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Employee Is Fired From Her Job After She Refuses To Show Up To A 'Cleaning Party' On Her Day Off

Photo: Reddit / Fizkes - Shutterstock
woman looking at phone confused

No matter how much we tout the benefits of employees taking time off for workers and companies, there will always be a manager that tries to infringe on the personal time of employees. We hear story after story of unreasonable bosses, under-compensated employees, companies preventing employees from taking time off, and managers lacking sympathy for ill employees.

One woman took to Reddit's r/antiwork subreddit to share an unbelievable conversation between her and her boss. In the post titled, “Got fired from my job because I couldn’t come to a cleaning party on 2-hour notice.” The woman shared a screenshot of the back-and-forth between herself and a supervisor named ‘Sierra.’

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Her boss tried to make her attend a 'mandatory' cleaning 'party.'

Photo: Reddit

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It all started when Sierra sent the woman a text message asking if she could come to a cleaning party from 7:30-8:30 pm that day. Unaware that there was a work responsibility, she said, “I didn’t know anything about a cleaning party. What is that?”

The manager explained that the employees would clean for an hour and then have a meeting afterward. Although she told the Redditor that attendance was mandatory, she ended by saying, “Hope you can make it.”

As expected, the woman was not able to make the impromptu ‘cleaning party’ her boss had planned. She told the woman that since she had not been notified in advance and was out of town, attendance was not an option. The employee reiterated that she’d had no indication that she had to work during her time off.

Astonishingly, the boss responded by telling the woman, “I understand. It sounds like you’re very busy and unfortunately, I don’t think this will be a good fit for you.”

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It didn’t appear there was any further conversation via text at that point, but readers were quick to jump on the side of the worker.

As unfair as it sounds, an employer in an ‘at-will’ state can fire you whenever they see fit and don’t even have to give a reason for doing so. Every state in the U.S. is at-will except for Montana, so you or the company you work for can terminate the relationship at any time for any reason. There are, however, exceptions to the rule, including if there is an implied contract, the covenant of good faith, and public policy.

A caveat to those at-will laws is that it is illegal to terminate or discriminate against you based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, if you are on protected leave from work such as Family and Medical Leave, your employer cannot adversely impact you based on your attendance.  

But terminating for taking planned paid time off (PTO) is a complicated matter. Are all employees treated the same way? Is the request rooted in retaliation? The best course of action is for employers to leave employees undisturbed during planned time off. In this case, the boss may have lost a great employee simply because she could not tolerate a subordinate not yielding to her perceived power.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer and author from Seattle. She covers issues navigating the workplace using the experience garnered over two decades of working in Human Resources & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.