Good morning everybody,
As I am typing this message, the sky outside my window is brightening, and the "woosh" sounds of traffic are increasing. A couple of hours before 6:26 am, the streets were quiet and solemn. I know this because I spent the whole night awake and in severe pain from an impacted wisdom tooth. The left side of my throat is sore, and the gum covering the tooth is swollen. When I try to swallow water or eat food, I can barely tolerate it.
Here are my questions: Is my severe wisdom tooth pain considered to be a medical emergency and a legitimate reason to leave work? Is my boss under legal right to refuse my leave?
Currently, I have two jobs. The first job is in retail as a casual part-time, meaning I only get 19 hours a week max. I only work on the weekends now because my second job is temp full time from Monday through Friday. As expected, I am a saleswoman who constantly has to chat with customers. I have been working with the company for over a year, and have accumulated about 40 hours of sick leave.
On Thursday my boss texted me to confirm my shift for Saturday. This was before my pain grew this severe. I agreed to continue with my shift. As the day went on the pain grew and by Friday morning it increased to the point where I couldn't properly open my jaw. So I text my manager to let her know I wanted to take the day off to get the wisdom tooth addressed on Saturday since the physician who does wisdom tooth extractions is only there on certain dates. I asked a coworker to cover my shift, but sadly she was not available. I suggested to come in and then leave for the procedure and come back for closing time after the effects of anesthesia wears off. But she quickly discarded the idea, saying I wouldn't be fit to work. (My shift was not closing time but mid shift from 12:30-8:45)
But the problem is, I am not even fit to work right now WITH the tooth inside...
To my surprise, my boss did not seem to approve of me taking the day off since we are understaffed and I had already confirmed with her that I was going to show up for my shift. She can't cover me because she "can't go over her hours." She said, "ultimately I have to run the business and decisions have to be made". Now I am left wondering what she meant by that. I understand we are understaffed, but I don't see why that could have happened when our busiest times are in the summer season. However, I know decisions have to be made, and I am thinking of walking out of work.