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Manager Called Out For Firing Grieving Employee Two Months After His Parents Died In Car Accident


There never is a perfect time to fire someone.

Well unless of course they’ve set the building on fire.

But during a time mourning is certainly a moment you may want to rethink before you hand someone their walking papers.

Case in point…

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

They asked:

“AITA For Firing An Employee After His Parents Died?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I’m the V[ice] P[resident] of Sales at a software company and one of our sales development reps parents passed away at the beginning of April.”

“Sadly they were involved in a car crash and both lost their lives.”

“Now the employee in question is a very young 22 year old guy and has been with us for about 10 months now.”

“He’s a great employee and we were thinking about promotions in the next ~6 months for him.”

“His job is a high paying one for a new grad, about ~90k with commission and base so we expect a lot from this position.”

“Because of the accident we let him take a 1 month paid leave of absence from work and he’s returned a few weeks ago and his performance is severely lacking.”

“He’s super unmotivated, not cold calling, not out reaching to prospects for the last 2-3 weeks enough since he’s come back.”

“Our whole management team has noticed this and we decided to let him go because we feel like he’d need months and months to be able to produce again and we can’t just wait that long.”

“We called him into a meeting on Friday afternoon and gave him the bad news, he was very calm and rude about it.”

“Told us to go f**k ourselves and got up and went to his desk grabbed his few things and left.”

“I thought this was very very unprofessional and extremely rude.”

“I told my boyfriend about all of this and he said myself and my management team are a bunch of a**es and pricks with no hearts.”


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 the A**hole.

“YTA for firing him without first going through the steps of describing his issues to him and giving him a chance to improve.”

“He’s been back for only 2-3 weeks.”

“It’s not about ‘having heart.'”

“It’s about making a dumb business decision for both you and him.”

“So much smarter to work with this guy to get him back on track after a temporary setback than to push the eject button and have to find and start over with a new person. Dumb.” ~ milee30

“Seriously, WTAF.”

“It’s been ‘a couple weeks’ and you all decide to fire him with no warning, no P[erformance] I[mprovement] P[lan] nothing?”

“Not only are you an a**hole, but so is everyone else who was involved in this decision.”  ~ nyorifamiliarspirit

“It’s good business (generally) to support your employees that are generating your commission and profits.”

“You know, so they can continue to generate said profits for you.”

“Instead of now searching for someone else and hoping they work out, losing commission potential during that entire search.” ~ SpaceCricket

“And what about the aspect of the poor dude, who has been fired?”

“Telling people about how terribly this company has treated him when one of the worst thing he has and will have gone through in his life has just happened.”

“Great way to get a terrible reputation.” ~ chide_tea

“At only 22 years old too?”

“I know middle aged people who have fallen into a deep depression after losing a parent.”

“This sounds like a sh*t company that doesn’t have their employees’ backs, and I wish best of luck to the poor kid.”

“OP, I’d suggest partnering with a counseling service for your staff as your leadership seems grossly socially inept.”

“Oh and YTA, this might be the clearest example I’ve EVER seen here.” ~ Dudeguyked

“Sadly I believe this to be real.”

“After hearing my dad had died of cancer I stayed to finish out the day so they wouldn’t fall too far behind.”

“I only stayed one additional day after my dad’s funeral to help my mom get things in order, and came back to a huge pile of work that my coworkers could have pitched in to help with.”

“I was told ‘that’s what happens when you take a vacation’ by the owner’s daughter/office manager who did virtually no work but made 6 figures.”

“He died on Wednesday, I was back to work the next Wednesday.”

“No flowers sent, no bereavement pay, nothing.”

“I had used all of my vacation already getting him treatment and into hospice.”

“I had been there 4 years, they had MET my dad… f**k people like that.”

“Just a**holes all around.”

“ETA: Yes, YTA and apparently have zero empathy.”

“I don’t know if your parents are still alive, but you should hope you don’t get f**ked over by an employer if/when something happens to them like you did to this young man.”  ~ ILuvMyLilTurtles

“Yeah YTA, other ‘good’ employees will see how this guy was treated and start thinking about leaving because who wants to work for a company that treats it’s best employees like this?”

“Really dumb business move.”  ~ CapK473

“Honestly I kinda hope something similar happens to these a**holes and then they get blindsided with being fired for not being able to instantly deal with a horrible accident.”

“Like these people probably don’t know anything about the stress that death brings to an individual and expect them to work until death for them.” ~ Punishtube

“YTA. This is exactly why change does not come in the world.”

“Because our employments and the state have us by our neck and balls and will throw us away like garbage.”  ~ REDDIT

“Yup, congrats YTA.”

“If this is isn’t a sh**post well done, you pulled a poor morning kid’s remaining stability and livelihood out from under him.”

“4 weeks after his parents passed away.”

“Hope the rest of the team’s moral stays high after this one.”  ~ gratespeller

“YTA. Without a doubt.”

“You gave him 2-3 weeks after he came back before you fired him?”

“That’s not enough time to start underperforming and be fired for someone who DIDN’T experience such a tragedy.”

“If you really cared or were a decent company, you’d find him a mentor, maybe start pulling him aside and coaching him.”

“Find ways to bring up the problems but making it work for you both for at least a couple months. Wow.” ~ damlamelody

“You are absolutely the a**hole. 100% YTA.”

“Death is incredibly serious and takes time to heal from.”

“He is a human being.”

“I am so appalled that you made the decision to do that.”

“The stress of losing people you hold close is completely unimaginable.”

“I can’t even begin to understand how much worse that gets after you lose your income directly after.”

“Seriously, I am just so disgusted with this action.”

“Especially considering he was a great employee who you seemed to feel had room to grow with the company.” ~ blackmetalwarlock

“YTA- There were better options than just straight up firing him.”

“Maybe have a meeting about his job performance?”

“See if he needs counseling?”

“This dude is clearly in the depths of despair, firing him was immature.”  ~ HardBoiledLibrary

“YTA. I’ve been a manager for a fair while and this is a horrid way of dealing with it.”

“I’d be surprised if he doesn’t take your company to an onbudsman for an unfair dismissal.”

“Where was the caution, warnings, written letters?”

“Hopefully he’ll have your company and you over a barrel.”  ~ Pukit

“Damn, you’re 100% a giant stinky a**hole for this.”

“My best friend lost both of his parents in a similar fashion, and his employer was phenomenal about easing him back into the role, providing feedback, and supporting him along the way as he acclimated.”

“Most importantly, they didn’t abandon him, and he now speaks candidly about how having a job and purpose kept him engaged and provided him with a reason to go on and not take his own life too.”

“And what’d y’all do?”

“Sure, you have him a month of bereavement, and then treated him like every other ‘normal’ employee upon his return.”

“Can you practice a little empathy here?”

“If BOTH your parents passed away in your early 20’s, would a month be sufficient for your grieving?”

“Maybe you’re some sort of advanced human, buy this happens to my friend at age 29 in 2016 and he still lives his life one day at a time.”

“This is an excellent case of when you, as a manager, should’ve practiced equity over equality.”

“Holding him to the standard of non-grieving employees is bananas, y’all are crazy.”

“And the guilt that’s gnawing away at your conscience?”

“Well deserved.” ~ Nwo_mayhem

OP came back with an Update…

“Holy crap this blew up, I know this was shi**y of me now.”

“And I reached out to him to see how he’s holding up.”

“He’s staying at his GF’s place and she’s supporting him a lot right now.”

“I offered to get my head hunter friend in touch with him when he’s ready and he accepted.” 

Well OP… there isn’t much more to say.

Reddit covered just about everything.

So glad you took the initiative to reach out to this young man.

Hopefully his healing can begin.