NH1 Graphic (Goodwill Logo - Facebook photo, Lansing Browne)

Jan 14, 2016 12:41 PM

New Durham man battling cancer says Goodwill took away health insurance during chemotherapy

NEW DURHAM — A longtime employee of Goodwill Industries is battling cancer and says the company is taking him off their health insurance plan just when he needs it most.

According to Fosters Daily Democrat, Lansing Browne, 58, worked for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England for 22 years when he was diagnosed with lung cancer in September.

He told his supervisors that he needed to take some time off. He had surgery in November and started what is supposed to be four months of chemotherapy treatments on Dec. 4. He told his supervisors he expected to be able to return to work in March and said they seemed fine with that at the time.

"We thought we would be able to use all of his accumulated vacation time and sick time before the unpaid leave time kicked in," San-Dee Browne, his wife, said. "But that's not how it worked out."

The Brownes say the company recently told them by phone that the unpaid medical leave, guaranteed under the Family Medical Leave Act, is all used up, and he will no longer be eligible for the company health insurance that he needs to pay for the ongoing chemotherapy treatment

Goodwill confirmed that Browne was an employee but would not speak about his current job status.

"They told us 'Goodwill isn't in the business of paying for insurance,'" San-Dee Browne said. "We were devastated by the news."

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