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Tiamat Tiamat is offline
 
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This seems wrong to me - family work concern
Old 10-08-2018, 02:26 AM
  #1

A bit of background: My daughter-in-law works for a large-ish retail store in our local town. It sells clothing as well as household goods (sheets and towels). She is an assistant manager. One of the part-time workers in the shop has a 4 year old daughter with cystic fibrosis.

About three weeks ago, my DIL was very ill, and spent two days in hospital with pneumonia. The doctor then gave her another week off work to recover. She returned to work, cleared by the doctor, and all he!! broke look with the other worker.

How dare she come to work when she is contagious (she wasn't) and put her daughter at risk. She couldn't stay at work with DIL, and didn't want to touch the register after she had because of the risk of exposing her daughter to illness, and on and on. The result was DIL was sent home for the day (which she didn't mind, because she still felt a little rough). Then she got a message from the regional manager that she was on leave and wasn't to return until she had a formal medical clearance. Which she had, but it wasn't good enough. Her doctor laughed and said there is no such thing and what she had was fine. It was three more days before she could get them to agree to let her back to work. This was unpaid because ... she didn't have a doctor's certificate saying she was ill. But they wouldn't let her work.

Now a store wide memo has gone out saying that all staff are to stay home if they are suffering from any of a long list of illnesses (including any sign of a common cold) and they all have a "duty of care" to protect this child's health.

Now, we understand that children with CF have very delicate health, and should avoid exposure to respiratory illnesses. However, this child's mother works retail in a store that sells children's clothing, the child attends pre-school three days per week, and the child is out and about in all weathers and with all sorts of people. It seems to be only the people at Mum's work who are a risk to her health.

I'm sure you can appreciate that the rest of the staff are in an uproar over the this, and are talking to their union en masse. They would burn through their sick leave allowance very quickly if they followed this memo to the letter, and who can afford to do that?

We had a child with CF at school a few years ago, and we kept the family informed of illnesses that were circulating in the school and class, but it was the family's responsibility to make decisions about that, not ours.

Am I missing something here, or have the store and the mother overstepped their bounds?


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Old 10-08-2018, 02:52 AM
  #2

I think things have been overdone! I can understand mom's worry, but good grief! She can always make sure to wash up/change clothes after work. It's a bit too much to make other employees stay away from work at any sign of any remote illness whatsoever, especially when the child isn't even there.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:34 AM
  #3

I'm glad they have a union. I wonder if something else happened to get the mom worked? This can't be the first time she's had an I'll co-worker.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:35 AM
  #4

Taking off for every minor illness is not reasonable. If the employee whose child has cf is that concerned, she should not be working in retail. Customers have colds and illnesses also. I understand her concern, but I think itís not fair to her coworkers.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:31 AM
  #5

As you said in your message, the child attends preschool, preschoolers are notoriously germ farms. Plus does the mother "screen" all the customers? They can spread illnesses also. Are people asked to leave if they sneeze?

My good friend has a DGD with CF. She is now 15, attends school, visits many gathering spots, and even goes to concerts and sporting events.

I think that store and mother went very far OVERBOARD. 😯


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Old 10-08-2018, 04:56 AM
  #6

The mother went overboard and the work supported it. I hope they realize what a mess they made of it and things got straightened out.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:18 AM
  #7

Yes, it sounds like the store management went overboard. I don't think your DIL did anything wrong. In general, retail is difficult setting to work and avoid germs. Think of all the germs the mother would be exposed to in a day from unknown sources. Cash handling is germ swapping.

My guess is that the management is afraid of legal ramifications if an illness could be tied back to a worker. Corporate USA is very afraid of lawsuits.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:25 AM
  #8

But what about all those germy customers? Does she touch their money and cards?

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Old 10-08-2018, 06:36 PM
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I wonder if the store will post a sign asking customers to stay out of the have any signs of illness?
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