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Employer fires experienced, long-time worker because he caught Covid-19, then management realizes the unforgiving mistake they made

The pandemic is behind us but it left huge impact on our lives in many aspects. Certainly, it heavily changed the business landscape and how companies and employees operate since 2020.

While many companies managed to adapt and overcome the challenges they faced during the pandemic, millions of companies worldwide made mistakes, struggled and some of them were even forced to cease operations.

In an unfolding narrative marked by both resilience and a belated acknowledgment of value, the vicissitudes of one man’s career path have come to reflect broader labor dynamics exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reddit user u/Solid_Information recently disclosed an unexpected twist in her husband’s professional journey, offering a poignant vignette that casts a spotlight on the fragility of employment during the COVID crisis. For over a decade, her husband had served in the construction sector, a tenure abruptly terminated in the early months of 2021.

Workplace layoffs, though not uncommon even in occupations characterized by low compensation, have assumed a particularly dire aspect during the pandemic. The dilemma has been especially acute for professions requiring outdoor or in-person services. In one incident, a construction company’s hasty decision to dismiss an employee after he contracted the coronavirus led to an eventual epiphany regarding his true worth.

The user began her note, “My husband was fired from his job in January of 2021 after 10+ years because we got Covid, and he was down for the count for a month.”

In a strange turn of events, one of the company’s senior members sent the husband a text that they wanted to keep in touch and inquired about his current job. The woman added that the company advertised her husband’s former position with $5 higher pay than he received before his termination. She also highlighted the company’s desperation by saying that this was the third time the job had been advertised ever since he was fired.

She continued, “My husband was a construction manager. He took the job at 19, so he wasn’t aware of the real value his work and position had.”

At the time that he was fired, the husband was making $17 for an hour of work, which is relatively meager. The post detailed how it’s been a year and a half since the husband got fired and how the company still couldn’t find anyone to work for the same position at such a poor rate. The wife then tactfully suggested that the husband reach out to the same company for work, but only if they give him $45 for an hour of work.

Users on the website were quick to agree with the unfairness of the situation. One user commented: “I know you’re not really asking a question, but what he’s doing now definitely matters the most for how he responds to this. And I agree: go notably above what they’re offering!”

Others shared how the position of a construction manager is a very important one and one gets paid very decently for it. According to some other users, an employee on that position should be paid more than $17 with some saying at least $100k per year. Others went even further stating annual salary of $150-200k.

It turns out that the company realized the mistake they made only because the employee was required to stay home and recover after contracting Covid-19. But it was already too late for them.

Alfred Duncan

Alfred Duncan is a senior editor at The South Florida Daily, where he oversees our coverage of politics, misinformation, health and economics. Alfred is a former reporter and editor for BuzzFeed News, National Geographic and USA Today.

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