taking unapproved vacation for an elective surgery.
(Tampa, Fla. US)
I submitted a written request for vacation, and scheduled surgery (elective). Not receiving the paperwork back from my boss, I reminded him the day before that I was starting my vacation the next morning. At that point, he refused approval. Since I could not reschedule my surgery without suffering a monetary loss, I went on vacation anyway. I was subsequently notified that I was fired for just cause.
Not getting a good feeling for you. First, it was elective surgery, secondly, I think you were remiss by not checking on the approval until the day before the surgery, thirdly, when told you were not approved, you took the time off anyway .. because of the money you would have been out .. despite the fact that you reasonably could expect to be fired. That sounds like insubordination.
I believe it would have been a safer course to have missed the surgery and try to recoup the money from the employer through some civil action.
I also do not have the employer’s policy to read .. there might be something in there that would be helpful to you .. with regard to something they did that was against their own policy.