It is never easy being the boss.
That’s if you do your job and you’re a good boss.
One of the worst things to do is granting and denying time off.
There always seems to be an issue.
Case in point…
Redditor hunmootje to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“WIBTA if I do not give my employee the day off for her ‘sick’ daughter?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“Formatting might be weird; I am on my phone.”
“Okay, I know the title sounds bad, but please hear me out.”
“I (42 F[emale]) am one of the C[hief] E[xecutive] O[fficers]/managers of a multi-located company.”
“I am the CEO of one of the 6 locations they have.”
“And because of that I am responsible for the schedules and employees have to requests days/time off through me.”
“One of my employees is a woman named Kate (36 and NOT her real name).”
“She has already asked for all her time off, not yet taken them, but already asked and given days off in the future.”
“(Think about vacation and just random days she find important).”
“So, conclusion: she does not have any days left to ask off.”
“Yet, she still put in a request and I denied it with the comment she already used all her days and with the question if she wanted to switch one of her days.”
“She didn’t want to, she really needed the day off.”
“I denied it again and a day later she stormed into my office yelling at me she really needed that day.”
“I asked her to close the door and take a seat so we could discuss the issue.”
“That’s when she told me her daughter (7) has cancer.”
“The day she requested off was a chemo day for her daughter and Kate’s husband couldn’t take the day off due to a project he was working on.”
“She cried telling me her daughter missed so much school already, she has to redo the year.”
“I felt immediately sorry for Kate, wished her the best and promised to make something work.”
“When she left I was almost in tears, cancer always hits me personally since I lost a few family members myself due to this disease.”
“Now, mind you. My son (7) goes to the same school as Kate’s daughter, they share some classes.”
“So, that same evening I asked him if he knew Kate’s daughter was sick and if she missed a lot of school already.”
“And if he knew what her favorite snacks are (I wanted to make some kind of health care basket as a gift to Kate from all her colleagues).”
“My son told me Kate’s daughter is not sick, has never missed a day at school and she always brings a specific snack and he would try get the name for me.”
“He even proceeded to tell me they actually talk quite a lot at school and have mutual friends.”
“I was shocked to discover Kate’s lie and almost immediately wanted to deny her day off again.”
“But my husband told me to try and cool down for a minute.”
“I did and now I am torn between choosing to believe my employee or my own son.”
“So, Reddit, tell me: Will I be the a**hole if I believe my son and deny my employee her day of again?”
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
Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.
It’s a tricky situation.
Let’s hear some thoughts…
“If you decided to revoke the day off I would say NTA, BUT hear me out…”
“Steer into the kindness you originally intended.”
“Not because she deserves it, but because you can out her for her lie without being the one to actually point a finger and create conflict that may affect your work.”
“Make a care basket, very obviously show your support, pool people together at work or parents of other classmates to make dinners and deliver them.”
“Give a gold standard supportive community member show and she will very quickly find herself backed into a corner where she must admit her lie.”
“Or in the very very off chance she isn’t lying and perhaps her daughter isn’t being public with her illness or something of that nature.”
“Then you haven’t singled out someone and created intense conflict in your workplace.” ~ MarionberryFree2257
“Doing that preemptively allows the employee to try and conceal her (potential) lie.”
“It would be better to start with something small like asking how her daughter is in front of other coworkers.”
“Where if she freaks out then OP can apologize and say that they had no idea it was meant to be confidential.”
“Plausible deniability but intentional public exposure is the key in a situation like this.” ~ MarionberryFree2257
“I see what you are saying… however, I know in California, that could be taken directly to H[uman] R[esources].
“I like the idea of a gift basket though.”
“OP- You could tell her you want to help pool resources to help her.”
“If she agrees, make her a caregiver gift basket.”
“When you are the main caregiver, most of your attention goes to the person in need.”
“The caregiver gets neglected so much of the time.”
“Put in some aromatherapy, facemask, fancy nuts and chocolate, bath salts, maybe a bottle of wine, whatever.” ~ No_Fix_3094
“Gift basket and showing up to drop it off at her house when her daughter is supposed to be at the hospital for treatment.”
“If she answers the door or her car is there you can catch her in the lie.”
“Especially if you show up after school hours when her daughter would be home to possibly answer the door.”
“I agree NTA for believing your son over this woman, especially because you offered to switch with one of the days off she previously selected.”
“Assuming the reason for taking the other days were nothing to do with the daughter.”
“And she declined the reasonable compromise and immediately turned on the waterworks.”
“Call me cynical, but if the mother was that worried about her daughter she would give up one of her personal days to make sure she had treatment.”
“However, you have to be careful in how you go about proving it was a lie.”
“Go to HR now and tell them you think she is lying and present your own reasoning so that in case of backlash from her the department is already aware of the ruse.” ~ opinionswelcomehere
“You’re right, and there’s a much easier solution.”
“Usually chemo is on a schedule.”
“Does OP’s employee know the chemo schedule now and does she know what days now that she’ll need to be off to take her daughter to the hospital?”
“Does employee mind if OP asks what kind of cancer daughter has?”
“As she’d like to make a gift basket and there’s color themes with certain cancers so wouldn’t want to wrap a ribbon or put a bow on there that would be some kid of faux pas.”
“Or, just be direct.”
“As the cancer treatments are likely to require extra time off of work, you’d like some kind of documentation from the cancer center or the doctor stating that the treatments and parental presence are necessary.”
“Doctors usually have these forms on file ready to whip up as it’s not out of the ordinary for employers to request them.” ~ CaRiSsA504
“I like the sentiment of kill her with kindness.”
“But I feel like this will give her the green light to ask for more days off/exceptions until she is called on her behavior.”
“I doubt she’d willingly admit the lie until she is asked straight out.”
“So OP is probably going to have to ask for proof sooner or later anyway.”
“I think OP should get the required medical proof and then act accordingly.” ~ GlobalDragonfly1305
OP came back with some info…
“Edit: I am not from the US, so we do not have The Family and Medical Leave Act”
“But, with proof attached you’re allowed to have medical days off/sick days of course. When I comes to family members the issue isn’t that easy.”
“My son and Kate’s daughter share some subjects since their school believe in a free-learning method.”
“I don’t really know how to name it in English.”
“But it’s more like free subjects they can choose to do besides obligated subjects as Math, languages etc.”
“I am not CEO AND manager.”
“I don’t really know how to name it.”
“I have 1 boss, the owner of the company and then there are 6 manager over the 6 locations.”
“I am one of them and only responsible for those working at my location.”
“Hopes it clears some things up”
“Edit 2: Kate’s a fictional name!!”
“Someone reached me about the Tyler family and their 7 year old daughter.”
“I did not know about this.”
“Again: I am not from the US.”
“I do wish the Tyler family all the best, my prayers and strength.”
Well this is a conundrum for you OP.
Reddit has some ideas.
Who knows if they’re any good.
And it’s tough… we hope someone wouldn’t be ill of mind enough to lie about a child’s cancer.
But then that would mean a child has cancer.
What a scene.