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Childfree Woman Shamed For Refusing Unpaid Overtime To Help Pregnant Coworker On Bed Rest

Cropped Pregnant woman, sitting in crossed legs in be at home holding her belly
BasilicoStudioStock/Getty Images

It takes a village to have and raise a child.

That is the age-old saying.

The question is…

Is everyone just expected to be part of the village?

Is there a sign-up sheet?

If you refuse, are you exiled?

So many questions.

When people have kids, of course, help is necessary.

But who sets the boundaries and why?

Case in point…

Redditor Content_Plate1802 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for not helping my pregnant coworker?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (F[emale] 27) work in a team of 5.”

“One of the members, let’s call her Ava is pregnant.”

“Our company allows only 6 months paid maternity leave.”

“Ava has been having a rough pregnancy and has been ordered bed rest by her doctor.”

“She is only in her second trimester.”

“But she has already been calling in sick a lot and has extinguished her paid sick leaves.”

“She and her husband are renting and are not doing great financially.”

“They need her income for the next 5 months till the baby is due and she can officially go on paid maternity leave.”

“Our boss asked us to figure it out.”

“We cannot actually do our work remotely.”

“To enable her to work remotely, we will have to dedicate hours of our work time working on behalf of her physically and gathering info she requires.”

“It will be very difficult to do and to complete our own work, we will have to work additional hours.”

“Our company doesn’t pay overtime.”

“All others in my team already have family and kids.”

“I am the only one without kids or as others said, responsibilities.”

“They asked me to do the additional work to help Ava out.”

“I said no.”

“I sympathize with Ava.”

“But she made a decision to have a baby and I cannot work extra hours every day to help her.”

“They said I was being an AH for not helping.”

“I told them if they cared so much, let us all help together.”

“Then everyone will have fewer extra hours to work.”

“They complained they cannot since they have family to get back to and responsibilities.”

“I said I have my own life too.”

“Either we all help together, taking turns or we don’t help.”

“I am not going to sacrifice all my days for her.”

“None of them want to help and I let our boss know.”

“He hired a temporary replacement for Ava.”

“Ava and the rest of my colleagues are calling me an AH now.”

The OP was left to wonder,


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“Not sure where OP is, but there are usually provisions to take a short-term leave due to disability, sometimes paid, sometimes with government benefits.”

“That means the employer is probably not paying her directly, so they can afford a temp, but they do have to hold the job for her once she is back from maternity leave.”

“NTA to not want to donate money to one’s employers.”  ~ shelwood46

“NTA. Managing staff and the workloads is literally a management problem.”

“Let a manager step up and deal with it.”

“If they suggest unpaid hours, refuse.”

“If they offer paid time, get it in writing or refuse(coz it’s a slippery slope).”

“If people are hostile to you in work, put it down as bullying and harassment, make a note of it, times, places you were, the substance of the conversation, who said what etc.”

“Keep copies of your notes outside of work or locked on your phone that they cannot access.”

“If staff got to manage all their own workloads and problems, there’d be a whole bunch of people doing f**k all(like your manager making it your problem).” ~ Sirix_8472

“NTA! Well done!”

“I would’ve said yes, then become exhausted and complained more at home and probably hit the wall. Which helps no one.”

“You even offered an alternative solution for Ava and the team before going to the boss which was generous in itself.” ~ Clean-Seaweed-8186

“And the co-workers are the second-biggest a**holes, for telling the OP that they can’t help the pregnant lady, but that the OP is TA for failing to do everything they could be doing if they chose.”

“Basically, the OP has been piled on by a group of dedicated a**holes, and I don’t see a solution with the existing structure of a**holes.”

“I hope that the company’s rivals are hiring.”

“NTA and not your problem.”

“It is the boss’s problem to make sure the work is done and the company’s problem to make sure they hire enough staffing to complete all the work.”

“Surprise surprise.”

“When the employees refused to take a bunch of extra work for no pay, they were forced to hire another staff member, which is what they should have done all along.” ~ tealcandtrip

OP responded…

“The company is actually benefitting from this.”

“If we agreed to help her, they would be paying her salary.”

“Since we are not, they hired a replacement for a lesser amount than her salary (she has more years so would have to be paid more).”

“Her post is not hard to replace either.”  

Reddit continued…

“NTA. And yes, the manager is definitely TA here for creating unnecessary conflict instead of doing their job.”

“OP should point out to their co-workers that the company could choose to help Ada instead of making it their problem.”

“If the company isn’t willing to pay extra money to an employee who can’t work, it is not reasonable to expect another employee to work uncompensated to fix that.” ~ slinkimalinki

“NTA, but your employer and coworkers sure as hell are.”

“Also, if you’re getting paid hourly, you cannot be required to work without compensation.” ~ Countess_Sardine

“NTA – my wife has to fight this every year with holiday schedules.”

“She works a job that is an essential service and this HAS to be covered 24/7.”

“Her co-workers always try to goad her into working every holiday ‘because we have kids and families and it’s just you and your husband.'”

“The hell it’s not.”

“We both have families, both have parents (thankfully) and WE are a family in any case and our desire to spend holidays together is just as valid as anyone else’s.”

“Point being, you’re right.”

“If they all aren’t willing to take on the extra work, there is no reason why you should either.”

“It would be different if they all agreed and you refused, but that’s not the case here so NTA.” ~ TheDreadPirateJeff

“Oh My God, this reminded me of one of my old high school teachers.”

“Whenever someone would have an absence because of important family matters (such as a funeral, sickness of a close family member, etc) she would go off on us like ‘You do not have families yet. You do not have important family matters.'”

“So one day I went off on her.”

“I asked her if my mom, who was in the hospital at the time, about to give birth to my youngest sister, was a stranger to me.”

“I asked her, if my great-grandmother, whose funeral I was attending, was a stranger to me.”

“I asked her if two of my already existing younger sisters were strangers to me.”

“She didn’t have an answer to that.”

“My partner got five days off when I had twisted my knee because he said his girlfriend needed to be taken care of.”

“Hospitals across the country gave it to him no additional questions asked, because family is family, even if you don’t have paperwork to back it up.”

“Don’t ever let your employer or your coworkers tell you, that you don’t have ‘real’ family.” ~ TiredOldestSister

“NTA. Entitled parents are the worst.”

“You 100% did the right thing, and eventually so did your boss.”

“Obviously he was hoping not to have to hire a temp, but that’s a management issue.”

“Stand your ground both now and in the future with this, they aren’t your kids, they aren’t your problem, and not having kids in no way makes your time less valuable to you.” ~ SingularityMechanics

“NTA. This would be a discrimination case if you’d be forced to work extra on the grounds of not having kids.”

“Tell your boss or H[uman] R[esources] about retaliation after your refusal to work for yourself and extra for Ava.” ~ Trespassingw

“NTA. Just because you don’t have children doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities and a life outside of your job.”

“It’s unfortunate she’s been put on bed rest so early into her pregnancy, especially when they should be saving for a baby, but that shouldn’t affect you and your life. Good luck.” ~ chevroni88

“When your boss said ‘figure it out,’ he pretty much meant for you to do her work for her.”

“Welcome to the world of the childless employee in today’s workplace.”

“Your life is not as important as anyone else’s because you do not have children, the only thing that is of any value in the eyes of many people with children.”

“You are lesser than them.”

“It’s not your obligation to do her work for her for any reason, including whatever her personal issues are. NTA.” ~ SuperPookypower

“Ava is not exactly entitled to wanting sick leave if she is on bed rest.”

“Heck, where I live paid sick leave is the norm.”

“The land of the free, where you can go bankrupt because you are ill or God forbid pregnant.”

“Obviously OP is still NTA.” ~ UndeadWithoutCoffee

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

It’s your time.

You owe nobody anything.

Just because you’re not a parent doesn’t me you’re the office lapdog.

Hopefully, this all works out for “Ava” health-wise.

In the meantime, keep taking care of you.