This Redditor and his wife tried their best not to disrupt work when one of their children was sick. But OP’s (Original Poster) HR department seemed to disagree, and now, they’re regretting their decision!
OP and his wife both worked corporate jobs. While at work, their two kids are in daycare, but only if they’re not sick.
The Couple’s Agreement
The two agreed that if a child was sick, one stayed home the first day, then the other the next day, and so on. They said this would continue alternating until their child was fit to return to daycare or if one of them got sick, too.
For them, this is the perfect arrangement for two reasons.
First, they can split the responsibility and tasks evenly. Second, no one would also suddenly miss work for an extended period.
They Had “Child Sick Pay”
OP explained that they were entitled to 30 days of “child sick pay” per child and per parent. He said, “It doesn’t cover everything, but if I remember correctly, about 85 to 90%.”
Because they split their days to care for their kids, OP and his wife get one doctor’s notice per day and split them accordingly.
He wrote, “Instead of one notice for a week, we would have five, which we submit to our employers and health insurance to deal with each other and get paid.”
The HR person in OP’s job was coincidentally his manager’s wife. When he submitted his “child sick day pay” requests, she told OP it was “too much hassle” to deal with multiple papers instead of one.
So, she told OP that one of them should stay home during the duration of their child’s illness. She then started implying that OP’s wife should stay home.
He said, “It’s sadly still pretty normal for the mother to deal with care work.”
His Malicious Compliance
OP just agreed with HR. However, instead of letting his wife be the one to stay home, he decided that he would take all his paid “child sick days” until he ran out.
Only after that will his wife cover it.
Since OP’s discussion with HR, their kids have been sick twice, and he stayed home the whole time. He said he took a week and three days off.
Because he’d been gone from work for a while, his manager started asking him why he “wasn’t coming in as he used to.” He also told OP that some deadlines were nearly missed because of his absence.
Passing the Blame
Then, OP confidently said that “HR wanted it that way.” He also told his manager he had around 50 days of “child sick pay” left.
OP said he “really enjoyed the look on his face” after he told his boss whose fault it was.
A Great Relationship
OP ended by explaining that he had a “great employer.” He also had a good relationship with his manager and the owner.
He just had a blip with HR.
Redditors’ Points of View
Redditors were amazed by the benefits OP had and started comparing the paid time off they get at work.
One said, “Cries in my 10 days of American PTO.”
Another said, “My last company was strict. We used to get separate PTO and sick days, and you had to use them accordingly. A couple of years before I left, they combined it. We lost days after it was combined. The company said it was because we could use them for either now, and they figured more people would use them for vacations.”
Why Are People Stereotyping Men and Women?
Some users were also upset that many still expect that only moms would care for their kids.
This man said, “What bothers me the most is that society still expects and assumes the mom to do most of the childcare. Dad can and will do the job well. I am a father of two, and I take pride in doing so.” One Redditor wrote, “My manager was newly promoted when I started my job. It took a couple of rounds of me taking the day off to care for a sick kid before she 100% ‘got it’—that it’s okay for fathers to do that. She never shamed me or turned down my requests, but the confused look on her face went away. And she’s a great manager, the best on our team. This is just a huge blind spot for a lot of folks.”
What do you think of what OP experienced? Could HR have done better?
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