Fired for attendance due to babysitter issues?

by Ashley
(Rock Hill, SC)

I lost my job recently due to attendance issues. I worked for the company for almost 4 years. I started out on third shift, then had to transfer to first because of my children. I had a very good attendance up until 3 months before I got fired. Our company has a "No fault" attendance policy; so it doesn't matter why you are out, and in order to use PTO, it has to be 48 hours in advance. It seemed like everything that could happen, happened. We had inclement weather and I wasn't able to make it to work, I couldn't even get out of the parking lot the ice was so bad. I wasn't going to risk getting in a car accident and being out of work longer. My children got sick, I contracted their illness, so of course I had to call out for those days. A few weeks later, I hurt my back, and I was out for one full day, and went in late the next day. I did have doctors excuses for those days. Then I hired a new babysitter, and sometimes she would call me the morning of, saying that she could not watch them. I have always called out and did let my superiors know what was going on. We have a new supervisor, and he's one of those people who, say one thing the first time and then a few days later he changes his mine. Then last minute we all of sudden had to work 10-hour shifts plus Saturdays. I love to work, but my kids have to come first. My hands were tied in this

situation. I cannot afford daycare, otherwise I would have put them in one. He also was mad that I couldn't make it to work for 2 Saturdays, because I was going on vacation, after it was already approved. He said he was "unaware" that I was going to be gone from Saturday to Saturday. Pretty much they refused to work with me, other than changing my shift. I cannot work 2nd or 3rd shift, I am a single mother of 2 children, and its very difficult to find a babysitter for those hours on top of I would hardly see them during the week. I really need to know what I should do about unemployment benefits, I had good reason to be out. There wasn't anything I could've done. My company fights unemployment, so I've heard from past employees. Any information about the state of South Carolina work laws regarding overtime, etc. would be most helpful. Thanks.



Hi Ashley,

I can't make out what the "final incident" was. What precisely motivated the employer to fire you?

South Carolina is an attorney state and is the one state that refuses to talk to third parties .. unless that third party is a SC attorney .. So I have less knowledge about SC.

Here is a link to some links that turned up while searching The Dept. of SC LLR for "overtime".

I really can't say anything about the attendance issue because I can't tell if you were fired for being late or absent because of one or more babysitting incidents or if your were fired for refusing to work overtime or for taking a preapproved vacation.

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My child
by: Anonymous

Hi I'm not fired yet but when I'm unable to have a sitter I have to call out or my child is sick and they had told me that not having childcare is not enough of an excuse to call out and they wish to talk to me I've been written up once and now I'm afraid I'll lose my job because I don't have a baby sitter.

Hi,
Although I don't know the circumstances of you not having childcare at all, or consistently, finding and maintaining childcare is generally viewed as being the responsibility of the employee.

If childcare becomes an issue for an employee and missing work results in written warnings, it is up to the employee to do something to document they made the employer aware they had this issue and how they were trying to resolve it (efforts to find new reliable childcare should be documented also).

In the event one is terminated for unacceptable attendance, effective documentation may be used to rebut absences from work were intentional misconduct.

Dr. notes are also quite useful, as medical documentation can show/prove when any, but especially the final incident causing termination, was in fact, beyond the ability of the claimant control.

No guarantees this always work .. but you provided me with another chance to mention something I believe is true. It's employees who may have more ability than they think they do, to actually exert some sort of control over the outcome of a potential unemployment claim .. if they would just stop behaving as if their only choice, is to let themselves be victimized by an employer who may be relying on the employee's inherent fear of acting in their own best interest when faced with the threat of being fired for some short-lived problem that is currently, beyond their control to manage, but literally, trying and documenting their efforts in detail, to resolve and all just to keep on working for a living, regularly and reliably.

Chris

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Misconduct - Did you have the ability to "exercise control"
by: Chris - webmaster:)

Hi,

Attendance point systems that have no regard for the circumstances .. suck. Why employer's use them .. I don't know.

Misconduct is generally something we have control over .. I often talk about things like "inadvertant errors" that do not rise to the level of misconduct needed to deny unemployment, but this is not to say that a "misjudgment" cannot be misconduct if you had the ability to exercise control over a situation or your actions.

When an employer uses a point system they eliminate their ability to discount occurrences that are outside the employees control. Childcare is a parent's responsibility and when an employer fires someone over it .. a point system is indiscriminate.

You will just need to provide the information about what you had been doing to try to get the situation under control. They need to know you were trying to preserve your employment by asking the employer to work with you temporarily until you found a solution, but the employer disregarded your valid and compelling request for a short term problem which was beyond your control.

Childcare issues are often beyond our control .. they get sick, babysitters get sick.

Doctor notes count as proof that an absence was beyond our control.

Just be honest and forthright.

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Attendance issues
by: Anonymous

Hi, I apologize for that. I was going to be late the day that I was fired, I only had a 1/2 occurence left. So that caused me to be terminated. Regardless of that, I would've been terminated anyway, because they refused to let me leave early 2 days a week so I could pick up my kids, after I already told them my situation, and they said it was ok. I saw a totally different side of my supervisor that day, he pretty much threatened me with termination, saying that I don't deserve "special treament". I wasn't thinking like that at all, I just needed them to work with me until I got everything straightened out, which would've been a few weeks. He also said that I had to work Saturdays, and had to work 10-hours, and if I didn't that would cause me to get an occurence, and I knew what would happen is I got another occurence. He has only been there for 5 months, and he was sworn in as a supervisor with no prior experience. I believe he is just on a huge "power trip". All in all, they just do not treat people fair.

Our policy states, that we have to call the attendance line if we are going to be late or out, which results in an occurence; but they told me to either call my superivor or our inbound manager if I'm am going to be out or late so I won't get an occurence. I did that. In return, about a week later, my supervisor wrote me up for the days that I called in due to problems with the babysitter. Also, one of my friends that work there is late all the time, and they told her to either be there at 4 am or 5 am. (4 am is the start of her shift for that department). She was told that if she is going to be late, then she can be there at 5, but just as long as it is on the hour, so she won't get written up. Sound fair? That company is so screwed up, it is at a steady decline it seems like. I don't mean to sound like a pain, but judging by her attendance record, she should've been fired a long time ago. I didn't have excessive tardiness, I was just out alot due to the kids being sick or problems with the babysitter. Things that I can't control. Sorry it so long, but I forgot to add some things in the last one. Thanks.

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