Before You Submit Your Question…….

Ask the Workplace Doctors is a FREE resource to help you find solutions to workplace communication problems. If you are thinking about submitting a question, the following information may be useful to you:

1. You may find the answer to your question in our archive of over 3,000 questions and responses. Look for the general category, on the right, then scan the Q & A’s.

2. Your name and email will not appear in our posted answer. An immediate response will be sent you via your email as soon as possible–usually within two days. If you scan our recent posted Q&A and Archives, you will see that all submitted questions are anonymous.

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How To Regain Good Feelings About Work After Forced Drug Test?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about emotions
after being required to take a drug test. 

Question: I was accused of being under the influence at my job, I was randomly drug tested and had to wait 3-5 business days to find out that I was ‘cleared’ to return to work. It was extremely humiliating because I was made out to be drug addict, and if not that then some other personality defect was causing me to act like I was on drugs. Very hurtful!

I returned to work and I didn’t even receive an attempt at an apology from any of my bosses that were so quick to accuse me. I had thought I was more valued as an employee than to be treated like that.

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What Does OSHA Say About Earbuds?

Question:
What does OSHA say about the use of ear buds in a manufacturing environment?

Response:
We have several questions and responses in our archives about using ear buds and/or ear protection, in work environments. Some of them have many links to articles. You may find it useful to go to categories and check out Music and Noise in the Workplace.

If you are asking about reducing harm from noise in the work environment, your best resource is the OSHA website. They don’t have rules about whether or not ear protection is worn, but they have advice about protecting hearing.

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How to Prove a Coworker is Lying About Overtime?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about overtime abuse:

Question:
How to prove your colleague is wrongly getting overtime? I’m inquiring because my coworker has been putting unnecessary O/T for a while now. He is conducting normal business hours duties on overtime after not working for majority of the business days. There is a lot more to the story, but I would like to start with proving his overtime abuse. PS My manager told me my coworker works after hours but does not get paid for it and I really feel strongly that is false.

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What To Do About A Problem Group of Coworkers?

A question to Ask the  Workplace Doctors about workplace conflict. 

Note to the author of this question: We sent our response to the email address you provided, but it was returned as invalid. We’re hoping you will come back to the site to see our advice about your workplace concern!

Question: 
I recently became president among the workers in our unit. The rest of our colleagues (whom we dubbed the Red Sparrows) are always sucking up to whoever new administrator comes to our unit. They badmouth our admin to us and if we agree with them, they report it to her. They expose our flaws which are already personal and has nothing to do with them. We tried to settle it personally face to face and they agreed but they still work underground and I still hear whispering of rumors. Worse, our new admin is a manipulative one and uses our faults to control us. What do we do? Please help.

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Is It Legal to be Fired Over a Facebook Post?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being fired
over a Facebook post:

I had a word spat with a co-worker and after going home and venting my frustrations to my boyfriend, he took it upon himself to message my co-worker on Facebook and threaten to “kick his as$.” I was fired for this threat 3 days letter. Is this legal? Do I not have a leg to stand on even though I didn’t do anything wrong? I had worked for this company for nearly 19 years.

Signed-Concerned Nurse

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How Can I Keep From Working Near the “Other Woman”?

Question:
I recently found out my husband was having an affair with a “friend” and coworker of mine. All three of us work for the same company in different departments and different buildings. However, this week, the other woman shows up in my office and is now working in my department. Is there anything I can do to get moved to a new department with out jeopardizing anyone’s employment? I don’t want to bring this painful personal issue to my work place but I cannot go to the office every day and see her.

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Should I Make Changes If I Have Been Fired?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about how to respond better to workplace conflicts and problems. 

Question:
Unfortunately, I lost my job recently due to my temper tantrum. There were MANY factors that contributed to this, but ultimately, I understand that I was the one at fault because I should’ve handled the situation professionally, addressed any concerns immediately and should’ve NEVER tolerated rude behaviors of others repeatedly.

However, I can’t help but still feel angry because I tolerated the unkindness and injustice from several people ever since I started working there. I was stuck working in the same room with one employee pretty much all day. She did not have a pleasant personality and constantly badmouthed other employees. She made problems out of nothing. She would curse and throw her tantrums when she was under pressure to meet deadlines. When someone came in the room just to greet me (sometimes both of us), she would get so angry that she complained about it to the owner. This list goes on. Everyone knew how she is, but decided to keep her around anyway, because despite her difficult personality, she’s good at her job.

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Hostile Environment!

Ask the Workplace Doctors about a COO who gossips about me and staff who scream:

The CEO of the agency I work for is my aunt. A coworker, recently promoted to COO, who never liked me, has talked about my character to staff I supervise. I have been under investigation by the state 2 times and each time the allegations were unsubstantiated.

I have 10 years of perfect audits. I recently directed my manager to write a counseling memo (not an employee’s warning) about a situation that could be an incident and she began yelling and screaming at me! I asked for a meeting with both staff and got the same result. They began yelling at me saying, I’m picking on them. They both were confident there was not a need to do a counseling memo.

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Where Is the Line Between Complaint and Information?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about issues that need answering and in particular about complaints:

I’m in a situation where all of the lower-tiered techs complain to me about their issues, but when I’ve historically brought it up to upper management they blatantly seem to not care. We recently got a new supervisor who is doing her best, but she often says complaining doesn’t solve anything. 

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Will My Husband be Fired if I Tell About His Office Affair?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about whether or not an employer would fire two people who are having an affair. 

Question:
My husband was recently promoted to a high level manager’s position in an industrial plant. He was placed on what is called a hiring panel with the HR manager to recruit and hire new employees. The HR manager is also married.

Shortly after working together and her sending many inappropriate text messages to him all hours of the day/night, he began the affair with her. She recently put him in for a company recognition award which he got.

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