I lied to my boss saying that I wouldn't be able to go to work today because my cousin died. Now, she's asking me for proof of death with a death certificate. What should I do?
I have two sets of advice. First coments apply if you work for a large company with an HR department. Small business advise is last. (And how you behave for each is very different. To a large corporate owned company you are a number. To a small business, you are like a member of a small family.)Corporate advice:A. Any corporate boss who asks for proof of death, or proof of illlness, or any proof of reason for absence is overstepping boundaries. DON’T come clean to ANYONE who has that kind of mentality in the corporate world, you’ll be giving pearls to swine. They’ll ruin you. Here’s what you do (and my mobile ap has no date on this question so if it’s old…eh learn for next time.B. You are going to need to become an instant adult overnight. You’re playing with the big boys now. You do something stupid, stop panicking…THINK!FIRST, look through the workplace policy manual to see what the actual protocol for PTO is. Check if she has the right to ask for proof of death, or to ask for reasons for absense. Check if it’s standard HR office protocol or if she’s just being a “bossy boss.”If it's NOT protocol, if she does NOT have the right to ask for proof of death, go talk to HR. Get clarification from HR about time off policies.If HR states no reason needs to be given for PTO, then tell them what happened: that 1. there was a death in the family, that 2. she asked for proof, that 3. you know now it is not office policy, but she asks it from those underneath her, that 4. you want her to stop asking for “notes from mom.” 5. You want to take your days off per office policy, and you believe questions about your personal life are inappropriate, and this last caused you great stress, because you feel asking your aunt for a death certificate was bordering on harrassment, but you don’t want to lose your job.If it IS HR policy, then, because YOU failed to read your manual, you will either have to lie, come clean, or quit. I dont suggest coming clean. HOWEVER, I dont suggest this because I believe in lying…I don’t! (And I hope you have learned that your one day off was surely not worth all this!) I don’t think you should come clean because, I BELIEVE IT’S NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, and ANY boss who asks for proof of ANYTHING has overstepped their boundaries as your boss.Your boss has NO RIGHT to know anything about your personal life. Not one damb thing! Bosses today have evolved into disturbing, controlling, parental figures that demand to know things they’ve no right to know. Your boss has no right to know if your cousin actually died and no right to know if you're a liar. Your family’s existence and your moral character are none of their business.The ONLY thing your boss needs to decide is:To what degree your absence affected the daily productivity.If you had any PTO/time off left to use.Whether to keep you, give you a warning, or fire you.Your BEHAVIOR is the only thing she need concern herself with. Your MINDSET and THE REASONS BEHIND YOUR BEHAVIOR is none of her affair, and nothing she has a right to discover.Her conversation with you should be nothing more than:“Your absence caused you to get behind on ‘abc.‡ I’ll need you to get it caught up by ‘xyz‡ date.” OR…“You had 28 days PTO starting the beginning of the year. You’ve taken 10 of those already. You might want to ration them out or you wont have any left at the end of the year.” OR…“I hope you’re family is doing well. Welcome back.”Read your manual, there should be well defined rules governing days off. Most jobs give you so many days off per year, and you can take them, and no reason need be given. Most bosses dont want to know why their employees take days off, and her wanting a reason is very strange to me. If it’s a large business it reeks of discrimination, and she’s singled you out for some reason, OR you are habitually absent and she’s decided to play a mind game of cat and mouse. Either way, asking for proof is a strange request for most companies. Very strange. I’d consider finding a different, less bizarre job.SMALL BUSINESS - with no HR department, or a mom and pop shop where the boss is the actual owner:Asking for “a note from mom,” unfortunately is common with owner/boss small businesses, because they do operate more like a small family. If this is the case, and you work for a mom and pop shop, then it actually might be best to come clean. Prostrate yourself before the boss/owner, beg forgiveness, and promise never to do it again.BOTTOM LINE: The best gift you could give YOURSELF is a good work ethic. Never take a day off unless you are taking an allowed vacation, you are actually sick, or there really IS a family emergency.