Boss who has to fire man with ‘very sick’ woman leaves internet torn

The debate arose when a boss asked on the internet if he was wrong about firing an employee with a “very sick” woman.

Posted on Reddit’s r/AmITeA**hole forum, a boss under the anonymous username u/ExistingClaim6030 shared his story to get the opinion of the Reddit community. The viral post has more than 4,000 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

“Recently I heard that our company is being fired,” the original poster (OP) began, “I will have to let go of one person of my 4 subordinates. It came down to choosing one of the 3 least experienced who are all hired about 2 years ago.”

About a month ago, all of their employees were doing pretty well until one of their employees, whom he called “A”, had a woman who was hospitalized and became very ill. A said the doctors don’t think she’s going to make it and that he is constantly looking after his two “inconsolable” children and is always going to help his wife.

In a Reddit post shared on the r/AmITEA**hole forum, a boss asked if he would be wrong to fire an employee who has a “really sick” wife.
fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Unfortunately for A’s work performance and productivity, he is not doing well because he is very distracted. The OP wrote that since he returned to work after his first leave, he was late for work, left early, took a lot of phone calls and was less productive and focused. When the OP talked to A about it, he apologized a lot, but nothing changed his work performance.

The Reddit user is “99 percent sure” that A needs the job for their good health insurance and if they do fire him, it will have drastic consequences for him. The fact that he hasn’t left the job yet if he has another health insurance plan further convinces the OP.

The user wrote: “I have tried to explain this to HR and my superiors, and that it would be very bad for the morale of the team if I fired him (the others all know, A has been quite open about this) , and asked for more time or something.They told me that the decision to downsize was well above them, and there was nothing they could do.

“One of them suggested FMLA, but our local company office only has about 40 employees (and we’re in a small town that’s a lot more than 75 miles from all of our other locations), so I think that means he doesn’t qualify”, they continued.

The OP explained that it was their job and that they should keep their emotions out and wrote, “Don’t blame me, blame capitalism and the US health care system.” He tried to make their decision after hearing the thoughts of their friends and family.

News week contacted u/ExistingClaim6030 for comment.

Are you eligible for FMLA? The Family and Medical Leave Act allows an employee to take unpaid leave for “specified family and medical reasons” with health care coverage provided by covered companies.

When an employee takes advantage of the FMLA, they have 12 work weeks within a 12-month period for maternity leave, caring for a sick relative, spouse or child, caring for the employee himself or if the employee adopts a child. If an employee cares for a veteran, he or she will be given twenty-six work weeks within a 12-month period.

To qualify for FMLA, you must have been employed by an eligible employee for a minimum of 12 months, have a minimum of 1,250 work hours before the leave, and work for a company with more than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.

News week has many articles about work-related issues, including how an employee was denied unpaid medical leave despite never taking time off.

Redditors were quick to share their thoughts in the comment section.

“[You’re the a**hole] Their work has always been good. They are currently facing extreme conditions. Essentially you are firing them because of their wife’s illness. That’s horrific,” wrote u/numtini. Many other Redditors agreed with the user as they received more than 14,000 upvotes for their comments.

U/BigOleJellyDonut said: “[You’re the a**hole], 1000%. Just change places with him, how would you go about it? Have you ever had a seriously ill partner? Well I have and the stress is unbearable. You have to live with yourself! I couldn’t be so cold and indifferent.”

“[No a**holes here]. But please don’t put him down. I hear what you’re saying about his work, but this is one of the most difficult moments of his life. It would literally not be possible for him to continue working at his normal level with what is going on. If you don’t know what that’s like, consider yourself lucky. One day you will. The loss of this insurance could mean the loss of her health care, and by extension, her life,” noted u/naptivist.

“First of all, you are not [a**hole] anyway. HR forces you to fire someone. That’s not up to you. You’re going to fuck over someone anyway. No matter what happens, someone is hurt,” admitted u/TheRunningMD.

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