Redditors Share Horror Stories of Demanding Bosses Ignoring Their Vacations

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Thousands of Redditors came together to share their paid time off horror stories after one user’s post about their boss ignoring their planned vacation time went viral.

Titled, “My boss is asking me to come into work while on vacation,” u/Impossible-Head2121’s thread has received 46.3K votes and over 4,000 comments in just eight hours. Initially posted on Reddit’s widely-popular r/antiwork subreddit, the thread includes an explanation of the early-morning text u/Impossible-Head2121 woke up to, and their blunt response.

“I just received an early morning text from my manager asking me to come in,” the original poster wrote. “I politely responded that I am on vacation.”

“She said that she knows but that they are short-staffed due to the recent snow storm, and that she knows I live close enough to walk to work, even in the snow,” they added.

u/Impossible-Head2121 explained that they asked if working a shift during their vacation time would affect their PTO, and ultimately decided not to go into work when their manager said they would not receive their PTO payment if they picked up the shift.

While the federal government does not require “payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or federal or other holidays,” the Family and Medical Leave Act entitles certain employees to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. However, the list of specified family and medical reasons is short, and almost exclusively covers medical emergencies involving only direct relatives such as children and spouses.

One Reddit user said they denied their employer’s request they work during their planned paid time off.
According to Zippia, 28 million Americans work without any paid vacations or holidays. And in cases that employees are provided paid holidays and additional time off, the amount of time allowed varies across employers.

Zippia reports that in the United States private sector, 10 days is the average allotted paid time off. Zippia also reports that 55 percent of Americans fail to use all of that time and in 2018, Americans failed to use 768 million days of paid time off.

This can be attributed to the fact that nearly 75 percent of employees say they would rather earn more money than receive more time off, but in the case of u/Impossible-Head2121, they intended to use the vacation time they were allotted—until their boss stepped in.

Explaining that the same boss had once berated them for texting her a question while she was on vacation, the original poster said that they decided to stand firm, and refused to go into work.

“I ended up just saying ‘I can’t come in,'” they wrote. “The only response I got was ‘K’.”

Many commenters on the original thread sided with u/Impossible-Head2121, and shared their own stories of receiving work requests during their paid time off.

“Had an old boss that would take a mile if given an inch,” u/NinjaGrizzlyBear wrote. “If you’re on PTO but you answer a quick text about a project, it would likely turn into an hour long phone call.”

“It’s like they wanted to intentionally plant a seed during somebody’s vacation so that the employee would subconsciously be worrying about the task the whole time they were off,” they added.

u/Ragtothenar said they previously worked at a juvenile hall, and detailed the lengths they went to to avoid off-the-clock phone calls.

“They did some crazy bullsh*t like call people on their way home and make them come back to work a 16 hour shift,” they explained. “If I saw any number pop up from the area code… and I was off the clock, I never answered it.”

In a pair of additional comments, u/Domeuh and u/value_null echoed those sentiments, and said they have issues with their personal phones every time they take a day off.

“If I’m not scheduled I don’t answer any call that isn’t family,” u/Domeuh wrote.

“It’s weird. Every time work tries to call on my day off, I happen to be hiking in the deep wilderness with no signal,” u/value_null added sarcastically.

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