Is wanting to watch your son compete in the Little League World Series a good enough reason to lose your job? If you’re ex-CPA firm office manager and current super mom Billie Ann Tomei, the answer is yes.
After her boss made it explicitly clear to her that she couldn’t use her accrued vacation days because he was going out of town at the same time, Tomei opted to take the days anyway – thereby voluntarily adding her name to the 8.2 percent of Americans who currently find themselves without a job.
Every single time an incident like this happens, the same question always seems to arise: who is in the wrong? Is it the mother who chose to defy her boss’ orders and go support her child, or the boss who prioritizes his own needs above those of his employees?
The answer is – nobody. Nobody is wrong here.
Tomei made the conscious decision to disregard her boss’ warning knowing full well what the consequences were. That was her choice and her right. The boss wasn’t wrong either, though. He’s running a business. A Little League World Series run isn’t exactly a funeral. If he’s going out of town, for whatever reason, he has the right to ask an employee to put off his or her vacation.
Inevitably the boss will get vilified here because that’s the natural reaction but, no, he wasn’t wrong to ask Tomei to postpone her vacation days, and no he wasn’t wrong to fire her when she refused to do so.