US-based popular Kenyan Nurse Judy found herself in a financial quandary after losing her main job at a US hospital in December 2023, falling short of completing the agreed two-year commitment under the Green Card program. This unexpected termination brings with it financial repercussions, including the repayment of a $10,000 (Ksh1.65 million) bonus.
Nurse Judy explained, “I received a termination notice from the hospital where I worked full-time, and they sponsored my Green Card in exchange for my commitment to work for two years. Since the contract ended prematurely, I have to pay the hospital, including refunding a $10,000 bonus.”
The root cause of Nurse Judy’s termination was her request for time off. Desiring to visit her children in Kenya and attend to family matters, she sought vacation days well in advance. Unfortunately, her request was denied due to high demand, leading her to explore a leave of absence.
“Around early November, I requested December vacation days to travel home to see my kids and handle a personal family matter, as my husband was undergoing a procedure. However, vacation days were unavailable, with four nurses already on leave,” she shared.
Faced with limited options, Nurse Judy pursued a leave of absence, which was denied last minute, putting her in a challenging situation.
“I then requested a leave of absence. They took so long to respond, only to deny my request days before the flight I had already booked, assuming they would grant me the leave,” she explained.
Despite informing the hospital about her departure and the reasons behind it, Nurse Judy received a termination notice three days later. She maintains that family comes first and asserts that in her leave request, she had notified her employer about her intention to take leave to attend to her family’s needs.