Actually, the Royal Mail said the week David Portman took off to mourn his dog’s death was just the last straw. In his 5 years as a mailman, Portman missed 137 days. Claiming that his absences were either work-related or genuine injuries not of his doing, and that he shouldn’t have been fired for mourning the loss of his dog, Portman filed a claim for unfair dismissal. (The injuries/illnesses included a broken foot, sprained ankle, whiplash, and asthma.)
Who do you think won? Wrong! (or “Right!”). Portman won – a sum in excess of £10,000 (over $15,000 US). Said the Sheffield tribunal:
The vast majoirty of the claimant’s absence days were occasioned through injuries sustained in accidents at work’ which should have been discounted by the Royal Mail… None of the claimant’s absences were for other than wholly legitimate and genuine reasons.