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(Chicago Sun-Times)   Employee at Whole Foods fired for calling off work because Chicago Public Schools called a snow day and she had to stay at home and take care of her special needs child. Shockingly, the uppity hipster outrage has yet to start   (suntimes.com) divider line 72
    More: Sick, CPS, whole foods, Rhiannon Broschat, River North, unexpected events, weather disasters, special needs, catastrophe theory  
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9132 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2014 at 8:18 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2014-02-05 06:58:17 PM  
12 votes:
"Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out
2014-02-05 06:55:22 PM  
10 votes:
That seems pretty consistent for Whole Foods, seeing as how they have a union-busting Ayn Randite as their CEO.
2014-02-05 07:45:30 PM  
7 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out


So say she had 4 missed days in 5 months, Chicago has two days of no school and she has to look after her son. Boom! Fired.

To say the public schools closing due to weather is not a city wide weather alert seems disingenuous no?
2014-02-05 08:35:10 PM  
5 votes:
FTFA: She added: "With me having a son, there should be a policy instilled where working single mothers need a little bit of leniency and understanding,


Fark you lady. You should get to call out more than other people because you chose to have a child? How about no.
2014-02-05 08:31:25 PM  
5 votes:
FROM THE COMMENTS

Knox8 minutes ago
"...working single mothers need a little bit of leniency and understanding."

It's a uterus, not a "Get Out of Work" card.
2014-02-05 07:06:04 PM  
5 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out


Oopsie.

Those damn facts keep getting in the way of a good faux-outrage screechathon.
2014-02-05 07:11:54 PM  
4 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out


THIS

/non story
2014-02-05 08:54:53 PM  
3 votes:
The free market will sort this out.

Americans: working the fewestdays off of the first world, and still fired over it.
2014-02-05 08:43:57 PM  
3 votes:

RyansPrivates: Read the policy again, city-wide weather disasters are supposed to  excusedabsences.



Here's how I fark:  I skip the articles, go directly to the comments, and do my best to infer the content and accuracy of the article from Farker comments.

Isn't that how everyone around here does it?
2014-02-05 08:41:45 PM  
3 votes:

RyansPrivates: Cyclometh: BunkyBrewman: Those damn facts

Point of order- those are not  facts, they are assertions about the company's policy, and they specifically did  not comment on this woman's situation.

It is entirely possible that she was terminated for violating that policy, but there are no facts here, just what people are asserting to be true. It's also possible she was not in violation of the policy (although less likely in my opinion).

The question is, in my mind, why is this an unexcused absence if that was the case.  From the company's own statement of policy (relevant parts bolded):

...excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period.

Why is this counted as an unexcused absence?


Because the state or the city didn't declare a state of emergency. Just because CPS calls a snow day doesn't mean it is a city wide weather disaster.

To tell you the truth, this sounds like she was somebody they wanted to get rid of for whatever reason, and her calling in put her to the point, per her employment contract with the company, that they could fire her.
2014-02-05 08:38:40 PM  
3 votes:
No excuses for her special needs child who didn't have a place to go because schools were closed.

Real Capitalists don't give a flying fark about their serfs' crotch fruit.
No concessions to people with challenges in their lives, it just wouldn't be fair to the others.

/The Company doesn't love you. Never forget that.
2014-02-05 08:32:57 PM  
3 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out



Our daughter's district canceled school three days last week for one winter storm.  That would be 60% of this woman's unexcused absences from work for ONE event (i.e., a storm that closed schools for multiple days).  In a week or so, there's President's Day, for which our daughter's school will be closed, but not our [the parents'] places of employment.  Fortunately, we have white-collar jobs with flexible schedules that allow us to work from home sometimes.

To me, the problem is that blue-collar jobs don't provide reasonable benefits to their employees, including a reasonable number of sick days and vacation days, not to mention health insurance and retirement benefits.
2014-02-05 08:26:16 PM  
3 votes:

BunkyBrewman: Those damn facts


Point of order- those are not  facts, they are assertions about the company's policy, and they specifically did  not comment on this woman's situation.

It is entirely possible that she was terminated for violating that policy, but there are no facts here, just what people are asserting to be true. It's also possible she was not in violation of the policy (although less likely in my opinion).
2014-02-06 01:56:07 PM  
2 votes:

jso2897: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Back in the late 80's, the company I worked for instituted a policy of "flexibility" for parents, in the name of supporting Working Families.  It quickly devolved into one massive excuse for parents to be absent at the drop of a hat and push all of their work off on the single and non-parent workers.  Within six months, there was a revolt by those of us being forced to pick up the slack as our 'family-minded' co-workers massively abused the system, and the whole thing was scrapped.

Yeah, sucks you have a kid who needs you.  But the terms of your job are not different because you're a parent.

It's really a shiatty situation, and this woman need help - but her employer isn't a charity or welfare agency - they can't deal with this, they sell groceries. By the way - where's daddy? Is she raising this child alone, and if so, why?
But if she can't really work and care for her child properly, she has to accept that and move forward.


Move forward to what exactly? Living under a bridge and starving?

 GOP talking points aside, a lot of places do *not* pay to stay home and take care of your kids. That's why we have so many single working moms.

 I'm not sure why so many people give single moms such crap. Dad apparently has left her holding the "bag/kid" so to speak, she's doing the best she can to raise a kid (special needs or not) on one income in a two income world. 

 Some parents take advantage of stuff sure... but let's not assume the worst, especially when the deck is already stacked against someone.
2014-02-06 06:25:06 AM  
2 votes:
Newflash: you do not get special work rules because you spit out some crotch fruit.
2014-02-06 05:23:10 AM  
2 votes:

moike: What I'm taking away from this thread is my decision to never have kids was one of the best life choices I've ever made.


Too bad your parents didn't make that same choice.

Gosh people are assholes about children. Your comment isn't the worst, just merely the stupid one I'm picking on.

From where I sit, what's going on with this lady isn't that damned bad. OMG, she was absent a day because she had to take care of her child. Or maybe she had a day or two where she was ill herself. Maybe the sitter called off.

Never get sick. Never need anything. Just show up and be a machine for an employer. It's effing inhuman.

And then we get assholes in threads like these justifying asshole corporate behavior. She is not the problem. The system that doesn't allow for people to be human is the god damned problem.
2014-02-06 03:22:30 AM  
2 votes:

ocd002: We don't have all the worker and family care protections that the EU has. The vacation time either. But the sick thing is there are people siding with the store instead of saying, "what kind of country are we if instead of making sure people can take care of their kids while still keeping their jobs, we pick on the person who couldn't leave their kids home alone to come to work."


It sounds like she sidled up to her maximum entitlements every 6 months (probably frequently with dubious cause) so they'd had enough of her.  Unexcused absences are theoretically for emergencies and expected events.  If you're using the maximum every time then you're probably rorting it.

How many days above what she agreed to when they hired her should they allow?  And since you think she should get extra, how about all the other employees?  What excuses will give them access to the bottomless pool of munificence you propose the company have?

I live in a pretty socialist-y country and I am not a capitalist-y person (I'm a very active union representative, and think your Democrats are unbearably right wing).  At my job I have five weeks vacation, unlimited sick leave, unlimited funeral leave, and fifteen days "domestic" leave (for looking after sick family members, etc).  The company is very generous with flexible time, allowing people to start any time between 6am and 10am, and finish any time after 3pm, so long as you do your 40 hours that week.  If I needed cancer treatment I could have six months off, paid, easy.  Our HR is still a foetid cesspool of psychopaths and failed lawyers who will smile while they screw you over if you appear to be abusing their largess.

I say screw this lady.  Her child is not an excuse. When you take a job you agree to the terms and conditions.  If for any reason you are regularly not able to meet the terms and conditions that you agreed to when you signed a contract then you should find another job that has expectations you're capable of meeting.  The burden isn't on the company to keep trying to find ways to make special allowances for you.  They don't have to put up with your personal life constantly interfering with the duties you agreed in a legally binding manner to carry out when they hired you.  It sucks, but there you have it.

Your employer is not your friend.  Never let them lull you into a false sense of a security or loyalty.  Do what you agreed to do when you signed the contract, and expect them to do no more than the same (and less if their lawyers convince them they can get away with it).
2014-02-05 10:44:35 PM  
2 votes:

Revek: Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out

Yeah because she has a kid who needs to be taken care of and probably not one daycare that will.  I always imagine someone like you at 80 alone and just wishing someone cared enough to end your life because your to much of a coward to do it yourself.


Like my opening post stated, I understand, I just don't care. I've got a business to run. I agreed to pay you and you agreed to help me make the money to pay you. I've given you a set number of excused absences and for some reason even given you a set number of unexcused absences. You want charity? Go to a church.

Just because you can't come in doesn't mean the customers stop coming in. "But you can make do this time without me. Other people will cover for me." True. And I guess that proves we don't actually need your services. Thank you for helping me realize that.
2014-02-05 10:21:32 PM  
2 votes:

Smackledorfer: jso2897: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Back in the late 80's, the company I worked for instituted a policy of "flexibility" for parents, in the name of supporting Working Families.  It quickly devolved into one massive excuse for parents to be absent at the drop of a hat and push all of their work off on the single and non-parent workers.  Within six months, there was a revolt by those of us being forced to pick up the slack as our 'family-minded' co-workers massively abused the system, and the whole thing was scrapped.

Yeah, sucks you have a kid who needs you.  But the terms of your job are not different because you're a parent.

It's really a shiatty situation, and this woman need help - but her employer isn't a charity or welfare agency - they can't deal with this, they sell groceries. By the way - where's daddy? Is she raising this child alone, and if so, why?
But if she can't really work and care for her child properly, she has to accept that and move forward.

Horseshiat.

We have high unemployment. Plenty of folks would take a part time average 20 hours jpb and accept being called in on her family days.

Where is daddy? Probably has a job too. But way to play the welfare stereotype...


I would have no problem giving her welfare - if Dad has flown the coop and left her high and dry, then society has to care for her and her kid, and I'm more than happy to pay my share. But the solution to this is not for her employer to try to cover for society failing to help her.
The idea that she must work to justify her and her child's existence, even if the kid's health problems make it impossible for her to hold down a job reliably, is the real problem here. At some point soon, we are going to have to look at the fact that worker productivity increases and market changes have put us at the point where we are going to examine the old biblical economic model. There will not be jobs for everybody again. Ever. And if we can't cure ourselves of our irrational hatred of the idea of a "welfare state", then we'd better think up another name to call it - because we are there, now.
2014-02-05 09:51:42 PM  
2 votes:

jayphat: RyansPrivates: Cyclometh: BunkyBrewman: Those damn facts

Point of order- those are not  facts, they are assertions about the company's policy, and they specifically did  not comment on this woman's situation.

It is entirely possible that she was terminated for violating that policy, but there are no facts here, just what people are asserting to be true. It's also possible she was not in violation of the policy (although less likely in my opinion).

The question is, in my mind, why is this an unexcused absence if that was the case.  From the company's own statement of policy (relevant parts bolded):

...excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period.

Why is this counted as an unexcused absence?

Was the city closed? Did the city declare all streets/roads closed? That is a city-wide emergency.


How about if a business doesn't want two-working-parent families in its employ, it pay enough that a single parent can be devoted to the job while a stay at home one covers all these things?

I'm not upset at whole foods: it does what every other business does. And maybe this person was a chronic user of leave and deserved the firing. No article is going to have that info.

But a two worker family not having on-call day care for snow days is something employers should expect.

We cheer the way employers screw employees, call for lower welfare, then biatch about poor people making decisions they have to make? That is complete shiat.
2014-02-05 09:45:27 PM  
2 votes:

FizixJunkee: Paintbox: Roe V Wade. She made a choice.

What if the father of the kid didn't want her to get an abortion?


I'm no legal guru, just a drunk, with a vasectomy.
However, I don't believe the "father" has any input as to whether she carries the child full term.
2014-02-05 09:32:27 PM  
2 votes:
The Whole Foods in my area has beer tasting every Monday and wine tastings every Friday. Comes with a little plate of food that the employee serving the drink had made earlier that day. All of them seem very happy with their job and are some of the friendliest workers at any place I've ever seen. Plus it's only $5. If you have to leave work or take too many days off you have a child care problem. It's not the job of the business to take care of your kids.
2014-02-05 09:04:14 PM  
2 votes:
And now  we know where the gender pay gap comes from.
2014-02-05 08:57:29 PM  
2 votes:
Back in the late 80's, the company I worked for instituted a policy of "flexibility" for parents, in the name of supporting Working Families.  It quickly devolved into one massive excuse for parents to be absent at the drop of a hat and push all of their work off on the single and non-parent workers.  Within six months, there was a revolt by those of us being forced to pick up the slack as our 'family-minded' co-workers massively abused the system, and the whole thing was scrapped.

Yeah, sucks you have a kid who needs you.  But the terms of your job are not different because you're a parent.
2014-02-05 08:55:38 PM  
2 votes:
When you have kids, especially a special needs kid, you have a backup that can watch your kid and at least one more backup ready just in case.
2014-02-05 08:40:20 PM  
2 votes:
We are hearing only one side of this story.  Something tells me that this was simply the straw that broke the camels back.  No one fires a person for missing one day's work.  The hiring process takes too much effort to just fire employees indiscriminately.  How often do you suppose she has called in because of her "special needs" child?  (Their quotes - not mine)
2014-02-05 08:34:44 PM  
2 votes:

Cyclometh: BunkyBrewman: Those damn facts

Point of order- those are not  facts, they are assertions about the company's policy, and they specifically did  not comment on this woman's situation.

It is entirely possible that she was terminated for violating that policy, but there are no facts here, just what people are asserting to be true. It's also possible she was not in violation of the policy (although less likely in my opinion).


The question is, in my mind, why is this an unexcused absence if that was the case.  From the company's own statement of policy (relevant parts bolded):

...excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period.

Why is this counted as an unexcused absence?
2014-02-05 08:29:07 PM  
2 votes:

fusillade762: I'd also like to know why "special needs" is in quotation marks.


Because the author doesn't really believe that the child is retarded.
youshouldwriteaboutthat.files.wordpress.com
2014-02-05 08:27:43 PM  
2 votes:
No, this was the  fifth unexcused absence in 6 months, this doesn't count the other times she may have missed and was excused. Sounds like they actually have a very lenient attendance policy for retail. Most places don't give you that for a whole year. And, if she had a special needs child, why wasn't she on flma, which would have protected her?
2014-02-05 08:23:41 PM  
2 votes:
The only good thing about Whole Foods is the employees. Corporate sucks, and the clientele by and large suck.
2014-02-05 07:53:57 PM  
2 votes:
The city government was also shutdown and "weather disaster" is not a legal term as far as I can tell.

In DC most companies close if the fed does for fear their employees get injured sue and use the government closure to prove it was dangerous. Can't imagine why that wouldn't hold across the board
2014-02-06 03:29:23 PM  
1 votes:
ocd002: But the sick thing is there are people siding with the store instead of saying, "what kind of country are we if instead of making sure people can take care of their kids while still keeping their jobs, we pick on the person who couldn't leave their kids home alone to come to work."


Please explain what is "sick" about expecting people to take responsibility for their own lives and their own choices? If I had kids, I would never expect it to be my employer's problem to make accommodations if something happened with them. Ditto anything else - if I need to be out for a funeral, it's on me to find coverage for that day, or any other day I miss work and I'm physically capable of picking up a phone. Your employer isn't responsible for your life.
2014-02-06 02:33:55 PM  
1 votes:

Technoir: shiat like this is what makes me glad I work for a really awesome boss.  Tuesday around 3pm I went to my manager and said "Dave, I need a personal day off tomorrow. Family emergency."   He didn't ask any questions, just said "take care of your family." and told me to leave early.

Thanks to that kind of cool bossitude, I was able to drive my wife and mother-in-law 2hrs through a blizzard to see the MIL's sister just a couple hours before she passed away.

When people ask me why I've passed up opportunities within the company that would pay me more money, but would require me to report to a different boss, stuff like this is why.

I think Whole Foods could maybe have been a little more flexible, but as many have pointed out, there's probably more to the story than what we're seeing in TFA. Maybe she has a history of using her "special needs" child as an excuse to leave early, not show up, etc etc.


Depending on the "special" need missing more days than average is not necessarily an excuse. I drive the short bus (so called, but a misnomer, it's actually a mini-bus). And you'd be amazed how often those kids come home from school early or miss days entirely. 

 Usually it's things like therapy, which they have to have in spades to make even minor progress at things the rest of us take for granted. Sometimes it's a scheduled medical procedure or major surgery. Other times it's because the kid freaked out and wouldn't calm down. You generally don't keep them at school if they can't be kept with the other kids because they're hitting everyone in reach because they are upset (and they generally hit as hard as they feel like, which can start getting dangerous around 4th-6th grade depending on the size of the child.)

 Or perhaps they are medically fragile and have to have a nurse 24/7 to even stay *alive*. Or maybe they had a seizure, massive/dangerous blood sugar drop, suddenly stopped breathing, went into cardiac arrest.... seriously the list goes on.

 I have a ton of sympathy for special needs parents, I honestly don't think I could do it myself. I am amazed at any parent that can hold down a normal job while doing this because at any moment you may get a call from the school saying anything from "Your kid won't calm down we need you to come get them." to "Your kid was hit by another kid and needs to go home." to "Your kid had a seizure, we called the ambulance."

Now I agree though, if she's gaming the system. Fark her, hard. There are a lot of parents in the situations above who get screwed because of a$$holes like that.
2014-02-06 01:25:23 PM  
1 votes:

Guest: zedster: Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out

So say she had 4 missed days in 5 months, Chicago has two days of no school and she has to look after her son. Boom! Fired.

To say the public schools closing due to weather is not a city wide weather alert seems disingenuous no?

Missing 4 days in 5 months is nothing for a mother.

School holidays
Curriculum days
children sick.  (that would be maybe a few with a healthy child).

Schools are just not inline with working hours.   Personally for myself it was easier when my child was just in creche once she went to school then the bullshiat started.  Schools really need to start aligning with the working hours of most people.


So I agree that schools/employers aren't lined up.  The problem is, especially in retail, the hours of operation  won't necessarily be.  This uncovers the problem that is the lack of a true childcare options beyond school, especially for parent's of younger (elementary school) or special needs kids.  So what do we do?  If we value work as a society (which we should), I think we need some sort of care infrastructure (not just kids, but elder care, etc).  What does that look like?  Subsidies from employers? Government programs?  I don't know, but I think the conversation needs to take place.
2014-02-06 11:49:39 AM  
1 votes:
Don't go to work, then you no longer work there.
That's obvious, and it's the way it should be.
Your kid is your problem, and has no impact on me, my business, or anything else in the world.

Work ethic and personal responsibility.  Ideas that need to be looked into.
2014-02-06 09:34:20 AM  
1 votes:

MadAzza: How many of those who picketed Whole Foods in support of this woman's habit of missing work also offered to look after her child next time she needs help?

I'm going to guess "zero."


In these types of discussions someone will always make this exact dumbass comment. Do you think this woman would let a complete stranger look after her kid? If she did, and something happened, then you would be screaming for her head. And do you think it would be appropriate for a complete stranger to offer to look after her kid?
2014-02-06 08:58:17 AM  
1 votes:

hooligan sidekick: up to five absences in a rolling six month period


I used to work for a major, multinational, billion dollar company. At my particular location there were problems in the past between the company salaried management and the union employees. Most people there still held grudges from a union lockout that happened in the mid 90s where the company locked out all union staff for 9 months and ran the plant themselves, poorly.

We got 3 sick instances (could be 1 day or several) in a rolling 12 month period. This is not nearly enough sick time for most people. Personally, my immune system sucks and I get colds often. This ended up forcing people who were pretty farking sick to come into work to avoid disciplinary action. They usually tried to stay away from the other people and the rest of the guys in their unit did all the work. It was no different than them being home as far as productivity was concerned, except that these sick people were potentially exposing others to it and increasing their own recovering time by having to be out and about.

If you were out for more than 3 days then you needed 2 doctors notes to be allowed back . "this person was sick" and "all healthy and ready to return to work". From the same doctor. So, you get sick enough to need a few days off. The flu or something. You have to see a doctor. Then once you're feeling well enough to return you have to schedule a doctors appointment for an all clear evaluation. Good luck scheduling doctors appointments to see a doctor withing a day or 2. Especially the same doctor twice in a short amount of time. My current GP is one that I can sometimes see the same day if I call in the morning but sometimes it takes a 2-3 days for an appointment.

The company was so farking paranoid that the employees were going to try to get one over on them. It created animosity. And people tend to rise to what is expected of them. Treat them like criminals and since they've already done the time you can be sure that they'll do the crime out of resentment.

That place sucked for several reasons. Their paranoid sick policy was just one of them.
2014-02-06 06:21:01 AM  
1 votes:

Hermione_Granger: And then we get assholes in threads like these justifying asshole corporate behavior. She is not the problem. The system that doesn't allow for people to be human is the god damned problem


I'll agree that the system is the problem.  I have trouble conjuring sympathy though.  When I was married, my wife was chronically ill and I was raising my son all while working 60 hours a week.  It sucked and our attendance policies were pretty draconian.  I did it for 6 years.

I never forced my coworkers to pick up my slack though.  I had 3 backups to care for my wife and son if something happened. All my free time was spent caring for them and I had absolutely no life.  Now, you are absolutely right that when the parents I work with call out for every little reason making me work harder unexpectedly I am going to be irritated.  I didn't have your kid, I shouldn't have to work harder because of it.  Sorry.
2014-02-06 03:18:13 AM  
1 votes:
Our plant has a no fault policy.  Miss so many days and you're out no matter what.  Women, older workers who have put 30 years in makes no difference.  I hope there's a special place in hell for people like this.
2014-02-06 12:15:44 AM  
1 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out


Am I reading this right? 10 no-shows a year...that's as much vacation as I get and I'm a salaried, full-time worker.

How about you STFU!
2014-02-06 12:14:40 AM  
1 votes:
She was already an attendance nightmare clearly or another way to solve this is...don't be a single mother. Can't take the responsibility don't spread the legs.
2014-02-05 11:37:16 PM  
1 votes:
I come in when the hell I want 8 am to 10:30 AM
I leave when I want.  If I want to be gone for two hours for lunch and go look at an auction inspection, I do it.
I also make the company wads of money, instead of pretending to contribute an playing Facebook games all day.
2014-02-05 11:02:31 PM  
1 votes:
Another Fark thread chock full of misogyny and Libertarian fake badassery?

There's a surprise!
2014-02-05 10:37:27 PM  
1 votes:
Willie L: We are hearing only one side of this story.  Something tells me that this was simply the straw that broke the camels back.  No one fires a person for missing one day's work.  The hiring process takes too much effort to just fire employees indiscriminately.

I used to work at a place that would fire a person for missing one day's work. The GM didn't seem to understand costs unless it was something that you literally had to pay money for. So one day he declared that no one could order white-out because "I'm not paying for white-out when people can just cross it out or do it over." He literally didn't see having people "do it over" as a cost or waste.

There was a bad snowstorm and he said that anyone who called in because of the storm would get fired---and two people did get fired. There was a rule that if you couldn't make it in, you had to call within 30 minutes of when you were supposed to be there. So there was a guy who neglected to reset his alarm after a 3-day weekend, called in about 50 after he was supposed to be there and got fired. There was a woman who was having an emotional meltdown because her husband had left her, she didn't call in until lunch time, she got fired.

And none of these were cases where they were looking to get rid of a bad employee. It was this "we own you" attitude (I was told that multiple times) and there could be no allowances for being human, having a life, etc. I was once late because I was in bad traffic due to an acciden and was told that wasn't a valid excuse, I should have left the house earlier. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be psychic and know about the accident ahead of time or allow an extra 40 minutes every day in case there was an accident.
2014-02-05 10:27:21 PM  
1 votes:
FTA: She added: "With me having a son, there should be a policy instilled where working single mothers need a little bit of leniency and understanding, and I feel that just didn't happen to me."

Sorry, Obama is demanding that we close the wage gap. Not going to get there with women working even fewer hours than they already do.
2014-02-05 09:58:02 PM  
1 votes:
What I'm taking away from this thread is my decision to never have kids was one of the best life choices I've ever made.
2014-02-05 09:52:44 PM  
1 votes:

El Dudereno: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Back in the late 80's, the company I worked for instituted a policy of "flexibility" for parents, in the name of supporting Working Families.  It quickly devolved into one massive excuse for parents to be absent at the drop of a hat and push all of their work off on the single and non-parent workers.  Within six months, there was a revolt by those of us being forced to pick up the slack as our 'family-minded' co-workers massively abused the system, and the whole thing was scrapped.

Yeah, sucks you have a kid who needs you.  But the terms of your job are not different because you're a parent.

The single people are worse than the parents at my job. Every Monday, half of them are gone. One has called in crazy and been out on FMLA four out of five days for the last three weeks. Another one is fat and lazy, and catches every germ that goes around.
My anecdote is superior to your anecdote.


/neener


Childless person here and I've picked up the slack for many a parent in my department before.  Also the occasional lazy fellow childless coworker.

Luckily I am compensated accordingly with good raises every year and some fat bonuses while the rest of my coworkers biatch about how their little 2% raise didn't even cover the increased cost of their health bennies.
2014-02-05 09:51:48 PM  
1 votes:

El Dudereno: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Back in the late 80's, the company I worked for instituted a policy of "flexibility" for parents, in the name of supporting Working Families.  It quickly devolved into one massive excuse for parents to be absent at the drop of a hat and push all of their work off on the single and non-parent workers.  Within six months, there was a revolt by those of us being forced to pick up the slack as our 'family-minded' co-workers massively abused the system, and the whole thing was scrapped.

Yeah, sucks you have a kid who needs you.  But the terms of your job are not different because you're a parent.

The single people are worse than the parents at my job. Every Monday, half of them are gone. One has called in crazy and been out on FMLA four out of five days for the last three weeks. Another one is fat and lazy, and catches every germ that goes around.
My anecdote is superior to your anecdote.


/neener


The 20-something single guy who everyone knows is a party boy...we know you don't have some 24 hour stomach bug or food poisoning.  We weren't born yesterday, dude.  Get well from the Beer Flu.
2014-02-05 09:51:37 PM  
1 votes:

FizixJunkee: jst3p: Nah, in retail they just schedule you for so few hours that you quit.

During college, I worked at a coffee shop.  The guy who owned it would do just that when he wanted to get rid of an employee: cut their hours so ridiculously---e.g., from full-time 40 hours/week down to less than 5 hours/week---that they had no choice but to quit.

Bonus: He didn't have to pay unemployment!

/guess which political party he aligned himself with


That's pretty common practice in food & beverage and retail. Anyone who works in those fields knows when that happens, the writing is on the wall and to start looking for a new job. Maybe you prefer firing people outright with no warning? At least you give people a chance to quit rather than explaining why they were fired. Unless you catch them doing something awful like stealing or showing up drunk, of course.
2014-02-05 09:41:34 PM  
1 votes:

RyansPrivates: Cyclometh: BunkyBrewman: Those damn facts

Point of order- those are not  facts, they are assertions about the company's policy, and they specifically did  not comment on this woman's situation.

It is entirely possible that she was terminated for violating that policy, but there are no facts here, just what people are asserting to be true. It's also possible she was not in violation of the policy (although less likely in my opinion).

The question is, in my mind, why is this an unexcused absence if that was the case.  From the company's own statement of policy (relevant parts bolded):

...excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period.

Why is this counted as an unexcused absence?


Was the city closed? Did the city declare all streets/roads closed? That is a city-wide emergency.
2014-02-05 09:38:51 PM  
1 votes:
You mean " asswhole foods"  amirite?
2014-02-05 09:21:50 PM  
1 votes:

Revek: Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out

Yeah because she has a kid who needs to be taken care of and probably not one daycare that will.  I always imagine someone like you at 80 alone and just wishing someone cared enough to end your life because your to much of a coward to do it yourself.


Roe V Wade. She made a choice.
2014-02-05 09:18:03 PM  
1 votes:

JSam21: No... most places, one event can be up to 5 days without a doctor's note.


Yeah, exactly.  The Whole Food's policy sounds a lot like Walmart's - you can get up to five absences in a rolling six month period, the sixth one will result in termination.  But under Walmart's policy, three consecutive days counts as a single absence, so if, for example, you have the flu for a couple of days, it's only going to count against you once.  I'd be surprised if Whole Foods didn't have a similar setup.  And they don't just spring it on you - at Walmart, you get a "personal discussion" at three absences, you're officially disciplined at four and then again at five.  If you're in attendance trouble, you already know you're in trouble well before you get fired for it.  Most companies are pretty hardcore about documenting those conversations; I'd be surprised if Whole Foods isn't.

Here's another possibility - maybe she's one of those people who's late all the time.  That's another quirk to the Walmart policy.  Three unexcused "incomplete shifts" (arriving more than fifteen minutes late or leaving more than ten minutes early) count as one absence.  Given that Whole Foods has a "points" system, I would guess you can accumulate points in a similar way.  In my experience, the people who are most surprised to get in trouble for attendance violations are the ones who never miss work, but habitually show up late.

I've been a single mom to a special needs child for whom day care was not always a viable option.  It sucks.  I have sympathy for anyone in that situation; I don't think most people even realize how shiatty it is when your child care options are that limited.  I've also never been in attendance trouble at work.  Her sixth absence may have been for a legit reason, but I'd bet anything she was abusing the policy at some point before that.
2014-02-05 09:12:45 PM  
1 votes:

jso2897: Nonrepeating Rotating Binary: Back in the late 80's, the company I worked for instituted a policy of "flexibility" for parents, in the name of supporting Working Families.  It quickly devolved into one massive excuse for parents to be absent at the drop of a hat and push all of their work off on the single and non-parent workers.  Within six months, there was a revolt by those of us being forced to pick up the slack as our 'family-minded' co-workers massively abused the system, and the whole thing was scrapped.

Yeah, sucks you have a kid who needs you.  But the terms of your job are not different because you're a parent.

It's really a shiatty situation, and this woman need help - but her employer isn't a charity or welfare agency - they can't deal with this, they sell groceries. By the way - where's daddy? Is she raising this child alone, and if so, why?
But if she can't really work and care for her child properly, she has to accept that and move forward.


To expand on the thought: Requiring special accommodations for single parents would discourage employers from retaining single parents as employees.
2014-02-05 09:11:47 PM  
1 votes:

lordjupiter: others have perpetual "car trouble", and so forth.


Did you pay them enough to buy a good-quality reliable car and keep it well-maintained?
2014-02-05 09:11:46 PM  
1 votes:
"Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider)"

God that shiat pisses me right the fark off.  If you're too sick to go to work for a day or two, stay the fark home and get better.  Goddamn doctors will tell you the same thing.

If I'm too sick to go to work, the very last thing I want to do is go out to some doctor's office, fill out paperwork, then sit around and wait forever with other sick people only to be told I should go home and get some rest.  I would much rather go to work and pass my illness on to the farking retards that implement such a policy.

Thank farking god I don't have to do that stupid shiat where I work.

/ Oh, and TFA is a non-story
2014-02-05 09:11:22 PM  
1 votes:

FizixJunkee: jst3p: Nah, in retail they just schedule you for so few hours that you quit.

During college, I worked at a coffee shop.  The guy who owned it would do just that when he wanted to get rid of an employee: cut their hours so ridiculously---e.g., from full-time 40 hours/week down to less than 5 hours/week---that they had no choice but to quit.

Bonus: He didn't have to pay unemployment!

/guess which political party he aligned himself with


I worked at Radio Shack for six years. The only person I ever saw fired was for theft. The rest went out just as you described.
2014-02-05 09:08:56 PM  
1 votes:

jst3p: Nah, in retail they just schedule you for so few hours that you quit.


During college, I worked at a coffee shop.  The guy who owned it would do just that when he wanted to get rid of an employee: cut their hours so ridiculously---e.g., from full-time 40 hours/week down to less than 5 hours/week---that they had no choice but to quit.

Bonus: He didn't have to pay unemployment!

/guess which political party he aligned himself with
2014-02-05 09:07:52 PM  
1 votes:

jst3p: And now  we know where the gender pay gap comes from.


And you think that men in retail work don't call off/miss work enough to get fired?

Oh right, men are always responsible workers and never use the family excuse when they call off for a day.  You should let the men in my office know, if you can catch them before they leave early because they "have to get home to their kids."

/both genders are full of assholes
2014-02-05 08:41:01 PM  
1 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out


Yeah because she has a kid who needs to be taken care of and probably not one daycare that will.  I always imagine someone like you at 80 alone and just wishing someone cared enough to end your life because your to much of a coward to do it yourself.
2014-02-05 08:41:01 PM  
1 votes:
Subby sounds poor and stupid and jealous. But mostly stupid. And stupid. Did I mention stupid?
2014-02-05 08:40:15 PM  
1 votes:

gar1013: Where's the kid's father?


Maybe he couldn't get off work?
2014-02-05 08:39:19 PM  
1 votes:

Farkin Charlie: And, if she had a special needs child, why wasn't she on flma, which would have protected her?


Doesn't qualify.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/

/I swear, one day I'm going to move to a civilized Scandinavian country.
2014-02-05 08:38:32 PM  
1 votes:
Where's the kid's father?
2014-02-05 08:38:12 PM  
1 votes:

Mattyb710: FTFA: She added: "With me having a son, there should be a policy instilled where working single mothers need a little bit of leniency and understanding,


Fark you lady. You should get to call out more than other people because you chose to have a child? How about no.


Your world sucks.
2014-02-05 08:37:07 PM  
1 votes:

Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out


So much THIS

Farkin Charlie: No, this was the  fifth unexcused absence in 6 months, this doesn't count the other times she may have missed and was excused. Sounds like they actually have a very lenient attendance policy for retail. Most places don't give you that for a whole year. And, if she had a special needs child, why wasn't she on flma, which would have protected her?


Just calling your child SPECIAL NEEDS does not make it so.  She would need a medical provider to certify FMLA....so there's that
2014-02-05 08:35:40 PM  
1 votes:
You do understand that this is nothing personal.
It is just business.

This is your stop.
2014-02-05 08:35:37 PM  
1 votes:
Whole foods is for fat middle class wannabees. The cool kids shop at co-ops and local farmer's markets.
2014-02-05 08:34:17 PM  
1 votes:

zedster: Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out

So say she had 4 missed days in 5 months, Chicago has two days of no school and she has to look after her son. Boom! Fired.

To say the public schools closing due to weather is not a city wide weather alert seems disingenuous no?


I feel for her because that's probably the case, but I'd really like to punch people who so abuse the system that the stupid "points" system needs to be invented in the first place.  I worked a long time ago at a federal contractor that did construction and IT work, and because the construction workers were such profoundly poor employees we all had to adhere to the point system even if we were salaried.  Those guys would call in sick from the goddamn bar,with the background noise going, at 10am when they were supposed to show up at 7.  We would go meet them for lunch.

It gave me a real appreciation for Hyattsville, MD, which at the time was probably the 3rd shiattiest part of the DC area.  I don't even know if it was legal to serve liquor before noon and I doubt the bar owners did, either.  It was just a sea of construction workers drinking at any given point during the day.  But come quitting time?  That's when you go home!  These guys would lie to their boss and their families just for an opportunity to get drunk during the day.
2014-02-05 08:31:57 PM  
1 votes:

Mark Ratner: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: The only good thing about Whole Foods is the employees. Corporate sucks, and the clientele by and large suck.

What about the food? Is it any good? I heard it's better than Partial Foods.


It's good, but overpriced. Trader Joe's ftw
2014-02-05 07:46:53 PM  
1 votes:

gopher321: Gecko Gingrich: "Everyone has personal reasons or unexpected events that occasionally cause us to be late or miss work; recognizing this, our attendance policy in the Midwest region of Whole Foods Market is designed to provide support for our team members when these things happen. This includes a combination of excused and unexcused absences to provide the most flexibility," Phelps said in a statement. "Excused absences include illness (with a note from a medical provider), death in the family, jury duty, catastrophic events or city-wide weather disasters. Each team member is allowed up to five unexcused absences or 'points,' in a six-month period. No singular attendance event would cause a team member to be separated, and excused absences are not included in the 'points' system. Team members approaching their limit of unexcused absences receive warnings and reminders, and those who exceed their limit are separated."

read: this was not her fist time...or second time...or third...fourth...well, let's just say she has a habit of calling out

THIS

/non story


Seconded. I'd also like to know why "special needs" is in quotation marks.
2014-02-05 06:49:47 PM  
1 votes:
Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.
 
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