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flo's avatar

Edited to add the 1st link (which is the court case in question.) Sorry.

rebbel's avatar

The employer could have been humane, and gifted the employee a day off.
Employee could have taken a day off of her own account.
They could have met in the middle.

flo's avatar

@rebbel How about something out of the box or “out of the box”?

rebbel's avatar

Gift her a cat?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

By discussing requirements before taking the job.

johnpowell's avatar

Cats don’t get death certificates and you bury them in the backyard or toss them in the dumpster.

If I could get a day off work for a dead cat I would have 40 of them in my spare bedroom. Feeling a bit hungover.. Grab a cat and a some tuna and rat poison.

However. The boss is a horrible person. And the cat person is a horrible person. If you were so upset about the dead cat you couldn’t go to work you probably shoundn’t really care about a days pay.

And really, you are kinda nutter if you will lose your job over something so amazingly stupid. And then you sue.

But good on the court. They just saved millions of pet lives.

seawulf575's avatar

I think there are a couple ways this could have gone that would have avoided a court case, though to be honest it sounds like this employee had issues beyond the day off that caused her to leave her job. But for the dead cat, the company could, as @rebbel allowed her the day off. They could also allowed her to take it as a personal day or vacation day off. She could have taken it as a sick day. All these would probably have meant she got paid for the day. But the rules are quite clear. If she wanted it as a pet bereavement day, she could have asked about it up front. The other thing I noticed is that she fell into the trap many exempt employees fall into. She called into work from home. If you are so upset you can’t go into work, stop calling in. Unplug the phone, put it on a shelf, and tend to your grief. The fact she called in tends to make one feel she really wasn’t that upset to begin with. Yes I know…it sounds harsh and heartless, but if someone I loved died, the last thing I would be thinking about is what was going on at work.

snowberry's avatar

@seawulf575 if my parent/spouse/child/sibling died, I would call into work the first chance I got to tell them what had happened. I wouldn’t dream of leaving my boss hanging even if I was under extreme duress!

My daughter was an RN in the US and those were the rules at her work.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It is the responsibility of a supervisor to ensure that their employees understand the rules of the company. Unfortunately, not all employees understand or remember them when a personal situation arises.

When the woman called in to ask to work from home the day her cat died, was she offered options? She should have been informed of the company’s policies and her options discussed. Take a sick day, a vacation day, take the day off without pay, work from home for X amount of hours (an option sometimes available to a salaried employee and must be approved by the supervisor in advance), or come in to work.

Jaxk's avatar

Unfortunately, this puts the employer in an untenable position. Grant bereavement to one and you must grant it to all. Not just going forward but going back as well. Policies are put in place to ensure everyone knows the rules and the rules are consistent. Everyone has personal problems but it is not the responsibility of your employer to solve them all. Sometimes you need to deal with them yourself.

seawulf575's avatar

@snowberry I agree…I’d call the boss too if a family member died. But if you read the article, it sounded like this person did more than just call to say the cat died. She continued to call into work attending to work…working at home so to speak. If my parent/spouse/child/sibling, even pet, died, and I felt I needed time off for my grief, I’d not be calling in and working from home.

snowberry's avatar

@seawulf575 Oh, I agree. That’s different. Obviously I didn’t pay close attention to the article.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It is ridiculous to expect bereavement leave for a pet.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree, though as a boss, it would be in my best interest to give the person the day off under some other guise rather than having them coming into work distracted. Sick time, PA time, vacation….something would work. Most places even have a management excused option for pay. But I think in this case the woman didn’t ask for that. I also saw that she seemed to have other issues with the company so this lawsuit may have been an effort to get them to settle out of court.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, if they have PTO or sick leave, by all means take a day. But I had to put down my beloved per dog, and another time a beloved cat, then go straight back to work. The first time I was substitute teaching. Didn’t have any kind of paid time off and could not afford to miss a minute of work.
The second time I’d worked at the place for about 3 days. I had the time off (I think) but I wasn’t about to take it.

Lonelyheart807's avatar

I don’t condone lying, but she could have just called her job and said she was feeling horrible and wouldn’t be in that day (and not given details). Not really a lie, but she could have then used sick pay. She shouldn’t have worked from home though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree @Lonelyheart807. I’ve used sick leave a few times for personal leave.

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