Teenager sacked for being too upset to work after beloved dog died

She has now started a campaign for pet owners to get statutory bereavement leave

An 18-year-old woman says she was sacked from her job at a fast food restaurant because her dog died.

Scottish teen Emma McNulty texted her employers at 10am on a day she was due to start a 3pm shift, telling them that she was too upset to work.

She told Glasgow Live: “I informed my manager I could not come into work as I was too devastated and physically sick to do so.”

Emma had owned her Yorkshire terrier Milly for 14 years, and said: “She was a valued family member and companion, I grew up with her and developed a close relationship that only grew each day. “

She had expected some sympathy from her bosses over her loss, but added: “Instead of being shown the compassion and sympathy stated in the contract, I was sent a number of nasty messages and told I had to cover my shift as no bereavement time was allowed for pets.”

When she initially contacted her manager to ask for the time off, she was told that it was her responsibility to find another member of staff to cover her shift.

Emma, from Baillieston, Glasgow, says she tried, but had no luck.

“I did not go to work that day and I was fired and left unemployed the same day as losing my best friend, this caused me extreme distress and sickness,” she says.

She was subsequently told not to bother coming I for her shifts for the rest of that week, before receiving an email telling her that she’d been sacked for gross misconduct.

Emma has now started a petition asking for bereaved pet owners to be given the same sort of consideration as employees who have lost relatives: “I think it’s disgusting how some companies think it’s acceptable to treat someone in this way with no remorse.

Emma said: “A family pet …in my case my dog… has just as much importance as a human family member.

“It’s time companies acknowledged this and give people the time they need to grieve, with no worry of losing their job.”

So far, after three days, around 2,800 people have signed Emma’s petition