Post # 1
Long story short-
We’re home for spring break. We were supposed to go back to Buffalo on Wednesday, but then our car decided that it wasn’t going to pass the state inspection (which we couldn’t do until 4/1, which was Monday). There was a massive safety issue, and it needed over $1000 in work (after the $300 in work it had done the first few days we were home, in preparation to pass inspection). The work took 4 days, so we were stuck here until it was done. We just got the car back late last night. He was supposed to be back to work on Thursday (he works retail, for an office supply store), but due to us being here without a car and without a way to get back, he hasn’t been able to be at work.
Onto the issue.
Now, he’s called his boss every day, explaining what was going on. They’ve been given every bit of information we have. They knew what was going on, they got updates on the car situation daily. I have all the paperwork, we can show it to them. We have a legitimate reason why we have been unable to get back.
His boss, yesterday, told him she “wasn’t happy” and that he had better come in on Monday (he always has Sundays off). Now, to begin with, she doesn’t like him. He stands up to her, and doesn’t put up with her bullshit. She’s horrible to her employees, and he doesn’t put up with it. He doesn’t like to be called out on things he’s not doing, and blamed for things he hasn’t done (which she does). On a daily basis, she threatens to fire him. So I wouldn’t be shocked if this was the final straw, and she says that he’s fired.
He has all the paperwork, proving that yes, the car was in the shop. We also have the failed inspection report. He will show those to her on Monday. Can she really fire him for having an emergency situation which basically stranded us 500 miles away? We had no way of getting back (no $$ to spend on a rental car/plane tickets, no spare car, etc), until we got the car back.
Post # 3
Yes. You can be fired for any reason or no reason at all, unless it’s discrimination against a protected class of people (race, pregnancy, disability, sex). Sorry, even though the boss knew what was going on, and you were telling the truth, you can still be fired.
Post # 4
I don’t know about the legality of firing him, though I suspect it would be legal to fire him for not showing up to work. It’s unfortunate that he does not have a more understanding boss, but the fact of the matter is that the car situation turned him into an unreliable employee. It’s not really the company’s fault that your car broke down and required multiple days to fix (and that you didn’t have the money for him to rent a car to return home).
I’d just wait and see what happens. I will say that if she plans to fire him she should have at least told him I will fire you if you don’t show up for work. That way you would have been able to make more informed decisions.
I think he will have a better chance of keeping his job if he goes in with the attitude that what happened was unacceptable and won’t happen again, etc. rather than acting like it was a situation totally out of his control that he shouldnt’ be punished for.
Post # 5
He could have caught a bus. In my mind, depending on his contract, he could be fired for this. hopefully this won’t be the case!!
Post # 6
@colorofmyheart: I’m sorry this happened, but honestly, a broken down car is not an emergency. Running a retail store is hard enough without one person being unexpectedly gone, and if I had gotten this excuse, I still would have expected him to find a way in to work.
Post # 7
@Nona99: oh, if it was just the fact that the car was broken? i totally agree, not an excuse. but, we’re 500+ miles away. that’s the issue.
thanks ladies. i guess i just have to cross my fingers and hope she understands the problem.
Post # 8
Most retail jobs (at least every one that I’ve had) have a section on the application that states that employment with XXX company is “At Will,” meaning that either party (employee OR employer) can terminate employment at any time, with or without cause.
The only way out of that is to show that there is a discriminatory reason for the firing (race, color, class, disability, ethnicity, sex, etc.)
Crappy situation, but yeah it can happen.
Post # 9
Yes, he could really be fired. I also work retail and our company’s HR department has pretty strict policies over what they can and can’t fire people for – and yeah, missing four days of work certainly qualifies as a reason they can fire someone. I’m sorry, it sucks about what happened with the car and that his boss isn’t more understanding, but legally he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
Post # 10
It’s probably legal to fire him but I would assume he would receive unemployment. Might be a reason for his employer to think twice about it and if not, he can file for it and find another job with a better boss (and thereby more potential for growth.)
Sometimes life works that way. When it seems that something went wrong no matter how hard you tried to prevent it, another opportunity may have been trying to present itself.
Post # 11
Yes, she can fire him for not being at work.
Like a previous poster wrote: It’s unfortunate that he does not have a more understanding boss, but the fact of the matter is that the car situation turned him into an unreliable employee.
Post # 12
You can be fired for any reason. They can even MAKE UP a reason!
Post # 13
Yeah, she can fire him. It’s unfair and it sucks, but that’s retail. If his boss treats employees badly, he should quit, anyway.
Post # 14
@colorofmyheart: I hope he’s not fired. Everyone has their own personal threshold, and work is not an excuse to abuse people, but your FI might want to reconsider how often he wants to annoy the boss.
He stands up to her, and doesn’t put up with her bullshit. She’s horrible to her employees, and he doesn’t put up with it.
She doesn’t sound like a nice person, but not all bosses are pleasant individuals and it’s called work (not happy / play / fun time). I’ve found it best to pick my battles and never wanted my behavior at work to make me the first one on the bubble. Her threshold for letting him go is probably lower than it is for someone else who does not ‘stand up to her’ all the time.
If she’s really that horrible, then maybe having to find a different job would be a blessing in disguise.
Post # 15
@fascinated: +1, I kinda missed that part in my first read through of the thread.
Post # 16
@colorofmyheart: Sounds very similar to what my husband was let go for. He talked/communicated to his boss daily and there was no indication of anything coming out of it. He had a death in the family and went to the funeral which was out of state. He assumed everything was okay because the boss was communicating with him telling him take your time, and when he got back to work they told him he was fired.
I suppose they can fire you at any time for any reason, but, our bad news was that he did NOT get unemployment, even though the boss told him it was okay to have taken time off for a family death.
I don’t even want to get in to how pissed off this still makes me, and it has been like 2+yrs, but ultimately in combination with other things it turned our whole world upside down.
I am sorry to hear you both have to go through this. Good luck.
ETA: in our case, if husband knew with any indication that his job would be in danger, he would have not attended the funeral out of state, even though it would make him appear like an asshole to his entire family.