Employee Who Missed A Day Of Work After A House Fire Was Told He Would Not Be Paid Because He Was Not ‘Technically Sick’

His boss claimed that it would not be fair to his colleagues.

employee upset after house fire ApinBen4289 / Scott Leman / Shutterstock 

After an employee lost nearly everything in a tragic house fire, he understandably had to take a day off of work to sift through the rubble and come to terms with what happened. However, his boss was less than sympathetic toward his situation, refusing to compensate him for the time he had no choice but to take off. 

The employee’s boss notified him that he would not be paid for his time off after the house fire since he ‘technically’ wasn’t sick. 

Ben Askins, a content creator who often shares employee’s mind-boggling stories involving their bosses, took to TikTok to share the man’s unfortunate circumstances. 


“Last year, I had a house fire and lost the contents of my bedroom. Clothes, bed, everything,” the man wrote. “The house was full of smoke damage and needed cleaning and redecorating.” 

The man, a full-time employee, did not go to work the day after the fire as he had nothing to wear and had to clean out the house. His boss later informed him that that day’s pay would be subtracted from his salary for that month since he was “not technically ill” and could not use one of his sick days. 



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“When something happens in your personal life that impacts your professional life, which happens to everyone, a company has a choice,” Atkins explained. “They can either decide that they’re going to abide by all the marketing collateral where they bang on about how much they care about their team, and actually help step up and make it helpful, or they can make the situation worse.” 

This employee’s company clearly chose the second option. 

“Can you imagine how stressful this is?” Askins pointed out. “You’ve lost all your clothes, dealing with landlords, dealing with firemen, dealing with insurance. That is a [expletive] stressful situation!” 

When the employee asked his boss why he could not be compensated for the day off, he was told that if they did it for him, they would have to do it for everyone. 


“Do they think loads of their employees’ houses are just burning down and this is a common problem?” Askins wondered. “And if this is a common problem, you’ve got way bigger issues than one day’s pay for that team member.” 

“It’s an awful situation and they just made it a million times worse,” he added. 

Employee Who Missed A Day Of Work After A House Fire Was Told He Would Not Be Paid Because He Was Not Technically SickPhoto: voronaman / Shutterstock


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Many online criticized the boss’ evident lack of sympathy or humanity. 

“A day’s pay is the least a company can do to rally around an employee after a house fire or serious tragedy,” one TikTok user commented. 

"My dad had a stroke, I rang my job to tell them I wouldn’t be in (expecting it to be recorded as sickness). They gave it to me as compassionate leave," another user shared. "Small gesture but made me appreciate them."

Other commenters urged the man to start looking for a new job, revealing that they would have quit immediately if they were in his shoes. 


While it is entirely up to the employer and the company to decide if an employee should be granted additional sick days or time off, showing compassion and support should be standard. The employee should have been given the time and space to address their immediate needs without worrying about work obligations. 



Employees are also more likely to feel valued and appreciated by their employer if they are supported during challenging times. Offering extra sick days for personal emergencies can enhance employee morale, satisfaction, and loyalty, leading to higher retention rates and a more engaged workforce. 

In life, certain situations unfold that are beyond our control, and we may have to take a step back from work. It is important to note that your well-being, health, and safety should always be prioritized, even over your professional life


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.