WORKING

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

When Bosses Add to Woe

The way some bosses treat sick time seems unhealthy.

Take the woman from Maryland who had a miscarriage. She was devastated and requested a week off to recover. But when she returned to work, the boss made snide comments about having "some good time off" and proceeded to assign her a huge amount of extra unpaid work.

Her story is a semifinalist in the Bad Bosses Contest, sponsored by the AFL-CIO's Working America affiliate. Four of the top six stories involve some kind of nastiness while the worker or a spouse was ill or headed to the hospital. The winner in a people's-choice vote is to be named next week.

Peter from Illinois tells of being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. He tried to keep some income coming in to support a wife and three children by claiming his paid time off and his disability pay. "Every day claimed is extremely important in the basic task of feeding my family and keeping the lights on," he wrote in the Bad Boss story.

Yet his boss threw away some of the claim paperwork, which meant Peter lost both vacation days and disability pay. He wrote, "Talk about getting hit where it hurts."

-- Vickie Elmer


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