Uneaqual Pay

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unfair pay: I am paid the minimum wage but my co-worker, who does exactly the same job as me, gets more.

I currently work as a production operator in a factory. I have worked there for 7 years. I am paid the minimum wage but my co-worker, who does exactly the same job as me, gets more. He has been given a pay raise even though my time keeping and punctuality are much better. I feel, as though my boss is doing his utmost to make me feel uncomfortable and wants me to leave, but has no reason to sack me. I feel victimized, and my co-worker has also stated that it seems unfair. Is there anything that I can do about this I am extremely unhappy.

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Anti-Semitism???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about religious discrimination: One of the staff members has taped a poster advertising The Passion of the Christ DVDs on the outside of her office door facing the hallway that I have to pass. Is this legal?

I have a situation at work that I feel constitutes or borders on anti-Semitism. I hope you can advise me as to what my rights are. I work for a non-sectarian association, with 18 employees. One of the staff members has taped a poster advertising The Passion of the Christ DVDs on the outside of her office door facing the hallway that I have to pass. Is this legal?

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Co-worker accuses me of hating her

Question:

I’m been working with this particular coworker for six years. We were friends until after she became pregnant and started accusing me of hating her. The more I tried to tell her that what she was thinking wasn’t true, the more determined she became that I did hate her.

Eventually I couldn’t take any more so I ended the friendship. A few months after I ended the friendship she took me to HR saying I had threatened her and that I didn’t want to work on any projects with her. She had no proof of any of this, but to solve the problem we were given ground rules to follow. I have followed these rules but my coworker is still not satisfied. It seems like every other month I receive an email from her being accused of “disrespecting” her in some form or fashion. Just yesterday she send me an email asking me to stop giving her “nasty looks.” This was after she passed me in the hallway with her head down. I’m not sure what to do about this. I’ve shown a couple of the emails to my manager but he suggests I ignore them.

This is becoming very frustrating. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I do as my manager suggests and ignore it or should I go back to HR with the emails? If I go to HR there is a possiblity one of us will lose our job and I don’t want that; I just want her to leave me alone. Confused and Frustrated

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One Minute Early or Late Clocking In Penalty!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about docking for coming early or late:

Is it legal to dock my pay 15 minutes for being 1 minute late/or early to work? My employer says he will dock anyone who clocks in 1 min. early or 1min. late 15 mins.

Signed, Docked

Dear Docked:

Our site does not give legal advice. Even if the one-minute rule is not legal, making a fuss over it would not be worth the time, money, or effort. Your question, however, is more one of bossing and being bossed. Rather than ask is it legal, you should ask why? Obviously, your employer doesn’t want to pay for more hours than is needed. But to clock in a few minutes early should not cost your employer anything and rather than being penalized, should show you are a responsible employee, and if you overlap with the outgoing shift, that should better continuity.

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What The Doctor Needs To Order!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about new bossy nurse:

I have been working for a local Doctor’s office for about 3 yrs now. At first it was great even though I heard numerous complaints about the head doctor from the other nurses. About 4 or 5 months ago I was made head nurse only to have the 2 long time employees who are part timers threaten to quit because they were not made head nurse. So after one week of being in this position it was taken away from me. I have since tried to go on about my job of course not always being happy with what had taken place but doing my best and still continuing to do 110% of my job, performing the same job duties as before which is what a head nurse does.

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Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary!

Question:

I am a part-time tutor in a local college but was a full-time interim manager of our writing center for 2 months while my manager (I’ll call her Mary) was recovering from cancer. I was told that I was a creative and highly competent interim (student traffic has doubled since the prior semester, I think because of new staff I had to hire) by the Dean of our department; having accomplished many needed projects during my short tenure. It has been a month since Mary has been back and I have resumed my part-time status.

Recently and without prior discussion about the issue, a fellow tutor and I were forwarded a very disturbing email apologizing for a conversation I had with a college administrator where I was accused of being rude and arrogant. This email had a very punitive tone and was forwarded to the Dean. It was later revealed that the complainant meant for her words to be held in confidence. I sent a response defending myself and asking Mary to please discuss any future complaints with me first before making assumptions. I rec’d two more punitive emails that were similarly emailed to the Dean. Realizing that my colleague and I are perceived as clear threats to Mary, we think this hostility will only escalate and destroy our chances of becoming faculty at the college.

We feel demoralized, disrespected and–both of us are middle-aged professionals with master’s degrees and are not accustomed to being treated this way. Please note that although Mary is supposed to be in the Writing Center (WC) where I work helping students, she is rarely there and spends most of her time attending non-WC-related meetings and hobnobbing with senior faculty and administrators. Although my fellow tutor has been at the WC 3 months, she has exchanged perhaps two words with Mary and had to introduce herself (Mary was someone I hired at the recommendation of the Dean.) Note that there has always been a consistent over-reliance on email and cell-phone communication as Mary’s management style.

Do you think my colleague and I are justified in resigning? I just got an assignment teaching a class at the college and have been assured by the Dean that this matter in no way impugns her opinion of me; it does bother that that such a poor manager who is absentee, abusive, and doesn’t defend her own staff is allowed to continue.

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Coughing and No Hand Washing!

Question:

Wow. I don’t think we work in a toxic place, but my seatmates cough incessantly. One or the other always has a cold, or an allergy. Sometimes it’s so bad I can’t hear to talk on the phone. And hand washing??? Forget it! I feel like I’ve over-dosed myself on hand sanitizer just to use a mutual keyboard. The cacophony is making me insane! Help.

Signed,

Sick Environment

Answer:

Dear Sick Environment:

Unfortunately our coworkers do get ill from time to time and contagious illnesses certainly present a big problem in the workplace. To correct this health related situation will require a team effort! Everyone must be aware of their surroundings and their coworker’s best interest.

Ask for a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your concerns and ask for his/her input in correcting or decreases the problem. Try to involve several workers, using a team approach. Come up with suggestions in which all workers agree to do their part. By doing so, you will create a healthier, happier workplace. Best of luck. Gerald Allen, Guest Respondent with HR experience Your concerns spring from both self-interest and WEGO mindedness.

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Dear Rumored To Be Fired:

Question:

Today I came down with a case of the flu. When I called work my GM informed me that I need a doctor’s excuse to remain employed. I was very surprised because I don’t miss much work, not nearly as much as some of my co-workers. I do not have any health insurance so it is hard for me to afford doctor visits. Is it the employer’s responsibility to pay for doctor’s visits when they require an excuse? If it is, is there a place online that I can prove it to them? I live in the state of Wisconsin if it matters. Thanks for any help.

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30-Old Co-worker Hits On H.S.-Age

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about old 30 year man soliciting dates of underage employees:

I just turned 18 this year. I am a full time high school student and have a part-time job at a retailer. I am considered the “baby” of the company because I get very excited and I love exuding enthusiasm to customers. I love people; however, my company has recently hired this one male worker who is much older, at least 30 years old, compared to the many high school and college student workers, 16-22. He’s very out of place with his formal dress compared to the typical shirt and jeans the rest of us wear. I’ve been hearing rumors of dishonesty and just a feel of desperation from this worker.

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What Topics Should A Workgroup Avoid?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about topics that provoke debate:

I have a large group of women working in a small area. They are constantly bringing up topics that create a debate. What are some major topics that I should have them avoid?

Signed, Taboo Talk

Dear Taboo Talk:

Here’s a question we have not received before. Its answer can range from none to specifics. Possibly, the answer is to suggest that vigorous and even acrimonious debate helps this work group’s day go faster. You seem to assume that to tell someone not to think or talk about something can work, as if to say, “Don’t allow the words Ape or Chicken come to your mind during the next five minutes” can prevent that. This is to suggest that possibly a proactive approach would be to suggest some topics that would so interest this group of women-that they would find some topics invigorating and fun–rather than to order them to avoid debatable topics that might provoke alienation. One of our guest respondents sent the additional advice below.

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