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An Australian man with terminal cancer has claimed he was sacked from his job after revealing he had just 18 months to live - something the company has vehemently denied.
Chris Mahoney, 33, was diagnosed with inoperable bowel cancer in October last year, and was told after surgery that it had spread to his liver and lungs. Doctors predicted that he had between nine and 18 months left.
At the time, Mahoney worked for a multinational company called Craveable Brands, but says he was forced to resign from his permanent position, having been told he could continue to work on a casual basis.
Speaking to Nine Network’s A Current Affair, Mahoney said he was completely cut off after his resignation.
“I texted, I called, and they were my support network for my terminal diagnosis,” he said.
“It was an entire part of my life that was just ripped away. In the most cruel fashion all I can assume is as soon as I was no longer valuable to them, they tossed me aside.
“I’m already dead. As far as they’re concerned.”
Mahoney, who has a law degree and previously worked as an employment lawyer, said he is taking the matter to the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
"I'm not going to give up until I die or win," he said.
"All I know is if I don't survive, at least I'll have tried."
In a statement, Craveable Brands said it ‘rejects’ claims that Maloney was dismissed or ‘coerced into resigning’.
The company said Mahoney had ‘established a great rapport with his peers and executive in the two years he worked with the business’, and that it was ‘devastated’ to find out about his terminal diagnosis and ‘immediately sought to provide care and support’.
“We worked flexibly with Chris to accommodate his medical needs and supported him through this difficult period,” the statement said.
“On November 11, 2021, Chris verbally advised that he wished to resign from his employment. At that time, we encouraged him to seek further advice and to attend medical appointments to ensure he was not disadvantaged from compensation in any way given his diagnosis.
“Four days later, Chris verbally confirmed his resignation. On 29 November 2021, he returned his laptop and security cards. In December 2021, he announced his resignation and said farewell to his colleagues.
“On January 28 this year, Chris confirmed his resignation in writing, effective that same day.
“It was with great sadness and surprise that Craveable Brands later learned that Chris had commenced a general protections dispute with the Fair Work Commission (FWC), where the matter continues to remain unresolved.
“We reject any suggestion that Chris was dismissed or coerced into resigning, and we dispute the other claims submitted to the FWC.”
Craveable Brands claimed it had ‘made a number of offers of settlement to resolve this dispute’ in recent months, and that it remains ‘open to hearing from Chris and resolving this matter in a timely fashion’.
It added: “As the matter is before the FWC, we are not in a position to provide further information or background material on claims that may have been made during the hearings.”
A Current Affair said Mahoney was willing to settle the case if Craveable Brands made a donation to Cancer Council. However, the programme claimed the company rejected this offer.
UNILAD has contacted Craveable Brands for comment.
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