Every working mom knows the groggy despair that comes with waking up early (if she even got any sleep at all) to go to work after a long night with a sick child. What’s less common is a boss who genuinely cares.
Bernie Reifkind, the L.A.-based CEO of the recruiting company Premier Search, published a now-viral post on LinkedIn sharing how he responded to a clearly burnt-out mom employee of his.
Bernie saw the woman sitting at her desk at 7:45 A.M., crying, with “bags under her eyes.” Her child was sick, she said. She had been up all night. She was at work because she had run out of sick days to use.
What happened next is surprising and heartwarming.
Bernie said, “I sent her home and promised that she would get paid. In addition, I wrote her a check on the spot for extra money to alleviate her immediate financial worry. She was incredibly grateful. To this day, she is my best employee not just because of her talent but her loyalty.”
The fact that Bernie wrote this mom a check on the spot is practically unheard of, but even had he not, paying her for a day’s work to care for an ill child should be the norm for good employees. Unfortunately, it’s not—and it can be nerve-wracking for a mom to leave work for a day, even during an emergency, not just out of fear of being fired, but because of financial instability. Bernie’s solution was kind, generous, and empowering, allowing this mom to make the best decision for the health of her child—and herself.
Bernie ended the post with an emphatic plea to other bosses.
“Employers, please understand that most people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Burning the candle at both ends. Trying to make ends meet. Kids, homework, spouses, significant others, elder parents, mortgage payments, auto repairs, etc. The relentlessness of life. People are worried about their jobs. PLEASE reassure your hard working employees that their jobs are secure, whenever possible. Loyalty goes both ways.”
His entire post is below.