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'My entitled boss laid me off after I refused to work on my weekend off as punishment' UPDATED

'My entitled boss laid me off after I refused to work on my weekend off as punishment' UPDATED


"My entitled boss laid me off for refusing to come in on my weekend off."

TylPlas26 writes:

I’ve been in retail since 2009. At my now last job, I was there since 2014. I won’t go into huge details about the work environment. A lot of that can be seen on my profile or other job posts.

But to summarize, during the whole time I was there, my boss, despite always saying family time is important, would always screw over my personal time off. When I worked directly under him, he would often cancel my days off because he was taking a trip somewhere. Coupled with that and childish and immature coworkers who threw tantrums and gave silent treatments, I was at the end of my rope.

My job mostly consisted of delivering building materials. I had a certain certificate to operate a certain type of delivery truck. The certification was going to expire at the end of the year.

About a week or so into January, HR came to do a review with me. During the review, they mentioned they were holding a course to re-validate the certification for everyone in the company in two weeks. They said, “It’s on your weekend off, but are you able to attend?” I looked at my calendar and said I had plans booked that day, so it didn’t work for my schedule.

My company wanted to get everyone done at once to save money on group training. HR just said, “See what you can do to attend.” And I said that the plans were set in stone, and things were left at that.

About a week before the course, HR emailed again, saying this course is critical for my job, so to try and attend. I replied that it didn’t work for my schedule and that I’d be happy to do it any other day, but this is going on during my weekend off, where I made plans well in advance, so it doesn’t work for my schedule.

For a few days, there was nothing else. My boss owns a few stores. And one worker from another store came by who was also going to the course. They told me he had been making plans with his fiancée for the last several months for that weekend but had to cancel them because they suddenly revealed this training course, and he had to attend.

He wasn’t too happy that plans he made for months had to be canceled. I said nothing to him, figuring it was his choice if he chose to do that. Then suddenly my boss began phoning me two days before the course. I recorded the conversation. Maybe in the future I’ll upload it, but for now, I’ll just transcribe what was said. AB will stand for A*^&ole Boss.

And just for some context, earlier that week, I got a work truck stuck in the snow and called a tow truck to pull me out and paid for it myself. It will be important for what happens next. And this is roughly how it went.

AB: Hey OP. HR tells me you are unable to attend the training course. OP: That’s correct. I unfortunately made plans in advance so I can’t attend. AB: (After a moment of silence.) I need you to get this training done.

OP: I understand that. But I made plans well in advance that I can’t just cancel. AB: Ok. You realize when we notify you two weeks in advance, it doesn’t mean it’s optional. This is mandatory. At this point, I was starting to get mad.

OP: I understand that. But I’ve been planning this weekend since early December. I’ll be out a lot of money if I cancel. AB: What are you doing? OP: That is a private matter. I can’t discuss that. AB: (After a moment of silence) OP, how much is that towing bill costing me?

OP: I paid for that myself because that was my screw-up. AB: (Silent again for a few seconds) Ok. Then you’re gonna have to do this training on your own time and your own money then. The training itself cost only a few hundred dollars, but by this point, I had it with my boss.

OP: Well, we will cross that bridge when we get there. AB: (Silent again) This is pretty rich coming from you. OP: Well, I’m sorry. But I received no heads-up, no communication that this was being planned for that date.

(I know there were plans to do the training early December, but never heard anything about it since either September or October.) AB: (Silence again) OP. I’m not happy right now. OP: Well, I’m sorry. But I have a life, and I can’t just cancel things when I make plans on my day off. AB: (Silence again.) Ok. Good enough. Bye. OP: Bye.

So for a week, I heard nothing. I continued my job as normal while looking for a new job because I had it with my boss. After 9 years of all this, I had reached my breaking point during that phone call. This boss has always screwed me over for my personal time off, and this was the last straw of trying to force me to come in on my scheduled weekend off.

And then one week later, towards the end of the day, HR showed up. They informed me they were “laying me off” due to an extremely slow season, with hopes of having me come back in spring.

I said nothing, choosing to leave on a high note. But I knew it was really their way of firing me without firing me. That way, they avoid paying severance which would have been in the tens of thousands of dollars. I estimated between 10 and 40,000.

I already looked into it. Unfortunately, I have no real way of proving this is retaliation. All their paperwork, though I know is a lie, says I was laid off for lack of work, etc. The only proof I have is recently, I had to contact the insurance provider for my company to get a letter of experience from them. The agent I spoke with said he recognized my name, saying my now-former employer recently removed me from their insurance coverage.

Other than this backhanded move, I’m glad to be out of there. I was unhappy, stressed, and fed up. I’m using the time to advance my driver’s license to have the highest one I can get in my country.

OP provided an update a couple months later.

So all my ties are officially cut from my former employer. As everyone suggested, I did try reaching out to a lawyer. Unfortunately, my local ones charged almost $500 for a 30-minute consultation. That is almost half of what I earn every two weeks from unemployment. I didn’t want to lose that large chunk.

So I tried googling for lawyers that offered free consultations. I reached out to one, and they asked for a brief summary. They eventually got back to me saying they couldn’t offer a free consultation but gave me contact info for another place to contact.

Unfortunately, I got busy with applying for the government funding program for school and other life stuff, so I didn’t focus on contacting them right away. I don’t know if my former employer saw my post, because they reached out far sooner than I expected.

They weren’t supposed to get a hold of me until the end of April. Instead, HR reached out on the last Friday of March. They left a voicemail and were wondering if I’d be able to return by April 1st or 8th, and asked for me to call them back by Wednesday at the latest.

HR then sent me an email almost right away after calling, basically repeating what they left in the voicemail. I didn’t call them back. I figured I’d let them sweat about it for the weekend, with the intention of calling by Monday.

I planned to call late Monday, but HR called twice in the morning and emailed again. So I called HR back, and I had someone there listening in as a witness, as well as recorded the conversation. I told HR I wasn’t coming back.

They stammered when they heard that, doing a lot of “Um, ah, uh,” before finally saying “Congratulations.” The person with me and I looked at each other wondering why they said congratulations for quitting. HR asked me what I was doing, and I just said I was going to school.

My theory is maybe they laid me off as punishment, thinking I’d be more than willing to come back after a few months, and me saying no was not what they expected. If that is the case, it is fun knowing they shot themselves in the foot. The other reason I think that is I went to one of my other former employer's stores to talk to a good and very close friend of mine.

They said management was recently going to them because they knew how close we are, asking them, “Have you heard from OP? What is he doing? Do you know what he is going to school for?” They said they didn’t know, which was the truth since we hadn't seen each other in close to a month, and they felt it was none of their business.

I have thought back on everything, on whether I could have done things better. But I think everything worked out for the best. Under Ontario law, from what I read, if they laid me off in retaliation and claimed a slow winter, I would have legal recourse if no one else in the company was laid off. I did hear from a few sources that there were a few layoffs.

And I did have the right to refuse the layoff when they first told me, where I could have said either I keep working or you fire me. But I was so fed up and tired of the toxic atmosphere, I would take any exit to get out of that job. And being laid off qualified me for the government funding for school, so there is the other upside.

But it seems like my former boss may be facing the beginning of a staffing crisis. I heard last night one of his store managers (SM) quit. This worker had been with the company for maybe 20-plus years. There was an issue with one worker who is related to the boss. The SM took the issue to HR, but HR did nothing, so they quit.

Currently, I am in school and feel happier than I have in maybe over a year. If anyone is interested in hearing the audio recording of my boss I mentioned in the last post, send me a message and let me know, and I'll send the Google Drive link. I'm doing this because a few news sites took my last post and put it on their sites without permission.

Just comment that you sent me a message, so I know to check. I just might be slow, between school and how many people ask to hear it. As a heads up about the recording, there are a lot of long pauses from my boss, so the audio didn’t freeze. You'll hear us say bye to each other when the call ends.

Here are some top comments:

Lodgik says:

But to summarize, in the whole time I was there my Boss, despite always saying family time is important, he would always screw over my personal time off. When I worked directly under him, a lot of times he would cancel my days off because he was taking a trip somewhere. Ah, I see the misunderstanding here. The boss meant his family time was important, not OP's. Easy mistake to make.

_Sausage_fingers says:

For f%^k sake, OP actually did just let thousands of dollars go out of laziness. In Canada you are owed notice when terminated without cause, and a business slow down is not cause.

TheSilkyBat says:

Why are there managers like this? You can't just drop sh%t into your employees laps and expect them to just smile and comply. People have lives outside of work.

hooj says:

I hate the comment about apologizing is showing weakness. Like I don’t think one should apologize out of hand but it also is professional to be polite. You don’t owe any loyalty to a job necessarily, and it’s completely fair to be upset about things that are happening at your work.

But if your immediate attitude at any job is combative — that is, thinking about things in terms of showing weakness, it’s just a bit cringey. Nothing wrong with being assertive, firm, and standing up for yourself, but there is a line between standing up for yourself and being insufferable.

What do you think?

Sources: Reddit
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