Single Woman Severely Criticized For Not Donating Her Vacation Days To Pregnant Coworker

Maternity leave is the paid time off from work that new mothers take after their babies are born. The time after a baby is first born is widely considered crucial for forming bonds with your child but also for getting them the proper care they need early on. This includes time for breastfeeding, wellness check-ups and immunization appointments. However, in the U.S., many companies don’t offer paid time off for new mothers.

This is the situation at the telecom company that a young woman, 24, works at as a tech support agent. The woman shared a post on Reddit in June 2021 asking if she was in the wrong for not giving up her vacation time so that her pregnant coworker could have more maternity leave. The poster shared that the company does not offer maternity leave but instead “fundraises” so other employees can donate their personal time off.

The pregnant woman already used some of her vacation days, so the other employees in the office agreed to donate at least one day off to her. Now, the tech support agent’s other coworkers are pressuring her to give up some of her days because she is single. The problem is she already booked a flight to see her family and needs the time off for herself. Also, the poster wonders if she is truly the one responsible for giving up her days off in this situation.

The woman took to Reddit to find out if she was being unkind by not donating her time off. More than 1,000 people commented. Read on to find out what other users thought about the young woman’s choice.

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The woman started off her post, writing, “I work as tech support in a telecom company. They don’t provide paid maternity leave but ‘fundraises’ whenever a pregnant woman needs time off. We all get 2 weeks vacation, 5 sick days and 3 PTO but my pregnant coworker used up some of it already.”

It was the woman’s boss who started the fundraiser for the pregnant coworker instead of granting her the time off. She continued, “So my boss asked everyone to ‘donate’ and most people have given a day but I used up a week of vacation and PTO days already and I’m leaving in July to visit family and booked a full week (9 days if you count the weekends).”

Part of the issue is that the poster doesn’t even know her pregnant coworker all that well. “My coworkers are pressuring me to give up my vacation days since they feel like I don’t need them being single w/o kids but I already bought my plane ticket. I also don’t really know the pregnant lady and don’t feel like my responsibility when my boss could just give her the days,” she wrote.

The general consensus on Reddit was: she was totally in the right for wanting to save her vacation time for herself. One person wrote, “Another example of employers not giving a crap about employees. You earned those days, you deserve those days, so YOU use those days.”

Another Redditor chimed in with a rhetorical question, asking, “Who should give up time? The giant company that makes a bunch of money or the person I’m sure they’re underpaying and not giving enough vacation to?”

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Most of the comments pointed out that it’s the company’s responsibility to provide time off and not the other employees. They agreed that the company has the ability to grant time off but is choosing not to. Another person added, “If your boss really wanted her to have more time off, they could just give her more time off.”

A different user agreed and shared a personal anecdote. They wrote, “About 18 months ago a coworker’s newborn son required open-heart surgery. He’d taken paternity leave and some vacation after the birth so didn’t have a lot of PTO left. The company gave him a week’s leave at full pay. If the company really wants to, the company can find a way.”

Another commenter mentioned that the absence of an employee on maternity leave already creates a burden on their coworkers, who have to pick up the extra work. “Parental leave already puts an extra workload on the coworkers. They shouldn’t have to give up their vacation time on top of that,” wrote the commenter.

Other users brought up that just because the poster is single doesn’t mean she is less deserving of her time off. Someone pointed out: “You did not create this system, and just because you’re single and have no kids does not mean you are less entitled to your time than anyone else.” The bottom line is, almost everyone agrees the woman is not in the wrong here and that she should take her time off to see her family in peace.

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Do you think the woman who posted the story was in the wrong? What would you have done? Let us know, and feel free to pass this on to your friends and family.

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