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Woman Asks If She's 'Heartless' After Refusing To Give Mother's Day Off To Her Coworker Who Tragically Lost Her Child

Photo: Mizuno K, Engin Akyurt / Pexels, sparklestroke via CanvaPro
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A woman has sparked a feud with her coworkers after she refused to donate one of her vacation days to a mother who recently lost her eight-year-old son unexpectedly.

She argues that she was planning on using the day in question to catch up on studying for her finals. However, her coworkers are calling her “heartless.” Now, she is wondering if she should have given the vacation day to the grieving mother while she chose another day to take off. 

It was her coworker's first Mother’s Day without her son after his sudden passing. 

Sharing her story to the Reddit forum, r/AmITheA–hole, the 22-year-old woman sought the advice of other users regarding the situation. She began her post by revealing that she is a full-time student who works part-time. Last year, one of her coworkers, whom she refers to as “Linda” tragically lost her eight-year-old son in an accident. The loss affected the entire staff.

“We were terribly heartbroken because we had met the kid a bunch of times before since she was a single mother and sometimes had to take him here,” the woman wrote. As a contribution, she and her other coworkers signed off some of their own paid days off to give to Linda, who took off work for two months following the accident. 

RELATED: Childless Woman Asks If She’s Wrong For Not Changing Vacation So Co-Worker Could Take Her Kids To Disney World

Three years ago, the company changed management. The woman’s new boss believed that all of her employees were entitled to holidays, including Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Mother’s Day, off even if they did not have families.

“She said that if people had kids then we obviously had a mother and we deserved to spend the day [Mother’s Day] with her,” the woman shared. However, her boss still compiled a list of employees who requested the day off in advance so that they could decide among themselves if they wanted to trade their paid days off with each other. 

The woman claims that she is the only non-mother who has the day off. While she is estranged from her own mother, she plans to use the day to catch up on studying for her final exams. A few of the mothers she works with have asked her if she could give them her day off instead, which she has politely declined. One of her coworkers who asked was Linda.

“Linda approached me and said that this will be her first mother's day without her son, so she wanted to ask me if I could trade her day with her,” she wrote. “Again, I said no and told her how sorry I was, she said thanks and went back to her space.” 

RELATED: Woman Wonders If She's Wrong For Not Giving Employee Day Off For Her Daughter's 'Chemo'

After the woman’s interaction with Linda, her other coworkers did not hide how they felt about it.

“One of the other moms (who already traded her day with one of the guys) said I was an a–hole for not giving it to her since I don't even talk to my mom anymore and just for that, I don't deserve it,” the woman wrote. When she asked the mother why she did not give the day off to Linda herself, she argued that it was because she was a mother of five.

While other coworkers are agreeing that the woman should have donated Mother’s Day to Linda, her boss believes that she is entitled to keep it. 

“I don't know how losing a child feels, I don't even plan on having them. But when I decided to go no contact with my mom I lost the only family I had,” she admitted. “I'm also alone and I have to keep my scholarship so I can study and sometimes get 2 jobs and freelance stuff to pay for my place and my own things… I hardly take days off because I really need the money, I wasn't even using the day to lay around or rest. I was trading work from work.”

RELATED: Woman Tells Boss It's Her Time Of The Month & Gets Sent Home — Others Can't Believe She Got PTO 

Many Redditors sided with the woman, believing that it was not her responsibility to give Linda the day off. 

“The idea that coworkers should be sacrificing their days off to cover the inequities of the company is straight up f–keed up and exploitative. That ain't your concern. It's the employers,” one user pointed out.

“You shouldn’t have been harassed by ANYONE for refusing to trade the day. Your manager set this up poorly & that shortsighted setup created this situation,” another user commented.

“I'm a mom who lost her child. I don't think there's anything wrong with her asking and I don't think there's anything wrong with you saying no. The a–holes are all the other coworkers being a–holes about your response,” one parent shared. 

Other users criticized corporate America for making it impossible for Linda to be granted more time off to cope and grieve her loss. In many cases, employees receive a minimum of three days of bereavement leave for the death of an immediate family member. However, many companies offer up to two weeks of paid leave. 

In this case, it was not the woman’s fault that the grieving mother could not have the surely difficult day off. It was the company for not granting her the day off in the first place so she had to depend on her coworkers. 

RELATED: Manager Loses It & Threatens To Fire Employee After They Refuse To Come In And Work On Their Day Off

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