Infestation in Federal Building. Management Apathetic

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an unhealthy workplace:

I work in a warehouse that sells groceries and it has been infested with rats for months. There are visible droppings all over and the smell is horrible. Management was warned before it ever became this bad, back when precautions could still be taken. They have ignored all warnings and aren’t making any significant efforts to fix the problem, or clean up problem areas. Mice have even been seen on sales floor. There are a few traps out, but not helping.
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What To Do Next?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a very unpleasant matter:

Well, recently found out that a co-worker had been storing and smearing their faeces in our toilet. We found the faeces all over the basin of the sink. When asked what had happened, everyone was angered and shocked, including the guilty party.

We looked into what we could do to prevent this from happening as we have had minor cases of this in previous months. The next day the smell wasn’t going away. So my boss removed the tiles from around the sink, and behind there was lots of faeces, some in tissue some not. Other rubbish was stored behind there as well, such as wrappers and ladies feminine napkins etc…

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Thrown Up Against The Wall

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being attacked by a co-worker:

I was walking down the aisle at work when a co-worker grabbed my shirt and threw me up against the wall and asked me a question about a girl that was my friend that he also was dating. He wanted information about her and me.

I did not fight back. I went to a manager and told him of the situation. Then the manager told HR who then fired the gentleman. Two days later, HR called into their office saying that they have petitioned to have the employee come back to work.

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No Raise Now?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a verbal warning:
Can a supervisor hold a raise if you were given a verbal warning?
Signed Wondering

Dear Wondering:
I’m sure you don’t want an “it depends” answer. You’d like someone to say, “No, that can’t be done!”

Even labor attorneys, that we are not, most likely will hedge saying it depends on state and federal labor laws, the size of your company, if you are unionized, and how raises are determined by your employer. If you had a union, you’d probably know the answer to your question, so I assume you don’t work under a union contract. We provide communication advice, not legal but here are some thoughts to consider.

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Coworker Over Indulges at Industry Events

I have a dilemma and am hoping to get some advice on how to handle the situation. Many of the folks within the company travel quite a bit, and host or attend many industry events throughout the year. One of the folks who attends these events, seems to always over indulge. Seems now the indulgence is being noticed by outside constituents, who are letting me know what they observed. The person is in a position that would not receive any conversation willingly. How does this person recognize the issue? How do I let this person know there is an issue without consequences?

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Can An Employee Be Fired For Justifiably Raising His Voice When Upset?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about an unfair accusation of harassment. 

A coworker of my husband’s came to our house to get free kittens out from under our deck, but she scared them so badly with a broom etc., that they disappeared. My husband took the carrier she was going to use back to work and she came to his work area to get it. He told her that it was stupid what she did and did yell at her but not crazy-like at all. She complained to the company that she can’t come on his floor “because she is scared” of him.  He had a meeting with the Corporate Diversity Dept. They heard his side of the story, that he did nothing but raise his voice. However, she says it was harassment. Will he be fired or disciplined? His work record is spotless and his boss went into the meeting after him and had nothing but good to say. Your thoughts?

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Where Should I Report Billing Staff for a HIPAA Violation?

A Question to the Workplace Doctors about a billing office employee who violated HIPAA by gossiping about a medical condition. 

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The billing office at my local hospital had gossiped with my previous doctor’s billing nurse. She in turn gossiped with the office staff. I ignored that incident. My current doctor is in a medical office building with the same billing department. Recently, while visiting my dentist, things were said to me that could only have come from the hospital billing department and my doctors office. To say I’m upset is an understatement. I do not want to ignore it this time. However, I do not want to change doctors as this doctor and hospital are the best in the area. Should I discuss it with my doctor, administration, or HIPAA ?

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How Should I Write a Justification Of an Error at Work?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a workplace problem:  I’ve been asked to write a justification related to some errors at work.  How should I write it?

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Question: I have been employed by a big company for six years.  I received a notice from my boss that an internal audit showed errors and failures in some of my work. In the notice, my boss asked me to reply with a justification for why the errors happened.  My work is good quality, but there aren’t enough people to do the job right. How can I justify my actions when I don’t think it was my fault?

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Written Warning Requirements

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about requirements for written warnings: 

I have just been reading up on Written Warnings and have a couple of questions.

1) If there was not a date, time and place of the offence on the written warning is this still valid?

2) Should a written warning be about the same issue and what’s the time frame for these before a  formal warning (level two) can be issued?

3) If the previous warning was about an issue over 12 months ago, does this mean the next warning would result as a written warning (level one) again?

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Was This An Inappropriate Comment?

 Question: to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being accused of making an inappropriate comment.

At the end of a workday I was riding down in an elevator with a female coworker and a high level male manager (I am male). After the female coworker exited the elevator and as we continued down in the elevator, I remarked to the manager that that was a very appropriate color dress she was wearing today (It was Halloween and the coworker was wearing a bright orange dress). The manager replied back to me that that was a very inappropriate comment that I had just made. The remainder of the elevator ride was silent. I’m sensitive and aware of workplace issues regarding sexual harassment, but was my comment really inappropriate?

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