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Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Old 07-03-18, 08:40 PM
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Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Don't you love to read good stories? Ahh. Glad that bitch of a boss got fired!
Employer saves Michigan mom's job after her supervisor threatened to fire her for staying with son in hospital

A Michigan mother almost lost her job when she asked her employer for time off so that she could be by her hospitalized son’s side.

Crystal Fisher took her 18-year-old son, Jason, to the hospital Thursday with a 104-degree fever and low oxygen levels.

Worried about her son’s condition, Fisher started having panic attacks, so she asked her daughter to call her boss at PS Food Mart and let her know that she wouldn’t be able to report for work, Fox 17 reported.

“She said, ‘Can you have somebody cover mom for [Friday], my brother’s really sick, they’re going to have to ventilate him,” Fisher recalled her daughter telling her boss over the phone, according to the report.

Fisher said she overheard her boss reply, “This ain’t the way we run things. Your mother needs to be the one calling me.”

Fisher’s son was later placed on life support because his fever wasn’t breaking fast enough.

She said she “lost it” when a doctor told her that her son would be tubed and taken to the University of Michigan.

“All they knew is he had infection somewhere,” Fisher told Fox 17.

Fisher texted her boss after her daughter made the initial phone call.

“I’m just letting you know my son is still on life support so until he is out of the bad I will not be able to make it to work, I can let u know as he starts to get better so that way I can return to work with no problems,” reads a screenshot of the text Fisher sent her boss.

“That isn’t how we do things, so I’ll accept that you’re quitting,” Fisher’s boss replied.

Fisher insisted that she wasn’t submitting her resignation, but seeking a temporary accommodation so that she could care for her son.


“There is no reason you can’t work and I will not tolerate drama. End of conversation,” her boss replied, according to a screenshot of the text exchange.

“If you aren’t there to work your shift tomorrow then I take that as you’ve quit.”

Fisher shared her distressing interaction with her supervisor on Facebook, prompting a reaction from her employer.

Folk Oil Company, which manages PS Food Mart, stepped in with a solution.

It announced Monday that Fisher could take all the time she needed — and that her boss had been fired.

“We investigated and have found that the situation was handled improperly and without the compassion that we value as a company. For that, we are very sorry,” the statement read.

“As a result of this finding, we took quick action and that manager is no longer employed by PS Food Mart. We have also reaffirmed to our employee that she will be able to take all the time off that she needs during this difficult period. We’d like to thank the public for their concern,” the company said.

Source
Shoutout to PS Food Mart for doing the right thing.

I'm gonna have to eat my words (for my hatred for Facebook) and say that Facebook isn't so bad for situations like this.
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Old 07-03-18, 09:24 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.



Spoiler:
In a truly bizarre, comic escalation of events, the Parent Company then closed the store entirely, before the Board of Directors went on an insane rampage and dissolved the company.
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Old 07-03-18, 09:30 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

I always kind of wonder on these stories without hearing both sides. The boss comes off as a dick, though it sounds like a lot of this might have been avoided if the employee just called (rather than having someone else call or texting). Whcih might not be the easiest when your kid is in the hospital, but still... The boss seems hung up on "how they do things", which I'm guess is in reference to some employment policy.
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Old 07-03-18, 10:13 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

I'm sure there is a lot more to this, much more overreaction from the mother of the sick kid, etc (the "drama" that the boss referred to). Incidently, in my world an 18-year-old isn't a "kid" any more, but is an adult. Probably both sides were clearly in the wrong, but to save face, and prevent this from spiraling out of control, the company sought the action which would protect its interest the best.
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Old 07-03-18, 10:43 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

I don't have kids myself but the idea that you're going to be less terrified by your kid being on a respirator and maybe going to die because he's over 18 strikes me as absurd.
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Old 07-03-18, 11:11 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Sounds like the horrible manager was completely uninformed about FMLA, so shame on PS Food Mart. They are a complete piece of shit company for not training their managers/supervisors better or informing them of the law.

oh look the company solved a problem it created, everyone be happy
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Old 07-04-18, 12:50 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I'm sure there is a lot more to this, much more overreaction from the mother of the sick kid, etc (the "drama" that the boss referred to). Incidently, in my world an 18-year-old isn't a "kid" any more, but is an adult. Probably both sides were clearly in the wrong, but to save face, and prevent this from spiraling out of control, the company sought the action which would protect its interest the best.
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Old 07-04-18, 01:58 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Not to this degree, but I’m battling an “uninformed” supervisor on family medical leave now. Illinois state law requires employers to allow employees to use accrued sick time to care for loved ones (up to half of your earned time). My spouse had to have surgery a few weeks ago and is off her feet (no walking, no driving) for at least 6 weeks. My supervisor said I could use sick time for the day of her surgery and any follow up doctor’s appointments, but any other time off to care for her had to be vacation time.

HR didn’t agree with the supervisor’s assessment, but they are trying to save face and still giving me the go-round.

As to the article, yeah ... I came from a life of retail management. Store managers are given very little training on actual HR issues.
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Old 07-04-18, 05:47 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
Incidently, in my world an 18-year-old isn't a "kid" any more, but is an adult.
Ok, you're an adult (and since your 18 you probably still live with me) Good luck on life support, I have to go to work.
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Old 07-04-18, 06:35 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I'm sure there is a lot more to this, much more overreaction from the mother of the sick kid, etc (the "drama" that the boss referred to). Incidently, in my world an 18-year-old isn't a "kid" any more, but is an adult. Probably both sides were clearly in the wrong, but to save face, and prevent this from spiraling out of control, the company sought the action which would protect its interest the best.
Thank goodness you've never obviously procreated.
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Old 07-04-18, 07:01 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
Sounds like the horrible manager was completely uninformed about FMLA, so shame on PS Food Mart. They are a complete piece of shit company for not training their managers/supervisors better or informing them of the law.

oh look the company solved a problem it created, everyone be happy
Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Not to this degree, but I’m battling an “uninformed” supervisor on family medical leave now. Illinois state law requires employers to allow employees to use accrued sick time to care for loved ones (up to half of your earned time). My spouse had to have surgery a few weeks ago and is off her feet (no walking, no driving) for at least 6 weeks. My supervisor said I could use sick time for the day of her surgery and any follow up doctor’s appointments, but any other time off to care for her had to be vacation time.

HR didn’t agree with the supervisor’s assessment, but they are trying to save face and still giving me the go-round.

As to the article, yeah ... I came from a life of retail management. Store managers are given very little training on actual HR issues.
Nothing here violates any laws. The supervisor did not refuse to give her the time off. He required that she contact him herself. That is a perfectly legal policy.

When I was a supervisor I required the person calling in sick to call and tell me personally. I would never have accepted a text.
99% of the time when someone has someone else call in for them they aren't sick. People who lie about being sick don't want the verbal interaction because the supervisor may ask questions and they have to construct a more elaborate lie and come up with answers on the spot.
It's an age old scam. When employees began calling when they knew I wouldn't be there to leave messages I drew the line.
If somebody is sick, fine. Whatever. Just call and inform me. If you're dodging having to talk to me I wonder why.

"My mommy is sick and won't be in to work" or "This is Bill's mom and he won't be in to work" are unacceptable to me. Or someone scheduled to come in at 8am, I get there at 6am, call and leave a message at 5am. No go. Call back at 6am and tell me.

This particular story is a different situation. I would have talked to the daughter and asked her to have her mom call me when she got a chance. If she needed extended time off, fine.

Does anyone think it's unreasonable, if an employee is going to be gone for a period of time, to communicate personally with employee about what's going on?
You wouldn't expect to speak that employee at least once?
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Old 07-04-18, 08:40 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
Nothing here violates any laws. The supervisor did not refuse to give her the time off. He required that she contact him herself. That is a perfectly legal policy.

When I was a supervisor I required the person calling in sick to call and tell me personally. I would never have accepted a text.
99% of the time when someone has someone else call in for them they aren't sick. People who lie about being sick don't want the verbal interaction because the supervisor may ask questions and they have to construct a more elaborate lie and come up with answers on the spot.
It's an age old scam. When employees began calling when they knew I wouldn't be there to leave messages I drew the line.
If somebody is sick, fine. Whatever. Just call and inform me. If you're dodging having to talk to me I wonder why.

"My mommy is sick and won't be in to work" or "This is Bill's mom and he won't be in to work" are unacceptable to me. Or someone scheduled to come in at 8am, I get there at 6am, call and leave a message at 5am. No go. Call back at 6am and tell me.

This particular story is a different situation. I would have talked to the daughter and asked her to have her mom call me when she got a chance. If she needed extended time off, fine.

Does anyone think it's unreasonable, if an employee is going to be gone for a period of time, to communicate personally with employee about what's going on?
You wouldn't expect to speak that employee at least once?
Whether it was reasonable for her to have a friend call in or not, I don't know, but after her text, the proper response would have been either "okay, hope he gets better" or "call me." Not a response that she was quitting. Actually in a dire emergency, you might be more likely to get a text.

As for having people call directly, what do they say that's better than a text? I just call in and say I'm sick--no explanation. It's nobody's business why I can't come in, and I feel like anything more than "sorry I'm sick and can't be in" is tmi.

Last edited by tasha99; 07-04-18 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 07-04-18, 09:13 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Unusual for a large company to actually protect one of its employees. Hopefully they did it because they are decent people and not because the text messages went viral and they just did it for public image motives only.
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Old 07-04-18, 10:08 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by tasha99 View Post
As for having people call directly, what do they say that's better than a text? I just call in and say I'm sick--no explanation. It's nobody's business why I can't come in, and I feel like anything more than "sorry I'm sick and can't be in" is tmi.
I agree. Just call in and say you're sick and can't come in. No further explanation needed. There's no reason they can't call instead of text.

People tend to be chicken about lying directly. They chicken out and have someone call in for them or leave a message. Sometimes they'll just go ahead and go to work rather than lying about it directly.

People who are really sick feel emboldened by the truth and have no problem speaking to you.
Only those who are taking a day off feel discomfort about telling you in person. This has no effect on those who are really sick.

If someone wants to call in sick and go to the beach, fine. Just call in sick in person.
The purpose of the policy is to cut down on people calling in sick when they're not. And it works because often people will chicken out and go to work rather than lie. At the same time, nobody is punished for calling in sick if they're not, as long as they call.
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Old 07-04-18, 01:27 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

I have been a manager for a very long time. I am not a ridiculous dick with my policies. I want to keep good employees long term. Before I left my last position (and that was about this time last year) I had some of the same employees under my direct supervision for 15 years. Retaining folks that long is not easy in today's world.

That said, I have accepted 3rd party call ins for time off or whatever. Vacation time / sick time / etc are earned benefits and employees should have a chance to use them without jumping through hoops.

I had an employee go to the ER one night and not come back out the following morning, his wife called me, I had no problem with that at all. I was glad she called. He was released from the hospital 3 days later and called me when he got home, I told him to rest up and we would talk when he returned to work. Seems perfectly reasonable and I had only hired this guy about 6 months prior to that incident.

The people I have a problem with are the ones that call in sick every Friday for the entire month of July or the ones that are denied vacation the day after christmas because it isn't their turn to have the day after the holiday off and then they call in sick. Time off on high demand days is shared and rotated (with some exceptions) and those that want to play games get put on the shit list. They get their time off, but they regret it later.

To each his own, but someone caring for a child in a hospital, I would accept a 3rd party text about the situation. I might think differently if this were a habit or happened the day after every national holiday
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Old 07-04-18, 02:06 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Haw haw. Wrong interpretation from the manager. I feel for them. Too bad for the manager that they were as expendable as the other employee. If his job mattered to his superiors, he wouldn't have been fired.

Managing employees sucks. They lie and manipulate constantly. They'll lie about their work and lie about their time clock. And then lie about when/why they have to take off work. And, speaking from personal experience, I was never hard enough on them to keep them in line. And my business was never wealthy enough to afford employees that shit-on the business all day.

If you don't push for motivation, people won't contribute or get up and show up to work. The independent human motivation doesn't exist. Except when you're really lucky and find that "one" guy who can do the job.
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Old 07-04-18, 02:52 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I'm sure there is a lot more to this, much more overreaction from the mother of the sick kid, etc (the "drama" that the boss referred to). Incidently, in my world an 18-year-old isn't a "kid" any more, but is an adult. Probably both sides were clearly in the wrong, but to save face, and prevent this from spiraling out of control, the company sought the action which would protect its interest the best.
Yeah, parents always overreact when their kid needs to go on life support.

And I'm sorry, but it doesn't matter if my kid is 8 or 18, they're still my child and if they need to go to the hospital for something like this, I'm sure as hell am not going to work (luckily my boss would have no problem with this at all).


Also, for folks not wanting to call in sick because they are worried about answering a bunch of questions, all you need to say is "I have bad diarrhea, I've already shat my pants twice this morning.". I'm sure that no further questions will be asked.
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Old 07-04-18, 03:07 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Company I was at, when I lived in San Diego, you only had to state you were calling off sick, no reason given. That was just for one day. If additional days were needed they MIGHT want a doctor's note.
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Old 07-04-18, 03:16 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Yeah, at my place of employment you don't need to give a reason, but any more than three sick days off in a row may require a doctors note, depending on the employee's absence history.
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Old 07-04-18, 03:22 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

I think the action taken was correct, all I was saying is that the mother seemed to be treating her 18-year-old adult child like he is a two-year-old kid. And that she probably overreacted, and that she should have personally called in to inform work that she wasn't coming in due to "family emergency."

Happy now?
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Old 07-04-18, 03:58 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

No, you still don't get it. Nor will you ever, Mr Grinch.
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Old 07-04-18, 08:20 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I think the action taken was correct, all I was saying is that the mother seemed to be treating her 18-year-old adult child like he is a two-year-old kid. And that she probably overreacted, and that she should have personally called in to inform work that she wasn't coming in due to "family emergency."

Happy now?
Are the following four words hard to understand?

placed on life support
The scumbag manager deserved to be fired. I get that the vast majority of sick time is for minor things like a cold or stomach ach, or just an extra day off so an employee can relax. But the second the word "hospitalized" enters the conversation, a supervisor should use what little brain power they have and realize that now is not the time to have a stick up their ass about the rules. Why even have people in charge if all they do us follow the rules like automatons?
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Old 07-04-18, 08:25 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

To him, they seem to be another language. That or he just doesn't register the value of human life.
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Old 07-04-18, 08:27 PM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by Dr. Mantle View Post
The scumbag manager deserved to be fired. I get that the vast majority of sick time is for minor things like a cold or stomach ach, or just an extra day off so an employee can relax. But the second the word "hospitalized" enters the conversation, a supervisor should use what little brain power they have and realize that now is not the time to have a stick up their ass about the rules. Why even have people in charge if all they do us follow the rules like automatons?
Spoken like a true boss! 💯
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Old 07-05-18, 01:42 AM
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Re: Manager fires mom for taking time off for sick son. Employer fires manager.

Originally Posted by tasha99 View Post
Whether it was reasonable for her to have a friend call in or not, I don't know, but after her text, the proper response would have been either "okay, hope he gets better" or "call me." Not a response that she was quitting. Actually in a dire emergency, you might be more likely to get a text.
The pessimist in me expects there to be an update about how there were harsher missing texts from the mom’s side. The boss may have been a dick but it seems like there’s a missing text or two between “I won’t be in for awhile because I’m at the hospital with my son” and “ok I’ll consider that your resignation”. I feel there’s some kind of “fuck you I’m taking as much time as I want!” texts in there somewhere.

Either way, sick time is sick time and should be allowed to be taken at any time assuming the employee has the time to take. I’ve had jobs on both ends of the spectrum where I was shamed and guilted whenever I took sick time and felt I had to drag my sick ass to work no matter what all the way to my current supervisor who hates having sick people in the office and accepts text call ins without question.
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