Undefined bereavement policy, requested two days off for fiance’s uncle’s death that was denied, unfairly fired – what recourse do I have legally?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Undefined bereavement policy, requested two days off for fiance’s uncle’s death that was denied, unfairly fired – what recourse do I have legally?

Hi, I live in Florida. My fiance’s uncle passed away over the weekend and I told my employers about the death. I work for a small firm with no bereavement policy defined. I requested two days off to pick up my fiance from the airport and spend time with family. We have been together for 12 years and both very close with his uncle. My employers denied my request and I asked for them to either reconsider, or please subtract two days off that were granted for after our wedding because this was important. I was told that this was ‘my choice to do so.’ I took that as I was granted the time off, but would have to take the two days that were being used for after our wedding in order to do so. I didn’t hear anything on Monday, but Tuesday I was texted to call the office. I called and was fired. I feel this was insensitive, but wanted to know if I have any recourse?

Asked on August 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You really have no recourse here. That is unless your treatment constituted some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to have) or your termination violated the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement. The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will". This menas that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. Further, an employer can discharge an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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