Employee Returns To Work After Having Surgery & Finds That She Has Been Replaced & Demoted So She Quits On The Spot

She was incensed when the news was delivered in front of her whole team.

woman crying over job loss TikTok

Missing work due to injury or illness can be frightening. You might have worries about who is going to perform your duties while you are out and be concerned about catching up with work when you get back into the office.

One woman named Sarah Martin had been with a company for five years when she walked off the job after receiving some troubling news.

In a video uploaded to TikTok immediately after she quit her job, a tearful Martin said, “I just quit my job. I’m pretty emotional because I love my job, you know. I’m really good at what I do.”


She had pulled over to the side of the road to get what she was feeling off of her chest. She told viewers that she felt like she had been “slapped in the face.”

RELATED: Top-Performing Employee Tells Boss That Because His Pay Is 'Below Average' His Work Will Be Too After Getting Denied A Raise For Two Years

For three years prior to her sudden exit, Martin had been the Lead on her team. She explained that in addition to raising five kids, she’d just had surgery and had been off work for a while.



Without any indication that they would be doing so, the company brought a man into the office and introduced him as the team’s new Lead. Confused by what was taking place, Martin said that her whole crew looked at her for clarification, unaware that she was as caught off guard as they were.


The impromptu move upset Martin so much that she quit her job right then and there. “I don’t have a job lined up. I don’t have anything lined up, but I couldn’t stay there another minute — I couldn’t,” she said as she cried into the camera.

RELATED: Woman's Boss Refuses To Use Her Name & Only Calls Her 'You There' — 'I Need Advice On How To Handle This'

But the craziest part of the whole situation was that she was only making $16.70 per hour while leading a team of employees.

The emotional ex-employee thought that the company at least respected the contributions she made for such paltry pay but, according to her, they had shown her no regard and she had no other choice than to leave.

Despite her anguish over the situation, Martin knows that she made the right decision, given the circumstances. “I don’t know what I’m going to do next, but I’m never going back there,” she said stoically as she ended the video.


After that video went viral, the unemployed mom of five returned to thank viewers for their support and assure them that between her side hustle at Instacart and her husband’s job, the family would be fine. She began interviewing for new jobs and asked followers for good vibes as she had found the perfect role for herself.

In the end, Martin added one more video where she updated invested fans, telling them she had been hired. It looks like all’s well that ends well.



RELATED: Man Takes On Extra Work After His Boss Quits But Receives No Additional Pay — 'You'll Have To Apply For The Job You're Already Doing'


When you are out on leave, your employer has to hold the same or a similar role for you under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Though the timeline of events is not totally clear, it sounds like Martin may have been replaced and demoted in response to being out for her surgery. If that is the case, her former employer is engaging in risky business.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are entitled to take time off for a serious illness or condition and the organization is required to preserve their role, or an equivalent role until they return. If those provisions were violated, it could mean a lawsuit and big financial consequences for her old job.

RELATED: Boss Tells Worker He’s ‘Hard To Work With’ Because Of His ‘Elevated Needs’ After Demanding He Work A Shift He Wasn’t Scheduled For

If a company chooses to demote you, there has to have been documented progressive discipline.

From the video, it’s hard to know what Martin’s work history and performance were. If this were, in fact, a demotion, the company should have had documented conversations with her about her performance, giving her avenues for improvement and enforcing progressive discipline if she didn’t.


Instead, it appears they might have demoted and replaced a long-term employee without a word of warning as to any issues they had with her in the workplace. The fact that Martin was removed from her position and a man was moved into it could spell discrimination or disparate treatment.

Either way you slice it, the situation definitely could have been handled better by the employer.

RELATED: Worker Deletes Thousands Of Files He Created After Finding Out That The Company That Fired Him For Being ‘Incompetent’ Is Still Using His Work

NyRee Ausler is a writer and author from Seattle, Washington. She covers issues navigating the workplace using the experience garnered over two decades of working in Human Resources & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.