Long story short. I finished school recently, and have a huge student loan to pay off. I care a lot about money at the moment. I have two jobs: one doing tech support (ts), the other doing brand ambassador work(ba). The tech support is with a reputable company as has room for advancement. It’s 40 hours a week and pays minimum wage (which is very low where I live). The ba work I get to choose the days I work and pays twice as much as the ts. The thing is there’s no room for advancement and its got nothing to do with what I went to school for. My ts job has 5 "paid sick days" which actually can be used for anything you want (not just being sick). I used them up to take on shifts with the ba work, and I used 2 more. Since I called in sick twice more after using my paid sick days, I got flagged as unreliable. I had a talk with my manager today. I told her I was working another job. She said that if it happened again I would get written up, and after 3 write-ups I get fired. She does seem reasonable and said "she is there to help me".

Unfortunately, I have already committed to a ba job on Sunday, and I’m scheduled for my other job as well. I would like to avoid it, but if it comes to making a decision I would take the ba work because

1) It pays better 2) The people I work with treat me better

My question is, how can I explain this to the manager at my other job? I would like to remain on good terms, and now that I’ve got a warning I can cut back on my other work. My goal with the company I’m doing ts for is to stay for 9 months to get access to the internal job postings but I’m also thinking of switching part time to pursue other sources of employment.

TL;DR I’m basically wondering how to say "this job doesn’t pay enough and I am forced to work a second job that conflicts with this one" to management.

Also, is it legal for them to fire someone for being sick more than 8 days in a year? What does it matter to a company if your sick or busy with another responsibility?

  • 1
    What country is this happening in? It can always help with the answer, especially if there is a legal concern. – user34587 Sep 22 '17 at 12:32
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    Since you aren't really sick and they know it, "is it legal for them to fire someone for being sick more than 8 days in a year?" doesn't seem a valid question. – cdkMoose Sep 22 '17 at 12:49
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    There is a goal we can address, doing the ba job on Sunday, and yet keeping the ts job. I was writing an answer suggesting the OP look for someone to shift-swap with. That reduces the administrative and overtime costs of the OP's absence and so it more likely to be tolerated. – Patricia Shanahan Sep 22 '17 at 13:11
  • @patriciashanahan in that case the OP needs to edit their question on the goal and remove the "is it legal?" aspect – HorusKol Sep 22 '17 at 16:08

I'm going to take a punt and say it is not legal to fire someone "for being sick" in your jurisdiction.


First, if you're in America, there's a good chance you're an in "at will" engagement - they can fire you for no reason.

Second, even if you're not an at will employee, you could still be fired for what you're doing. You've basically admitted to using sick leave to moonlight. You've also used more than you're entitled to. Even after a verbal warning, you intend to continue to break the rules.

Basically, you are failing to perform your job. Anyone can fire you for that anywhere.

You now have a choice - short term gain with the higher paying no-career option, or go the long game and work on your career.

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    I know of at least two people fired for taking too much leave when they had cancer in the US, one in Virginia and one in PA. – HLGEM Sep 22 '17 at 13:32

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