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Fired for requesting personal days off during family crisis

by Anna
(Arizona, USA)

I worked for my company ( Hospitality Chain ) for one year and four months. Previously to me being fired, I had accumulated one absence until I called in two days in a row for personal reasons, while I was trying to cope with this situation, a family crisis.

A co-worker informed me of their plans to terminate me, so I called my manager the day I planned on returning to ask if I was employed still, he simply said don't bother coming in. Its a managerial choice to not excuse absences "unless your dead or in the hospital" without covering your shift.

Even though I gave ample amount of notice before I called in, I could not find a co-worker to cover my shift.

The second day I called in I could not even reach my front office manager, so I called the GM with no success, after the third attempt I only left a voicemail because I had no other choice.

I was unaware we had to plan our personal days off, as really I would be clueless to when situations like this would occur.

I live in Arizona , a Right-to-Work state and I have no clue what that means. Do I have any chance of obtaining unemployment??


First, I removed your last name since my intent is to keep these "public Q&A for the blog from being found on the first page of google results, should a potential find full name and be the cause to not to hire you, or someone who might share your name.

Why were you unaware of this policy of having to find coverage?

Are you telling me it's not mentioned in the employee handbook since that is what generally makes an at will employee, aware of such rules policies and workplace culture practices .. i.e., the terms and conditions of employment?

Thirdly, for me to know if it might not be misconduct, it could be very important for me to know exactly what the family crisis was.

What some people would call a crisis, might be
a minor bump in the road .. but assuming the worst happened to an immediate family member, I could explain how to deal with a problem to protect your ability to argue.

A state with a"right to work law" has to do with collective bargaining agreements and membership in a union being contingent on being employed.

This is in contrast to what "At Will Employment" is .. based on a doctrine of common law (not an actual employment law) recognized by the United States to which many employment laws become the exception to the rules which affect how UI works too.

When things at home are beyond your control with regard to attendance at work .. or taking care of certain "life" responsibilities any reasonable person in the same similar situation would be wise to take care and learn how to counter document unambiguously to combat an employer's burden of proof.

And in my experience, the standard for employers is to build for the contention that no matter what the cause for discharge .. it's always pointed at being a discharge for misconduct .. which is good cause to fire an employee.

When communicating with an employer any "state of emergency" the preferred method for me would be that it is in written form (preferably emails vs. txt msg.)

Then, if I had to admit rebuttal evidence for a hearing, in the event I did get fired over something out of my control, but still causing an employer to blindly force me into making an unreasonable choice between my family in a crisis and keeping a job, I have some proof that shows I wasn't the nut job, but was forced to feeling like I had to act like one to save my job.

This in essence would be what I imagined any other reasonable person dealing with similar circumstances would naturally feel compelled to do when it comes to a "family crisis" .. which by the way .. is a very generalized thing .. with many unreasonable definitions .. at least in my experience.

Chris -

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