Robert Winner


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Should you be fired for playing hooky from work?

Last week Austrailian Paul Marshallsea made the news for saving some kids by wrestling a shark attacking them ... great news. However, he was taking a vacation at the beach while he told his boss he was taking sick leave. He was fired.

While 31% of the people agree that sick means your at home ... 51% said that it is none of the bosses business and he should not have been fired.

So that is the question .... should you be fired for lying to the boss / company?

What have you viiolated .. trust .. ethics ... policy ... nothing?

  • Mar 15 2013: This story leaves out most of the facts, like the nature of the job, was it the busy season, etc. We have no idea what this person's absence cost the employer. For example, the employee might have been critical to meeting a deadline that was missed.

    IMO, lying is sufficient reason for firing someone, especially someone in a position that requires a high degree of trust.
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    Mar 15 2013: Many places, at least in the United Stated, no longer offer sick leave. Instead, they offer the equivalent number of personal days which can be taken at will, as opposed to vacation days which are scheduled in advance. This way, the employee doesn't need to justify how the day is used.
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    Mar 15 2013: Places of business typically have some sort of policy or contract with employees that should be communicated so that people know the terms of their employment. Some behaviors are outside the bounds of employer discretion in the sense that employers cannot break the law in their treatment of employees. An employer cannot, for example, punch his employee in the face or build his right to do that into the employment contract, (unless, perhaps, the place of employment is a boxing venue and he has hired a sparring partner).Similarly an employee of a grocery store cannot expect to keep his job if he is caught taking money from the till, even if no one has announced that as store policy. Taking sick time for exhaustion rather than illness may be acceptable within some employment contracts.
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      Mar 15 2013: You are correct. There are many circumstances that are never spoken and makes the story more sensational.

      Through all of your posts I would consider you a person of high standards. If you were to take time off from your place of employment I am sure you would state the reason honestly and be prepared to document it through a doctor .... as is required by most employeers. In all of my jobs I had a time keeper I turned my card into. When in doubt I ask questions .... because I valued my job .... and my integrety was at stake.

      Every company I worked for defined what was vacation and what reasons to take sick leave (mostly on the advice of a doctor and a note accompanied) also applies to spouse and siblings.

      So it really is our responsibility to know and follow the rules or suffer the consequences.

      This brings up a follow on question .... how many people ever read their contract. We had a teachers meeting and asked how many teachers read how they would be evaluated ... two out of the thirty present in our group. About the same in all three groups. Trusting group aren't we.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.