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My family and I are still displaced by Harvey. Our home is still just a shell. I received a message from my wife at work that they were going to cut our electricity off in the house we are renting if we didn't pay $1472. We have no idea where they got that number.

I quickly made my way to my supervisor and director. I told them of the situation and time was of the essence because we may have to move in with family if possible.

They accused me of showing a pattern of calling in the day before I was off and that I would have to be at work the next day. They said I had no choice. I have never called in to get an extra day off.

They showed no concern for the welfare of my family. I have a 2 week old baby at home and was about to have our power shut off.

I became angry and walked out and slammed the door. They chased me into the main security office and stood between me and the door out, blocking me in. I signed out and put my gear up.

They were still agitating me even more by belittling me. The stress they were causing me with the false accusations and threats to my job caused me to breakdown when I got home. I'm now having to start counselling for PTSD.

I used the whistleblower website to report it but have heard nothing back.

What can I do about this or who can I talk to? Sorry if this question was a bit of a mess. I'm still shaken by the matter.

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    @JoeStrazzere I think it means the company sees a pattern or history of requesting leave at the last moment, giving no ability for the company to properly adjust, and this request tipped the scales.
    – user34687
    Dec 4, 2018 at 3:00
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    Job search, you're close to losing this one. Normally in emergency, family are your best option to talk to. Authorities etc,. can take time, unsure what Harvey is... if it's a natural disaster you can usually (in the first World) find emergency shelter from the civil defence. Other places you're on your own.
    – Kilisi
    Dec 4, 2018 at 4:31
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    @Kilisi Harvey
    – user29390
    Dec 4, 2018 at 7:28
  • @Roland bad luck, I've been through cyclones which last for weeks, no assistance given here. No point crying, get up, rebuild, thank your stars your made it through with your loved ones. Usually some others weren't so lucky.
    – Kilisi
    Dec 4, 2018 at 7:45
  • @SiXandSeven8ths you don't cry in disasters when you're responsible for others. You focus and keep morale high. Leave the BS for later. Do whatever you have to do It's the measure of a man. Do your crying privately.
    – Kilisi
    Dec 4, 2018 at 21:37

3 Answers 3

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Straight up, I'll keep it simple. If your family comes second to your employer then your employer should come second for you. Find new work. This is full stop, unacceptable behavior.

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Man up, you're responsible for a family in a terrible time, this is when your worth as family head will shine or not.

Forget this petty crap and concentrate on finding resources you can use to stabilise your family situation. Eat a bit of humble pie if you must. It's not just you in trouble.

There will be plenty of time later to analyse who stabbed you in the back and pay them back. For now the only important thing is looking after your families needs. There is nothing constructive in blaming others or expecting them to be sympathetic after they have shown they aren't. That just leads to frustration, which in turn leads to bitterness, and other nastiness.

Is what they did bad? Yes... they're a bunch of ^%$#@@%$#'s, but that's not going to feed your family. You can deal with them later. It's the USA there are plenty of other avenues you can try.

I've been through cyclones lasting for weeks and demolishing most houses with no aid at the end. You harden up, rebuild, focus on your family, not personalities. Anyone tried to kick you while down you rip them a new orifice later, don't let them break your focus as a family head until your primary duty is sorted. I smile and joke my way through all natural disasters, even when I'm watching a tree flog it's way through my roof, I have a whole bunch of people's morale to keep positive.

If you're not 100% focused on family and looking positive in a time like this, then reassess your priorities.

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    This answer shouldn't be downvoted. When a crisis hits keep your head clear and priorities straight. Everything non-critical can be shrugged off and dealt with later on. What the employer did is unacceptable, but they will still be there a month later when you have better time to start arguing.
    – Sopuli
    Dec 4, 2018 at 23:20
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    This is a painful but accurate answer. The typical advice for awful emplyers doesnt apply when fundamental survival is on the line.
    – Summer
    Dec 4, 2018 at 23:54
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    @Sopuli why shouldn't people downvote it? It assumes the big bad employer is a nasty piece of work, and that there isn't another side to this entirely. The OP is "displaced" by a storm that happened nearly 18 months ago - they aren't displaced, they aren't going back, so thats not an argument. They think this guy is regularly taking leave at a moments notice, which puts a heck of a strain on schedules and such, and they are understandably no longer happy. The emotional description of what happened next doesn't really add up, so all we have is one side of the story.
    – user34687
    Dec 5, 2018 at 0:02
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    @bruglesco this isn't fundamental survival, this is someone who can't pay their bills on time being an unreliable employee. Perhaps one is the reason for the other...
    – user34687
    Dec 5, 2018 at 0:03
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    @Moo Not being able to pay for electricity, regardless if its OP or his employer at fault can absolutely effect his and his families survival. And if you think OP is to blame then he still needs to man up and take action for his circumstances. So still a good answer.
    – Summer
    Dec 5, 2018 at 0:09
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This employer`s behavior is not professional or "people" like

IMHO you should take the PTSD counselor`s diagnosis and visit labor lawyer. Perhaps you would need second opinion as well.

Obviously, this employer does not care about your personal life and mental health, nor should he, but what he needs to be is professional and know his control limits on your time.

Lawyer can help him learn it

Update:

As it stands today there is a certain limit to what employer is allowed and required to know / do about their employee life / work. beyond that its all personal initiative of the employer.

At the bare minimum, employee is required to arrive on time, leave not before the end of the shift and perform the job he was hired to do. Anything below that gives employer cause for termination, perhaps with paid notice period.

In the OP description, thou, behavior was unacceptably personal and punitive, now it is HIS turn to be punitive.

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  • I think you may want to expand on the statement regarding the notion that employers should not care about their employees personal life and mental health. As written, this suggests that employers shouldn't be cognizant of the needs of their employees. Dec 4, 2018 at 15:47
  • @Pyrotechnical as it stands today there is a certain limit to what employer is allowed and required to know / do about their employee life / work. beyond that its all personal initiative of the employer.
    – Strader
    Dec 4, 2018 at 16:30
  • @Pyrotechnical At the bare minimum, employee is required to arrive on time, leave not before the end of the shift and perform the job he was hired to do. Anything below that gives employer cause for termination, perhaps with paid notice period.
    – Strader
    Dec 4, 2018 at 16:31
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    I suppose this comes down to being a 'good' employer vs. a 'bad' one. Bad employers cause undue stress upon their employees and whine about their turnover rates while good ones invest in their employees and recognize that their growth is reliant upon their employees satisfaction. I don't mean to suggest that employers need to be sticking their nose into their employees' personal lives, but they shouldn't operate in a manner that makes their employees' lives unreasonably difficult. An example of something that harms employees' well-being is poor scheduling practices. Dec 4, 2018 at 16:44
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    @Pyrotechnical no employer, good or bad, has to perpetually make allowances, and that seems that's what the employer feels like they are doing in this case. Might be a case of bad employer AND bad employee here.
    – user34687
    Dec 4, 2018 at 23:19