Restaurant allegedly fired teen with cancer for requesting time off for treatment

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CHICAGO – A Chicago teen is speaking out after he says he lost his job because he asked for time off, so that he could undergo cancer treatment.

19-year-old Jonathan Larson was diagnosed with cancer of the brain and spine.

Larson says just standing for a few minutes can be painful.

According to WMAQ, he has had several rounds of radiation and now needs back surgery.

Larson works as a delivery driver at a Chicago restaurant.

When he told his employer he needed to take six weeks off for the surgery, he was let go.

“He said ‘so you’re going to leave me high and dry like that,'” Larson told WMAQ.

Although the teen offered to come back to work after the surgery, he says his boss didn’t change his mind.

“He said ‘no by that time I’ll already have another driver hired. Just leave. I have to make some phone calls,” Larson said.

A spokesperson for the restaurant said in a statement that they can’t comment on specific personnel matters.

“For more than thirty-six years Rosebud has been successful through the hard work of our employees,” the statement read. “We are thoroughly investigating this matter to determine if our processes and protocols were appropriately followed. Rosebud proudly serves the Chicagoland community and considers it our mission to treat all employees fairly.”

Larson says it wasn’t fair.

He feels “disrespected and demeaned” because of his diagnosis.

“I would love an apology,” he said. “It would go a long way to make me feel better about the situation.”

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