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Attorney & Mediator
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I sent my employer a response to his email of 2/23 on 2/28,

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I sent my employer a response to his email of 2/23 on 2/28, to go on record and clarify facts. I figured we would discuss all that morning. Instead he fired me.

Just read your matter of fact email and although she is my Aunt, she was more a mom. I told you this the first time I learned of her sudden diagnosis and even told this to her many times over the last few weeks before her death. Emotionally, for me, this is devastating. I have now lost both parents in 13 years. You cannot relate Rocco. While you wanted to speak of details of the arrangements not 10 minutes after I learned, I could tell you no more than I knew and could not speculate the days schedule ahead aside from picking up my sister from the airport and helping my cousins get others coming to pay last respects. I told you this much yet you wanted to sit and offer your opinions and speculations. I had enough to deal with at the moment yet... you took offense! It was I who was most offended! I clearly told you it was an emotional time for me as it should be. It was all I could do to digest the news and emotionally I was doing all I could to keep focus on the work to complete at hand. You did not and still cannot show respect and that speaks volumes to your value system which greatly differs from mine. As I said as I walked out, I couldn't talk about it at that time despite your demand that I should or had to. My aunt was the most influential woman in my life, there for me to help navigate the teen years when my own mother was not. In my adult years, she offered always her guiding wisdom through humor and a listening heart and she was always there night or day, if I needed her. Suffice to say I won't be going to my biological mother's funeral anytime in the future.

Biologically an Aunt by your handbook standards, so be it.

On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM, AGENT WROTE ME:

My condolences to you and your family. Under the guidelines of the handbook you do not have three days for the loss of a relative. Below is an excerpt from the handbook.

Bereavement Leave

One week time off without loss of pay will be granted for full time employees (working over thirty or more hours per week) for the death of a child, parent, or spouse.
Three days off from work without loss of pay will be granted for full time employees (working over thirty hours per week) for brothers, sister, grandparent, grandchild, mother and father in-law, and son or daughter in-law.
Employees may be granted (without pay) or with if personal time is taken for a relative. A relative includes an aunt, uncle, or cousin.
All bereavement leave is subject to approval and my require documentation.
Bereavement pay will not be paid in addition to any other allowable pay for the same day, such as holiday pay, sick leave, etc.

Yesterday I was willing to discuss with you any additional time that may be needed. However when the discussion began you were not willing to discuss this. Ten minutes later I asked you to come to my office and you refused. At this point you will be given a vacation day the day of the funeral . Any additional days will be considered an unexcused absence.

I SENT THIS ON 2/23/11
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:56 AM

I did not learn of arrangements until this morning. As mentioned yesterday afternoon, my sister and others are flying in today and tomorrow and there is a need for me to help out family in anyway I can during this difficult time for us all. Per your handbook, I choose to take the 3 days allowed to me, without pay. I do not want to utilize vacation/personal time.

Thank you for your understanding.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

CT does not provide any law on how a private employer is to handle their own business. Therefore the private employer is not obligated to provide any benefits, any vacation or any bereavement leave. If the employer does decide to provide such a fringe benefit, the employer is bound only to the terms the provide. From the information you have provided, an aunt is a relative and the employer has given themselves discretion to approve the leave request. Seems the employer gave you one day and took the balance of the days off as unexcused. Your emails also show you accepted the term of aunt not to mean parent, so they have documentation on your agreement to the terms.

Since CT does not offer any law regulating a private employer with regards XXXXX XXXXX type of leave, they are not in violations of any law. Further the Family Medical Leave Act does not apply in death situations.

To help you please find relevant information below for your review.

CT Labor Codes for your review. You will see there is nothing addressing this issue as the state law has allowed the employer to make their on policy.

Please click accept, and I can help with further questions if you have them.


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