Manager Cancels Worker's Vacation After It Started Because They Missed A Meeting — 'She's Trying To Force Job Abandonment'

A solemn reminder of what it's like to have a bad boss.

Stressed traveler speaking on her phone Nicoleta Ionescu | Shutterstock

In a Reddit post to the “Anti Work” forum, an employee gets candid about his toxic work environment — specifically the delusion of his horrible boss, who crossed the line for the hundredth time just a few days prior.

“She’s been out for my blood since I reported her [to HR] for some stuff,” he admits, almost poking fun at his boss's incredibly fragile ego in the workplace. From being absent during meetings to blatantly emotionally and verbally attacking peers, he admits his boss has been the bane of his existence from the moment he started working there.


Needing a break, he finally got to enjoy a vacation — planned and approved months prior by the same boss who’d cultivated a toxic atmosphere. However, the first day of his vacation he couldn’t help but notice a string of emails and a calendar invite pop up from his team — “I checked in on my computer to find that my manager had scheduled a meeting for my first day of vacation.”

A worker’s manager scheduled a meeting during his approved vacation and tried to reprimand him for missing it: ‘She tried retroactively canceling my PTO.’

“I had my vacation approved back in the January/February timeframe, so I bought tickets and booked a hotel. I spent close to $3k for tickets and a hotel, but really, that's irrelevant for the story, as it's the principle here,” he writes. “I had scheduled two extra days on either side of my trip to give me time to pack and recover, and to burn up some vacation time because I kept running up to the limit.”


RELATED: Boss Tells Worker He Can’t Take His Pre-Approved PTO — Then Cuts His Hours When He Refuses To Cancel His Vacation

When his vacation came around and he started packing, he noticed emails from his boss, along with a last minute calendar invite to a meeting. Being that he was already on vacation, he declined the invite — as any other employee would do — and got back to packing.

However, when the next day rolled around, he saw an email in his inbox, again from his boss — “Since you didn’t show up for the meeting,” it read, “I’m canceling your vacation.”


In another email, she alerted him that she’d be canceling his vacation after it already started — ‘She’s trying to force job abandonment.’

To the dismay and shock of “Anti Work” readers — who’ve experienced some crazy workplace environments and situations on the forum — the poster admitted that his boss did, in fact, cancel his vacation. “I replied to the email basically saying, ‘This was pre-approved, and I’m not accessible during this time — bye!’ I assume she’s trying to force a situation of job abandonment.”

@yourtango A single woman was asked to cancel her vacation last minute so that a coworker could take her kids to Disney World. Some bosses have all the audacity. #worktok #vacation #corporate #workingmom ♬ original sound - YourTango

Trying not to let it ruin his vacation while actively trying to ensure a “paper trail” of receipts about his PTO, he admits he’ll be looking forward to updating the thread of eager readers. “I actually had another reason for going into my inbox that day,” he adds, “but I’m glad that I caught it and was able to get organized.”

While many of the comments suggest this worker seek employment council to support the situation, others argue that the murkiness of regulations would probably require a paper trail of approved PTO — which the poster admits to keeping.


RELATED: Employee Discovers That Her Boss Was Stealing Around $8000 Of Her Salary Each Year

Commenters urged the worker to seek legal employment advice and ensure there’s a paper trail of approved PTO.

“Also, ensure the retaliation of canceling your vacation is in writing, as well,” they added. “It shows she clearly and recently has been aware of your vacation… if she tries to call you by phone, say that you prefer correspondence via email.”

While employment regulations seem to argue PTO vacation time can be revoked at the discretion of employers, there’s nothing to suggest legality in canceling it after it’s already started.

Angry boss having a discussion with a peer. Antonio Guillem /


Alongside this boss’ tragic history of toxicity, many argued they likely had ulterior motives — “Just remember, people like this LOVE to send you this kind of stuff right before, or during, your vacation. They think it will ruin your experience while you're away. Put it out of your mind as best you can!”

With his boss's previous history of emotional manipulation and inconsiderate behavior, it’s not a stretch to assume she was trying to evoke some kind of breakdown from this employee — alerting many experts to suggest “constructive dismissal” is at play. “It’s essentially when an employer creates the situations they expect employees to quit during so that they don't have to,” one person writes. “For example…they can cut your hours, knowing you won't be able to pay rent.”

Not only does this tactic keep them from having to pay unemployment benefits or resignation wages, but it also saves them from having to continue providing benefits like PTO, vacation, or higher wages for more tenured employees. 


Ultimately, this employee isn’t stressed — he’s ready to provide the receipts and hold his boss accountable … right after he finishes his approved time away.

RELATED: Worker's Boss Requires Detailed Explanations Of Every Vacation Request, Including Flight Numbers & Itineraries

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.