BUSINESS
06/15/2011 05:59 pm ET | Updated Aug 15, 2011

Carl Sorabella, Massachusetts Man, Fired After Disclosing Wife's Cancer

Cancer is an awful thing for any family to deal with. It's even more of a problem when it gets you fired.

When Carl Sorabella, of Massachusetts, told his employer that he would need to take some medical leave in order to deal with his wife's cancer, he thought it was a reasonable request. But according to ABC News, when he walked into work on Monday, he found a note on his desk saying that he had been fired.

"When I told my boss, she said 'We were thinking about laying you off.' I thought, 'You can't do that,'" Sorabella told WCVB 5 in Boston.

Sorbella's wife of 23 years, Kathy, had learned she had stage 4 untreatable cancer in April. But according to the report, the request for a modified schedule in order to deal with the problem was too much for his employer, Haynes Management, a real estate company in Wellesley Hills, Mass.

According to ABC, Sorbella feels he was wrongfully terminated:

"Ultimately she said don't worry about it and come in on Monday, and when I came in on Monday I got a letter that I would be laid off," he said. Sorabella said the letter stated he was being laid off due to "workforce modifications." But one week after he was fired, he says he saw a listing for his job on the company website.

"She said, 'It's business. I'm running a company here, and I need to make sure the department runs.' And I argued that I would make sure the company runs," Sorabella said.

While there are laws in place to protect employees from this sort of thing, The Family and Medical Leave Act only applies to companies with 50 or more employees. As a result, many small business employees are left with few legal options.

For video, click here for more from ABC.