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Boss Asks Worker To Take A Photo As ‘Proof’ Of Her Calling Police After She Left Work For An Emergency

Photo: ArtOlympic | Shutterstock
police car with flashing lights

It seems like workers have to jump through more and more hoops to get what they need these days. One woman shared her own example of this on TikTok.

After a woman left work because of an emergency, her boss forced her to provide proof that she had called the police.

A woman named Jillian shared a screenshot of her boss’s strange request with her followers.

“I had to leave work for a home emergency and my boss didn’t believe me,” she wrote in the video.

She included a text from her boss, which read, “If you really call the police, please take a screenshot and send it to me. Thank you.”

   

   

Despite the strange nature of the request, Jillian took it in stride. She next showed a screenshot of the photo she sent to her boss, which featured her smiling and giving a thumbs-up in front of two police cars.

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Viewers who commented on Jillian’s video were far from surprised.

Instead, they shared their own bizarre experiences with bosses who didn’t want them to take time off for any reason.

   

   

“My supervisor thought I was lying when I left work early because my grandfather had a stroke,” one person said. “I pulled her aside [during] my next shift and told her off. My grandpa died two weeks later.”

“My boss thought I was faking abdominal pain when I left work early and ended up in the hospital for internal bleeding of my spleen. Kept asking if I could work the next day … I was hospitalized,” another stated.

A third person chimed in with what might be the strangest story of all. “This happened to me when I had to call off work when I was in a house fire,” they said. “Needless to say, the chief of fire got on the phone with my manager.”

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Laws regarding what employers can ask when you take time off are murky.

California-based Aegis Law Firm addressed the issue of what exactly an employer can ask when you call out sick, something it seemed that many people who commented on Jillian’s video had done before their bosses took ridiculous measures to get them back to work.

According to the firm, “In general, employers have the right to inquire about an employee’s absence from work due to illness or injury. However, there are limitations to the type and extent of information that an employer can request.”

   

   

These limitations include “information [not] relevant to the employee’s absence from work” and “specific medical information.”

However, they also stated, “It is illegal for an employer to harass, retaliate or discriminate against an employee for using sick time as long as it was taken for a legitimate reason and was used in accordance with company policy and applicable laws.”

Regardless of what exactly the law says about a boss asking why you took time off, it seems strange and unnecessary to ask for a screenshot to prove someone really called the police.

In a culture where more is expected of workers every day, it doesn’t seem that surprising that a boss would ask for confirmation that their employee really did have an emergency that forced them to leave work. However, it also feels ridiculous and even dangerous that someone would have to take time away from said emergency to send a photo as proof.

Perhaps employees need to be entitled to more personal time to avoid mishaps like this. Or, perhaps employers should just be a bit more trusting, understanding that an emergency often truly is an emergency.

In a perfect world, employers would afford their workers both.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.