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Man Is Fired From His Job Because He Was Unavailable The Day He Lost His Daughter — 'I Lost My Job & My Little Girl The Same Day'

Photo: @dablnetwork / TikTok
Adam and Michael Rubin on Undercover Boss

A man from Florida who was featured on the show "Undercover Boss" in 2010 revealed that he’d lost a previous position at a “major cell phone company” due to what he called a “very bad personal situation.”

The employee, named Adam, was fired from his job because he wasn’t available to work on the day he lost his daughter.

In a heart-to-heart with Michael Rubin, the CEO of GSI Commerce, who acted as the undercover boss for that episode of the series, Adam revealed the painful story of how he lost his job on the same day that his daughter passed away.

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“I ended up losing my daughter, and the day that I lost my daughter, I was unable to go in and work that Black Friday, and just due to that, they said that my services were no longer needed,” he explained.



Rubin responded, “I hate to even ask you how you lost your daughter; I have a daughter myself.”

“It was at birth,” Adam said. “Her heart actually just stopped right when she was coming out. They have no idea what caused it.”

He explained that he and his fiancée had planned to get married before she got pregnant, “but now since we have our daughter buried, we’re trying to save up enough money to get the two plots next to our daughter at the cemetery.”

Adam explained that he lost his job and his daughter on the same day, compounding the tragedies.

“I don’t know what to say, other than I’m really sorry,” Rubin stated.

Whatever company Adam previously worked for clearly did not prioritize the emotional well-being of their employees over their own profit. While there are some statewide policies in place that protect bereavement leave for workers, there’s no federal mandate. As a result, the decision to provide that time off is left up to individual companies.

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Bereavement leave is also known as compassionate leave; it constitutes paid or unpaid time off for employees who have lost a loved one. According to an article from Business.com, “It’s in a company’s interest to provide leave if they want their employee to be as mentally healthy as possible and to succeed in their role going forward.”

In another clip from the March 2010 Undercover Boss episode featuring GSI Commerce, Rubin and Adam had a separate interaction, this time in Rubin’s office, with him acting as CEO of the company.

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Rubin told Adam, “Listening to your story personally broke my heart — I was prepared for a lot of things when I went through this; I would be full of it if I said I was remotely prepared for what you told me.”

His reaction to hearing about Adam’s loss is entirely common. All too often, people don’t know how to react when confronted with death and grief, something that’s especially true surrounding the loss of a baby.

Rubin went on to say that he knew how Adam and his fiancée had been saving up to get married, and he offered to put $10,000 towards their wedding. Adam exclaimed, “I’m speechless, I really am. I cannot believe what you’re willing to do for just me.”

Rubin’s monetary assistance with Adam’s wedding plays into the optics of him coming off as a caring, empathic CEO. It’s unclear if that promise was fulfilled.

Employees need bosses to be truly compassionate, beyond moments when they’re in acute need. They need policies set in place that protect them and center their health and well-being.

Paying for a wedding is a kind gesture, but it’s just that: a gesture, and not an action that affects long-lasting change in the workplace.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers workplace issues, pop culture analysis, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.