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Woman sees husband off to war, gets fired from her job

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What do you think of this? Personally I can't believe that they fired her!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9834214/
post #2 of 29
They had her on the radio show i listen to, she said that her work made it seem like they would work with her so that she could see her husband leave. i think it is a load of crap, people are so rude and uncaring now.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
I agree-I mean, her husband is leaving for the war, how can they be so uncaring that they fired her? I don't really understand that!
post #4 of 29
I agree that that was absolutely horrible. She took unpaid leave because this was (understandably) so very important to her.

Since she is a military spouse, hopefully she can get hooked up with a better job on-post, where everyone is MUCH more understanding about these sorts of things!
post #5 of 29
I'm going to take a contrary position here, going soley on the facts as given in that article.

They did agree to give her a week off to spend with her husband. That is more than reasonable, IMO. The onus is on her in this case. You can't just tell the employer, "Well, I think I'll be back on this date, but if not, I'll come in the next day." You have to give them firm dates, or at the very least call in and tell them that you need an extra day.

I also have to think that there was a history there with issues with that company. No one fires you on the first offense, unless it is clearly spelled out in the Company Policies. And if it was spelled out then she agreed to those when she accepted employment.

Any company knows that if they fire anyone with any relation to a member of the military being in or going to Iraq or Afghanistan that they are going to hear about it in the media. They must have felt they had enough justification to back up the decision.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I'm going to take a contrary position here, going soley on the facts as given in that article.

They did agree to give her a week off to spend with her husband. That is more than reasonable, IMO. The onus is on her in this case. You can't just tell the employer, "Well, I think I'll be back on this date, but if not, I'll come in the next day." You have to give them firm dates, or at the very least call in and tell them that you need an extra day.

I also have to think that there was a history there with issues with that company. No one fires you on the first offense, unless it is clearly spelled out in the Company Policies. And if it was spelled out then she agreed to those when she accepted employment.

Any company knows that if they fire anyone with any relation to a member of the military being in or going to Iraq or Afghanistan that they are going to hear about it in the military. They must have felt they had enough justification to back up the decision.

I have to agree with Heidi here. The company did give her ample time, and according to the article it was the day AFTER he deployed that she skipped out of work.
post #7 of 29
I don't know, Heidi. As much as the technicalities are all there, it's still pretty uncaring. Her husband might never come back. Companies today are, IMO, extremely selfish. I mean this whole understanding that if you get 10 vacation days, you're only supposed to use 5 or less of them?! WHat is THAT?! Personal time (among issues related to health and family) are EXTREMELY important to the well-being of emplyees!

Not to mention that when you have emplyees whom you treat generously and empathetically (thus making them happy to work for you)...you'll have higher productivity and make more $$$. You'll also be able to hold onto employees. And stop the vicious cycle. And make the world a happier place to live in.
post #8 of 29
In this case the company made a big mistake. If there were truly other factors involved in why she was fired, then they should have waited until those factors made it reasonable that she be fired.
Firing her for not coming into work the day after her husband deployed, is not only callous and uncaring...it also sets the company up for all sorts of fire from a nation at war that supports its troops.
Just a dumb move in my opinion.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I'm going to take a contrary position here, going soley on the facts as given in that article.

They did agree to give her a week off to spend with her husband. That is more than reasonable, IMO. The onus is on her in this case. You can't just tell the employer, "Well, I think I'll be back on this date, but if not, I'll come in the next day." You have to give them firm dates, or at the very least call in and tell them that you need an extra day.

I also have to think that there was a history there with issues with that company. No one fires you on the first offense, unless it is clearly spelled out in the Company Policies. And if it was spelled out then she agreed to those when she accepted employment.

Any company knows that if they fire anyone with any relation to a member of the military being in or going to Iraq or Afghanistan that they are going to hear about it in the media. They must have felt they had enough justification to back up the decision.
When she was on the radio talking to the show i listen to, she said that she told them when she needed time off they said that she could have the time off, but asked if she could come in the day they fired her, they would appreciate it. not saying she had to be in, but that if she could. and they said that she could have the time off before they fired her for missing a day.
post #10 of 29
I worked for many years in HR and I've heard a lot of negative comments from employees.

I don't know what it's like in the US obviously, but here in Canada people complain about wages - well, let me tell you that in a large corporation the company pays about $10,000 per year per employee for health and other benefits. So, theoretically, every employee is actually making $10,000 more per year than their pay cheque indicates.

Consider how much money the company loses for every single day that an employee takes off (sick or whatever). It adds up and cuts into their profits, but those same employees want more, more and more.

I don't believe any of us should work for free, but we have an obligation to our employers to give them the best we can and in return they PAY us for that. It is my belief that when we commit to a company and they commit to paying us a fair wage for a day's work, we should honour that commitment. They honour their commitment to pay us so it's only fair. I'm sure if they were a day or two late paying our salary we would be pretty upset.

If they gave her a week off I think that was pretty decent and fair. IMO she took advantage of their offer. When you give some folks an inch, they want a foot. Just my opinion.
post #11 of 29
She was part-time and had NO benefits for crying out loud. She took an UNPAID leave of absence. It didn't cost that company a penny.
They are cold hearted creeps IMO
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv
She was part-time and had NO benefits for crying out loud. She took an UNPAID leave of absence. It didn't cost that company a penny.
They are cold hearted creeps IMO
She broke her word and IMO that is an unreliable employee and as an employer I would not want her working for me regardless of whether she was part-time or if the absence was unpaid.

When you have a business to run and deadlines to meet you need to know that you can rely on your employees to come to work to produce in order to meet those deadlines.

And it does cost money when an employee does not show up for work - it can cost overtime costs for the fewer workers left to name at least one.
post #13 of 29
I think a little consideration of the situation is warranted here. But hey, I just believe in giving the soldiers and their spouses some extra leeway.
post #14 of 29
While I know that assumptions are generally bad, I just have to assume that this was NOT the first instance of her being absent from work without calling in. There are a LOT of things we don't know, and things that she wouldn't have volunteered in her time in the spotlight on the radio. For instance:

What was the employer's policy on absenteeism?
Was this an ongoing issue with her?
Had she been previously given an ultimatum about "one more time" or was this something specifically spelled out in the Company Policies (i.e. More than one absence without proper communication with the office can result in termination)?

We don't know her history with this company. It's entirely possible that she was taking advantage of the situation and understanding of the company.

Regardless, how hard would it have been for her to pick up the phone that morning and call in? How many of YOU are allowed to just decide to extend your vacation by a day because you're too tired to come in - and not tell anyone?
post #15 of 29
Given the media backlash that was obviously gong to come from firing her, I would say it is probably and ongoing problem.

My BF has his own company and I do scheduling and payroll for my work so I know how much it hurts to have someone off when you expect them in - especially if they do not give warning on when they will not be in.

Also they did not have a problem giving her time off to see her husband off, the following day she was absent is they day she was fired for, and they state there are other factors involved.

While she says she said she 'may have been back' that day - there is no telling what she actually said to her boss, I know mine would want a definite day or return so he can arrange cover for me.

While it does seem unfair, the company knows there would be backlash so I am sure it was not a decision taken lightly and there is also no telling how many warning she had been given before this and what the company policy states.

Quote:
If there were truly other factors involved in why she was fired, then they should have waited until those factors made it reasonable that she be fired.
Why should they have what they deem to be an unreliable employee wasting company money to wait a few weeks after her husband was deployed? If she was on her last warning and failed to show up for work - that did make those factors reasonable to fire her. If it was a matter of those reasons not being there, you would be hearing about a lawsuit (which I am sure many people with husbands being deployed would be happy to pay for if she could not afford it) - there has to be something else to the story.
post #16 of 29
And we don't know that any of those priors HAVE happened so why mention them. Why can't people just gave a little more compassion.
Where I work, our driver left one day saying there was a family emergency, didn't show up or call in for two days after that. He came back on the 3rd day and got a good talking to and was sent home and told to come back on Monday and not to let it happen again.

Give the poor woman a break irregardless. I cannot believe how cold hearted employers can be.
post #17 of 29
The company mentions that there were other factors and as far as I have seen int he media she hasn't disputed this claim - in my company you would also get a good talking to but be back the following day, so with the media attention it was bound to get, I would say the company are probably in the right even if it came at a difficult time for her.
post #18 of 29
I assume she called in and told them she was going gto be out that day?? Of course we don't know the "other factors" either, missing work may be a common thing for her, but who knows.... But if it was solely because she was seeing off her husband, that's wrong
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv
And we don't know that any of those priors HAVE happened so why mention them. Why can't people just gave a little more compassion.
Where I work, our driver left one day saying there was a family emergency, didn't show up or call in for two days after that. He came back on the 3rd day and got a good talking to and was sent home and told to come back on Monday and not to let it happen again.

Give the poor woman a break irregardless. I cannot believe how cold hearted employers can be.
You are making just as many assumptions as I am, just not stating them as such. You are assuming that she is pretty much a model employee, that the company had no reason to fire her except for this one incident, and that the company is wholly in the wrong here. Like icklemiss, I see a whole legal can of worms if they were not following stated policies and there would most definitely be at least talk of a lawsuit if the company were just being coldhearted jerks about it.

I'm all about supporting the military, but I'm just as much about personal responsibility. She could have called in. Common courtesy and a basic sense of professionalism says you have to call in if you aren't going to be to work when they expect you. If she thought that she wouldn't make it that Monday, she could have scheduled it in advance definitively, but she didn't. SHE has some responsibility in being an employee, as does the rest of the world.
post #20 of 29
I feel sorry for this woman, and if I were the boss, I probably wouldn't fire her. However, they did say that there were other issue's involved in her being fired, so I tend to think she probably was walking a thin line on her job, and that last incident was just the straw that broke the camels back.
post #21 of 29
I find this bizarre actually as I just experienced the same sort of thing.

When my mum died last week, I phoned and told them I would be off for at least a week but didn't tell them exactly which day I would be back.

They assumed I was coming in on this last Monday and I did hint that I may..
But I didn't come in until Tuesday. While a tremendous amount of work had to be covered, my employers were pretty super about it. I came back to a card and a gift.

I do know that I am given leeway at my job as I do it well, I overextend myself and go above and beyond. I am no martyr but do this so I can have alot of flexibility.
When you are a good employee, your employer will generally recognize this.

If there were no other issues whatsoever with this woman, I would have to say that her employer has to be the spawn of Satan himself. Otherwise, no reasonable human being would do this...THis makes me think there is alot more to this story than what is portrayed.
I can't believe she would get fired for simply one day of absenteeism.
post #22 of 29
Yes we can never assume.
But I still think they are cold blooded.
If there were other things involved (and of course they are going to say that NOW) they should have fired her for those "other things"
They blew it IMO and the negative press cannot be worth it IMO.
There are alot of cold blooded employers out there that could care less about their employees and we all can agree with that.

The company should have waited and got her on something else. The bad press they are getting will hurt them and I am glad. Geesh, give the woman a break.

My father worked at John Deere Tractor Works for 42 years. Union company, of course. They used to catch people sleeping on the job for crying out loud and they couldn't fire them as the Union would not permit it.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv
My father worked at John Deere Tractor Works for 42 years. Union company, of course. They used to catch people sleeping on the job for crying out loud and they couldn't fire them as the Union would not permit it.
Unions - now there's a whole other can of worms! Sorry - not on topic so I'll leave it at that.

Most companies have to have given 3 warnings (at least here in Canada) before they can legally fire someone. I agree there is definitely more to this story than meets the eye as I'm certain that no employer would risk a lawsuit and their reputation if they didn't feel they could defend their position.
post #24 of 29
I think given the circumstances and the time we live in, they could have given her the benefit of the doubt and let her have ONE extra day. For all I know, she didn't deserve the benefit of the doubt, or they were hoping she wouldn't come in so they could fire her. I just know that if she worked for me, I would have probably had someone call her to see what's going on and explain to her that she needs to be in the next day. She had a week prior to her husband leaving, which I think is great, but I would think she'd need a day or two afterwards as well.

It would also make a difference if she had called in that day and said she needed an extra day to tie up loose ends or do whatever. It seems like she just didn't show up, and that makes it seem like she was taking advantage of them. Even if she had an agreement to "come in or not, whichever" she should have still called.

Still, it's hard for me to fault her, given her circumstances and probable state of mind. There are things both parties could have done better and probably should have. Ultimately, she will be fine. Like someone else said, they can get her a job where they're able to be more lenient.
post #25 of 29
I can see both sides of the issue. On one hand, if she is a model employee, and just needed one extra day after driving out of state to see her hubby off, firing her is outrageous! But after reading the article, I kind of thought it seemed like there were other circumstances. And of course the company cannot tell the newspaper that she misses lots of work.

Maybe I'm thinking this way because dd just lost her job for missing too many days.
post #26 of 29
Have to agree. Some sympathy for this woman is warranted. It is one day.
The heartlessness of some people astounds me.
Bet they wish they had done it differently now.
post #27 of 29
I think there is so much more to this story. Why did she not return on the day she was supposed to? She is in the wrong right there! I do not think she shoujld be accorded more sympathy simply because her husband is going on extended leave. Many people in various occupations go to dangerous places or engage in dangerous work or are parents of ill children in hospital. They make arrangements with their employer and if they cannot return on a date they agreed to, they should at least call to let the employer know. If they do not - and the employer is put in a position where they have t sramble to fill the positon on short notice or someone else has to do the work of this person or if they meet a crucial deadline or have to cancel something because of it, I would not blame them for being upset. The very least she should have done was inform them she would be delayed. They were quite generous in giving her the week I think.

We do not know her work history tho the spokeperson says thee are other issues. Before I make a decision on how I feel about this, I would need to more about it. But it IS clear that if you have a contract with an employer, you should honour it and if you cannot for whatever reason, you let them know. I would like to know if they contacted her the day she did not come back to find out why not. Once, after landing in ER after a car accident, all I could think of was reaching my employer - at the time another hospital since I was still a Resident - to let them know I would not be able to be there. I felt horrible that my car accident would leave them short handed or that some other equally exhausted Resident would have to take my place!

Her employers were kind in giving her time to spend with her husband before he left to be away from home but she seems to have abused it. Even if she was ill, she should have let them know! That was irresponsible on her part no matter what the circumstances. She may have not cared for her work and they might well have been not the best employer but if that was the case, she should have been searching elsewhere - not adding problems to her work history.

I'd like to know the rest of the story so to speak. Was this the final straw for the company so to speak? Did she frequently miss time - and used their sympathy to take yet another day? It might be seen as heartless if she had never missed a day of work (but the fact the 5 days were without pay suggests she may not have had any time coming to her since she had used it all but it's hard to know for sure). It would be unprofessional for the company to make that info public so they look like they are the bad guys here even tho they may not be. But it is literally impossible to know.
post #28 of 29
Not much of an opinion on the topic, due to lack of information as it currently stands so it could go either ways.

My only comment is on the posts ckblv. I do not know if you realised it but your opinions are really contradicting each other:

You recognised that "we can never assume" whether was she a good or bad employee but you claim the company is cold-hearted and could not care about the employees. If she was a bad employee, then the company must have been quite generous not to have fired her in the past and kept on giving her chances. The only way the company is cold-hearted is if you reject the claim that she is a bad employee.

Then you mentioned that the company "should have waited and got her on something else" which seems to suggest that you agree that she was a bad employee. Yet in the next sentence you claim that you are glad that the "bad press they are getting will hurt them" which seems to now suggest that she is a good employee. But if she was a good employee and the only problem the company has is of her not coming in, then your suggestion that the company "should have waited and got her on something else" seems to suggest that you are advocating for a company to be cold-hearted and fire a person for missing a day but just doing it more strategically and less honestly.
post #29 of 29
LOL, ahhh well nobody is perfect.
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