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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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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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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How to Talk to an Employee about Using Profanity?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors, from a supervisor,
about how to discuss an employee’s use of profanity.

Question:
I need to know some questions to ask an employee about using profanity, in a meeting discussing her performance.

Response:
It’s stressful to be facing a counseling session with an employee, when you know you will be critiquing his or her behavior or performance. Often managers lose sleep and feel worried, much more than the employee does! Your brief question doesn’t explain the circumstances leading up to this meeting—and those are important for you to consider as you decide how to approach it.

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My Boss is Also My Brother-In-Law and He Is Becoming More Angry and Controlling

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a potentially violent boss/brother-in-law. 

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Question: I work for my sister’s husband. He’s an angry, controlling man who has been worse of late. After an incident where he was screaming at her, calling her a B**** and threatening to commit suicide, he was take away in handcuffs and all of his guns were confiscated, but he played nice with the mental health folks and released. I told her not to be home when he got home, so she moved in with me. He told me if she divorced him, he’d fire me, but right after she had him served, both of his other employees quit, so he’s had to rely on me and couldn’t fire me. Last week he casually, totally out of nowhere, told me that he’d gotten a concealed weapon permit. When I mentioned it to my sister, she recalled a recent incident where they were with mutual friends and he told them that he’d had the weirdest dream, that he’d awakened in the night and thought there was an intruder in my sister’s bedroom, so he got a gun and went into her bedroom, and there was no one there, and then he’d wakened in her bedroom– and wasn’t that a funny dream? No one laughed.

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Manager Shoved Me and Grabbed My Arm. What Should I Do?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors, about a manager
who shoved an employee aside, apparently for no reason. 

Question: My manager grabbed my wrist last week and shoved my arm. She came to my register to just supply change and I was beside her, but not in the way.

Response: You don’t say how hard your manager grabbed your arm or shoved you—and there is a big difference between a light movement, to casually move someone out of the way or a firm but non-painful grasp–or a violent grab and shove. But, I can understand if you felt demeaned by her behavior and resented it enough that you’re still upset by it. Whatever the circumstances, there would be almost no reason I could think of for anyone to grab someone’s wrist and shove them, except in an emergency.

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Should I Contact the Employer of “the Other Woman”?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about whether or not to contact the employer of the woman with whom her husband had an affair. 

Your question:
My husband has admitted to having an affair with a woman who began contacting him through his work email via her work email. They work at two separate companies. My husband has since ended the relationship and confessed of inappropriate talk and exchanging pictures (all photos were exchanged over text so this would not pertain to my question) with the woman who was separated from her husband but their divorce was not finalized.

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