Robert Goodman, 56, a teacher at a Florida public school, had managed to run out of sick days. He had a legitimate reason for it, though: Robert had colon cancer. When he used up all his sick days as a direct result of surgeries and chemotherapy, his fellow teachers stepped in and donated their unused sick days in order to cover his remaining time off.
According to CNN, Robert Goodman now has enough donated sick days that he is covered for “an entire semester.” When it was first discovered by his school that Robert needed additional sick days, it took his colleagues only four days to amass this amount.
“I couldn’t believe it happened so fast,” Goodman told CNN.
However, Goodman estimates he only really needs approximately 20 more days in sick leave.
According to CNN, it was not only other teachers at his school that helped out. Other staff members including administrators and lunchroom workers were among those who rushed to Robert’s support.
“Educators all over the country were reaching out to me to donate their sick days, even professors over at Florida Atlantic University,” he said. “I felt guilty because I knew there were people who had it much worse than me.”
However, Goodman wasn’t surprised his colleagues helped out so quickly.
“I wasn’t surprised that teachers were giving. Teachers are always giving all the time,” he said. “When one of their own needs help they’ll always step up.”
Robert Goodman, who has taught at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School for 23 years found out he had colon cancer in April. Since then, he has been battling the cruel disease, using his Facebook account to document his journey.
In addition to the support from members of staff, Robert has revealed his students were also vocal in their support, often revealing details of how Goodman has encouraged them. It has been a good reminder for Goodman of the reason why he began teaching in the first place and why he would like to get back to it in the future.
While not all employers allow for employees to donate their own sick days to others, according to Chron, some places do offer this option.
“To give employees an opportunity to support their colleagues in their time of need, some employers create policies that allow employees to donate a portion of their vacation time to other employees,” the policy states. “Federal and state employment laws don’t require such policies; however, a federal government agency has a model that many employers refer to as HR best practices in setting a vacation donation policy.”