When Crystal Reynolds Fisher's 18-year-old son ended up on life support for a 104-degree fever, she did what any working mom would do: she called out of work so she could be with him. But when she contacted her manager to let her know, she was not prepared for such a cruel, heartless reaction, Buzzfeed reports.
Crystal, who lives in Michigan, works at a PS Food Mart, a convenience store run by the company Folk Oil. On the day she had to miss work, she texted her manager, Dawn, to explain her son's situation, and offered to keep her updated so she "can return to work with no problems."
But rather than being understanding, Dawn immediately replied with hostility, writing, "That isn't how we do things, so I'll accept that you're quitting."
Her manager went on to diminish Crystal's situation and shame her, writing, "I will not get into [this] with you on here, but I've been more than accommodating during this, allowing schedule changes and such. There is no reason you can't tolerate work, and I will not tolerate drama ... If you aren't there to work your shift tomorrow, then I take that as you've quit."
Despite Crystal bringing up the fact that she had a legitimate reason to miss work—her son's life was on the line—her manager still did not show any sort of sympathy.
When Crystal said she'd be calling corporate, Dawn offered up the number herself—clearly unafraid of the consequences.
And when Crystal asked her if she would go into work if she were in the same situation, Dawn replied, "Yes, I would. I still have bills to pay and something to keep me occupied. We don't get to come and go as we please at Folk Oil. I have tomorrow and Monday covered. Your son is in the best place he can be. I have a store to run and that's my focus."
We are floored that anyone could be so cruel to another person whose child is in a life-threatening situation. Where is the compassion?
On Saturday, Crystal uploaded screenshots of the entire text exchange in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. Currently, the post has over 88,000 shares, with many outraged by her manager's treatment toward her.
On Monday, Folk Oil released a statement responding to the incident on their Facebook page, Buzzfeed reports. Not only did they apologize, they shared that Dawn is no longer employed at the company, and that Crystal "will be able to take all the time off that she needs during this difficult period."
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Though it's good to know Crystal still has her job, we still can't believe her manager ever thought it was acceptable to treat a worker like that in the first place.
As many people noted in the comments section of Crystal's initial post, under federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act should protect her from losing her job if she has to take unpaid time off to take care of herself or a loved one. However, the problem with FMLA is that it's not as easy to access as you might think. For example, the employer has to have at least 50 employees and the employee would have had to work for the employer at least 1,250 hours in the last 52 weeks.
Here's hoping Crystal gets as much support as she needs during this stressful time for her family.