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Ethical Dilemma

So, I’m graduating from college (undergrad) in the middle of May. My Mom has this job at which she’s one of about three employees who actually work while they’re at work. It’s a third shift assisted living facility job caring for elderly residents. The particular facility requires that she ask off for occasions (such as one’s daughter’s graduation) before the first of the month of the date requested off. My mom asked off for this date in May in mid-March, and her place of employment still scheduled her anyway, even though they knew upon hiring my mom a few months prior to March that she would be asking for several days off in May for functions related to my graduation (awards night, honor’s graduation ceremony, full undergrad commencement, etc.). My mom plans to contact the branch manager to explain the importance of having that day off, but if she can’t get it off, she said she’s just going to basically play hooky and come to my graduation anyway.

I am the first in our family to graduate college (other than my deceased father), and I’m graduating with honors and attending grad school next fall. Many of the things I’ve done here are things I never thought I could do, and my mom knows all that. Especially after my dad passed away during my high school years, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I pretty much had an early-onset quarter-life crisis that lasted from my sophomore year of high school until my second year of college, at which point I decided to start writing. 

I couldn’t have gotten where I am without my mom, and after my dad passed away, my mom did everything she could to make my life have the same potential and relatively the same comfort level it did in years past. 

If she plays hooky from work, she risks losing her job, even though when she pointed this out to HR, she received a mousy response as though they overlooked the date on which she requested off. 

I kind of have a problem with my mom’s employer now for a few reasons: 1. They’ve made my mom’s life hell by scheduling her (a competent, non-negligent worker) with people who sleep on the job, giving her extra duties that require more than one person for her safety and that of the residents. 2. My mom was in the right here. She filled out the proper paperwork for getting this date off in advance, with plenty of notice. 3. They’re adding extra stress for me in that I want my mom at my graduation, but I don’t want her to lose her job because she’s supporting me and my accomplishments. She’s putting motherhood above, potentially, her own comfort and financial stability. 

I need thoughts:

What should she do?

Would she have a wrongful termination case, should she lose her job if things go awry (even further)? 

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