Single Mom Fired After Staying Home with Her Special Needs Son

| by Dominic Kelly

A single mother in Chicago was fired from her job at Whole Foods after she had to take the day off because she couldn't find anyone to stay at home with her special needs son. Now, she and other employees are picketing the popular store.

Rhiannon Broschat didn’t think it would be a problem to take a day off on January 28th. Chicago schools had closed due to extremely cold temperatures, and while she could have left her 10-year-old special needs son at home alone, she decided it wouldn’t be a good idea. She called her superiors and informed them, so that they wouldn't be caught off guard when she didn't show up.

“In no way did I think that I was going to be terminated at all,” Broschat told ThinkProgress.

When she arrived back to work, however, that feeling changed. Initially it didn't seem like there was a problem. Later in the day, though, Broschat was called into a superior's office told that her absence was inexcusable and that they would have to fire her. The store has a complex absence policy that has changed a lot over the years, but they are not very lenient when it comes to calling out of work.

Now, Broschat and other Whole Foods employees are on the street outside of the store picketing her firing as well as their absence policies.

“I have a lot of coworkers I care about at my job who are in jeopardy of losing their jobs as well,” said Broschat. “If [Whole Foods] were to change the policy, that would be justification in itself for me.”

Whole Foods representatives refuse to talk about Broschat’s firing, citing confidentially.