Ask Amy: Terminated employee terminates baby gift

Dear Amy: I work in a department with around 20 people.

Recently “Jo” was let go.

I don’t know the full circumstances, but I was told there was “cause.” Since then many of us have kept in touch with Jo, commiserating and offering support.

Meanwhile, my coworker, “Hannah,” is about to have her first child.

A bunch of us chipped in to get a gift for her.

Today, the person organizing the gift got a message from Jo, asking for their baby gift contribution back.

We have already returned Jo’s contribution (in the $20 range), but most of us believe that asking to have money for a baby gift returned is tacky and even kinda petty.

Hannah had nothing to do with Jo’s termination, and I know that Jo and Hannah were close at work. Jo had even signed the card before leaving, and wrote Hannah a very kind message — a message Hannah won’t see since we all feel that we should replace the card, now!

This whole incident changed a lot of people’s opinions of Jo. A few people are rethinking giving references for Jo because of this.

Was Jo way out of line, or should we cut this person some slack?

— Perplexed Present-giver

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