"I had a high fever, I could not speak, my heart was messing with me, heart was racing," she said.
Albritton said she posted her hours online hoping somebody else would pick them up, but no one did. It looked like Albritton was working those hours even though she said she wasn't.
She said the company told her that her productivity wasn't strong enough to stay on the current project she was working on. She said she went from making around 30 hours a week to zero.
"I spoke with the president of the company about 2 weeks ago, Tom Barker, and he actually said to me, do what, do the best that you can and I said I can't live on 40 to 60 dollars a month that is unrealistic," she said.
Both Georgia are employ at will states, which means Employers can hire and fire who they want, when they want. Most times, employers don't even have to give you a reason as to why they are firing someone, as long as it is not discriminatory.
Omaha Labor Lawyer John Corrigan tells Fox 42 this happens all the time.
"If an employer decides, listen I really don't like you because you cheered for Iowa and I like the Huskers, if that is the reason employer wants to fire you, they can."
The only protection for employees is the Family and Military Leave Act, which says an employee is granted 12 weeks unpaid leave if they meet these three criteria:
1. Have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months;
2. Have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and
3. Work at a location in the United States or in any territory or possession of the United States where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
Both Corrigan and Albritton feel that there needs to be more protection for people who do not meet those criteria.
"I think they need to implement something for people who get sick because it happens, people get sick,"
"A country that is as wealthy as ours I would hope that we provide to each other and when we don't, the result is maybe, collectively that is a benefit that can be earned through negotiation," Corrigan said.
Fox 42 tried to get in contact with West Corporation, but they denied our requests several times.