'Seriously Concerned': Boss Dragged For Limiting Employee's Medical Care

Members of a popular internet forum were outraged after one employee explained why their boss took issue with their repeated medical appointments, despite having what they described as an incurable disease.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/antiwork, the employee detailed a meeting in which they were accosted for taking too much unpaid leave, and detailed the events that ultimately lead to their resignation. Titled, "Boss said I had to stop going to hospital appointments. Shocked upon seeing my resignation," the viral post has received more than 29,000 votes.

Writing that they have since moved on to a better position in a different industry, the viral post's author (otherwise referred to as the original poster) recounted the conversation they had with their boss at a previous employer.

"This guy proceeds to tell me that I've taken too much unpaid leave, more than anyone in the company including people overseas, and that I need to stop," they wrote. "He also said in the same breath that he was 'disappointed with my output' and [that] he is 'seriously concerned.'"

Despite the explanation that they had been attending necessary appointments to address their "chronic pain and incurable disease," the original poster said their boss was adamant that they had missed too much time at work, and that their absence had caused lapses in productivity.

Soon after, the original poster said they issued their resignation, and used their boss's own argument about productivity against him.

"Cut to two weeks later [and] me calling a meeting with the [boss] and presenting my one sentence letter of resignation," the original poster wrote. "They were utterly gobsmacked."

Employee unpaid leave
One Redditor explained why they ended up resigning from their job after their employer complained about their repeated medical appointments. fizkes/iStock / Getty Images Plus

"[I] repeated back to them that they literally told me that if they were 'seriously concerned' about my output, maybe this job wasn't for me," they added.

In the United States, there are no federal requirements for employers to provide paid sick leave.

Though, certain states, counties and cities do require employers of certain sizes (as well as employers that generate certain net incomes) to provide paid sick leave for full-time employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

While 30 of 50 states do not have laws requiring paid sick leave, states like Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York and Oregon (among others) do.

In New York, many employers with five or more employees or a net income of more than $1 million must provide paid sick leave to employees. In Maine, employers with at least 10 employees are required to provide paid time off that can be used for any reason, including emergencies, illnesses and vacations. In Oregon, the requirements are the same.

While cities and counties across the country feature their own laws for paid sick leave, employers subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 are required to allow employees to take unpaid leave, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Intended for scenarios like the birth of a child or the necessary care of a spouse, the FMLA also ensures 12 work weeks of unpaid leave (during a 12-month period) for "serious health condition[s] that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job."

However, some employers, like the one described by the original poster, are stingy when it comes to employees regularly taking time off, even if dealing with critical medical issues.

Ending the viral post with a message to r/antiwork's 1.8 million members, the original poster said that employees should be able to prioritize their health over their workplace productivity.

"If your boss is...not taking your health seriously, hang in there," they wrote. "You are worth more than their bottom line."

Many Redditors commenting on the viral thread echoed this sentiment, and defended the original poster's decision to quit their job.

"The most surprising thing is that they were shocked that you quit," one Redditor wrote, in a comment which has received 6,000 votes.

"Did they really expect you to go, 'Oh okay I'll stop going to the hospital then and let my health deteriorate just because you guys suck?'," they wrote. "I mean what outcome exactly were they expecting here?"

Another Redditor, who questioned the employer's motive for denying the original poster unpaid leave, speculated that it was a control tactic.

"The part I don't understand is the unpaid part. If they aren't paying for it, why should they even care?," they wrote. "And if they were concerned for your output, they also shouldn't care if you leave. Unless they were [bullsh*tting] you and just wanted control."

"The system that we live and work in is fundamentally exploitative," another Redditor added.