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Horrible Boss Fires Employee For Performance Issues After Both His Parents Died

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Jun. 3 2019, Updated 12:42 p.m. ET

A "heartless" boss was decimated on Reddit after asking whether or not they were in the wrong for firing an employee a few weeks after their parents died and their performance suffered.

When it comes to workplace benefits in the U.S. vs. other countries, America lags far, far behind. Compared to third-world countries, obviously, we've got it pretty good, but when it comes to paid time off, parental leave, vacation time, and job security, we're getting creamed by other industrialized nations.

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Countries like Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Finland, and Sweden have some "generous" policies when it comes to job security. There's a healthy understanding that individuals operate better at their places of work when they aren't constantly worried about losing their job. Employers are also held to higher standards and workplace compliance isn't used as a tool to get rid of a worker whenever management wants to replace them with someone who'll do the job for less money.

This is especially true of industries that are very numbers-oriented, like the sales position this young man was working in. He was, by the boss' admission, a great employee — so good that they were considering giving him a promotion despite the fact that he's only 22 years old and had been with the company less than a year.

Sadly, this young man's parents were involved in a fatal car accident. He lost both of them on the same day.

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He was given a month of paid leave time from his employer due to the accident, but when he returned to work, he wasn't producing the same numbers as he was before. The volume of cold calls he was making dropped and he seemed "unmotivated" at work.

That'll probably happen if you're roughly the same age as a recent college graduate and both of your parents die suddenly.

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Apparently, the higher-ups at his job didn't think so. They saw the 2-3 weeks that he was back after the leave as sufficient to determin the death of his folks was a huge workplace hindrance, and they couldn't carry his dead weight any longer. So they fired him.

To no one's (except maybe OP's) surprise, the young man wasn't exactly "professional" in his response to the news.

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What is surprising, however, is that the person who made this post apparently didn't think there was anything wrong with the way their company let the young man go, until their boyfriend pointed out the heartlessness of the decision.

Personally, I didn't think the employee's response was "unprofessional" or "rude" at all. I think they were merely voicing the subtext of what management's actions communicated.

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The Boss, wanting to know whether they were an "a-hole," took their story to a subreddit that helps with exactly this sort of thing. Lo and behold, the commenters told them exactly what they needed to hear.

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People couldn't believe the "heartlessness" of the boss or that they and their peers actually thought firing the young man was a just decision. Others pointed out that, even if they were solely in the business of turning a profit, firing him was ultimately a terrible move because he has a proven track record of providing the numbers they're looking for.

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Others just couldn't get over how the callousness of the decision-making process that ultimately ended in the young employee's unemployment.

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To the boss's credit, they admitted the error of their ways and not only immediately reached out to the employee to apologize, but contacted a headhunter friend to help get the man a job, pronto.

It definitely won't erase the sting or memory of being greeted by a conference room full of people who care more about the bottom line than your own well-being. Still, at least it's good to know that there are people who are willing to do what's right, even if their first reaction isn't to act humanely or with compassion.

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