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Employee refuses to cover coworker's shift during holidays just because she has kids, sparks debate

The employee rejected covering for a negligent coworker when she asked them to give up their off because they didn't have kids.

Employee refuses to cover coworker's shift during holidays just because she has kids, sparks debate
Representative Cover image Source: Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio; Reddit | u/FriendlyAd2809

Most people tend to spend the Christmas season with their families. But this does not mean that people who are away from their families have nothing to do. They are also equally entitled to relax during the holidays and get some rest. It's also crucial for people to realize that they should rest on their own time and not get other people to cover for them. u/FriendlyAd2809 shared a story about their toxic colleague who reasoned they should cover for them on Christmas just because they had kids.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tim Mossholder
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tim Mossholder

The post has received 3.3K upvotes and 541 comments on the platform. The individual begins the post by mentioning that their office closed around Christmas and will only open on January 2 or 3. This particular year, employees were asked to put in their leave requests up until January 2. In case they wanted additional days, they would have to put in a second request.

They would then approach the requests of the employees based on how many people were working. The individual put in a request till January 8, which got approved. It happened because one of their colleagues was returning on January 2, while the other did not ask for any extra days. However, another colleague did not put in any extra days and asked the managers if she could be off till the 8th.

She reasoned that she wanted to spend time with her two kids and her husband. They write, "My bosses declined as they needed two staff members here and it hadn't been put in beforehand. A colleague said she wasn't put in the extra days already, but the rest of the team knew and did it." The bosses informed her that she could have the extra days off if she could find someone to cover for her.


This coworker proceeded to send the individual a "passive-aggressive email," asking them if they could cover for her. She also said the individual would have no problem coming in for the holidays as they did not have kids. They write, "I declined, saying that I had plans for that time and she lost it!" The woman then went around the workplace, telling the other people in the office that the individual ruined her holiday plans and that they were "being inconsiderate of people with families and children."

Image Source: Reddit | u/Illustrious-Shirt569
Image Source: Reddit | u/Illustrious-Shirt569
Image Source: Reddit | u/Artistic_Tough5005
Image Source: Reddit | u/Artistic_Tough5005

People sided with the individual's stand and offered words of support in the comments section. u/Remember1959 said, "NTA. You have plans; you requested the leave. End of story. If it were a matter of working Christmas Day itself and a colleague had a 3-6-year-old, I MIGHT consider swapping. But after New Year? Nope, a thousand times nope. And tell HR she's creating a hostile working environment." u/lmmontes commented, "NTA. This is on her and you should likely tell HR. Her behavior is 100% unacceptable. And just because people have kids doesn't mean their off time is more important."

Whereas, u/Adventurous-Try1728 suggested how to respond to the colleague and what to write by saying, "No. What you respond with is: 'I'm sorry you feel that way. Next time, put in for leave in advance like everyone else - your lack of planning is not my emergency and I will not be changing my plans. Particularly now, after you have gone around disparaging me. Your behavior is highly unprofessional. Find someone else to switch with and stop harassing me.' BCC HR, your boss and your manager in the email when you send it to her."

Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 29, 2023. It has since been updated.

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