Boss Accused Of Having 'No Heart' After Firing An 'Unmotivated' Employee Who Lost Both Of His Parents

He claimed that the employee wasn't performing at the same level as he had been before losing his parents.

bosses firing sad employee with his head in hands SUWANNAR KAWILA via Canva Pro

A boss has been accused of having no compassion for one of his employees who had gone through a traumatic experience and now wonders if he might've acted too harshly. Posting to the subreddit "r/AITA," he explained that the decision to fire one of his employees came after noticing his lack of motivation.

He wonders if he's wrong for firing an employee who had recently lost both of his parents.

In his Reddit post, he explained that he's the Vice President of Sales at a software company, and one of his sales development representatives had recently lost both of his parents in a car crash. He acknowledged that the 22-year-old employee had been with the company for the last 10 months and was incredibly hardworking.


"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," he wrote.

Following his parent's accident, the 22-year-old was given a month of paid leave to grieve before returning to work, where his boss noticed that he was incredibly "unmotivated" and his performance was "severely lacking," which shouldn't have been that shocking considering he had recently horrifically lost his parents.

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Unfortunately, the employee's boss wasn't as empathetic as he should've been.

He claimed that he, along with the entire management team, decided that due to his poor performance, he should be let go. "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," the boss claimed.

The entire management team called him into their offices to give him the news, and unsurprisingly, the employee was incredibly rude about the reality that he was being fired right after losing both of his parents. "He was very calm and rude about it. Told us to go [expletive] 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."

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This boss' lack of empathy proves that employers acting insensitively can harm the work culture.

In situations like these, employers must recognize the depth of the pain and difficulty that an employee is going through. It's natural for anyone who has experienced such a loss to go through a period of grieving and adjustment. 


The decision to fire the employee stems from a lack of understanding and compassion. Rather than giving him the time and space he needed to heal, the employer rushed to a decision that most likely only added to his distress, and unfortunately, lack of empathy from an employer is one of the many reasons why people often leave companies and dislike the work environment.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 working-class Americans, 54% revealed that they left a previous job because their boss wasn't empathetic to their struggles or personal lives. Similarly, of the 889 United States workers surveyed by the non-profit organization Catalyst, 76% say they feel engaged with an empathetic boss while only 32% feel the same way with an unempathetic boss.

Being able to recognize that there are certain instances in which employees might not be able to help bring aspects of their personal lives into the workplace is vital. A little compassion can go a long way in maintaining a positive work culture and showing employees that they are valued not just for the work they are putting in, but as human beings with feelings and vulnerabilities.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.