Woman’s Sister Dies Unexpectedly, She Asks For A Day Off Work, But Coworker Says No Because Of Her Religious Beliefs
The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to deal with. When someone is grieving, it’s helpful if everyone else around them can try to make their life a little bit easier. Dropping off meals so they don’t have to cook, making important phone calls when they just don’t have the energy, and being there to make sure that they feel supported can all go a long way. The last thing you want to deal with when navigating a great loss is trying to find someone to cover your shift at work. But unfortunately, sometimes employers are not willing to help out, and coworkers cannot always accommodate you.
4 days ago, one teenager reached out to the “Am I The Jerk?” subreddit to share the heartbreaking story of how they recently lost their sister. While attempting to get a shift covered at work so they could attend their sister’s funeral, they ended up in an ethically questionable situation. Below, you can read the full story and decide whether you think they were wrong for requesting help from their coworker, and then let us know what you think in the comments. Then if you’re interested in another Bored Panda piece featuring the same subreddit, check out this story next.
This employee recently asked the internet if they were wrong for how they went about trying to get a shift covered
Image credits: Julia Taubitz (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Cynthia Smith (not the actual photo)
Image credits: vcottonpicker
The employee also clarified some details about the situation in the comments
Many of the commenters noted that it should not be the responsibility of this employee to get their shift covered in a situation like this. Family emergencies do not happen every day, and it would be ridiculous to assume they could miss their sister’s funeral to go to work. In unique circumstances such as these, the boss should be willing to step in and cover the shift. They should be qualified to cover any of their employees’ shifts, and they should understand that it is not a situation that is going to happen often. There is no need for them to be completely heartless.
Some people said it was wrong to ask multiple times
When it comes to bereavement leave, what this employee is entitled to completely depends on where they live. But taking a day off to attend a funeral of an immediate family member should not require jumping through hoops. Whether that day off would be paid or not might be in question, but that was clearly not this person’s concern. They just wanted to be able to grieve with their family and celebrate their beloved sister. If this employee lives in the United States, for example, there is no specific, mandated bereavement leave, but the U.S. Family Medical Leave Act does allow employees to take up to 12 weeks off (unpaid) for family-related matters. Surely, this would qualify as a “family-related matter”.
While readers are split on the issue, the majority agreed that the crux of the matter is how the employer responded
In a tricky situation like this one, where a coworker who would normally cover a shift cannot work due to religious reasons, the employer should not even hesitate to step up. This worker was not asking for a day off to go on vacation or attend a concert, and they are likely going through the worst thing they have ever experienced at the moment. Employers need to remember to be compassionate towards their employees because I’m sure if they lost a loved one, they would be attending the funeral without any questions as well. Let us know what you think about this situation in the comments, and if you have ever had to deal with a difficult employer during a time like this, we would love to hear how you stood your ground.