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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Can False Allegations Be Investigated Twice?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a false allegation: Can my agency re-investigate me for the same allegation, even if there is no additional evidence?

I was the subject of false allegations by a subordinate as retaliation for a disciplinary action. I was cleared of the allegation. However, my law enforcement agency allows accusers to remain anonymous. The accuser has been recently dismissed by the agency and I am concerned that he is going to make the same allegations. Can my agency re-investigate me for the same allegation, even if there is no additional evidence?

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Am I Being Written Up By My Boss?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about :

How can I tell if I am being investigated or written up by HR, for personality or work related issues? I think I am but I’m not sure.

Signed, Confused

Dear Confused:

Ask your boss or supervisor or ask HR. Tell them you are worried but don’t know if you’re getting written up or not. It won’t be a secret much longer, because you’ll be told about it. But, it would be good to find out exactly what you did that caused the write-up and see if you can also find out how to avoid it in the future. Best wishes to you!

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Not Taught The Right Way

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about insubordination:

My boss told me today I was being insubordinate when I asked for help with a procedure I was only trained to do once before my coworker left the company two weeks ago.She asked me why I didn’t “get it” when I was shown by a coworker. She did not know and told me there was no one else in the dept. that knew either. She did not want to help me.

Signed, Untrained

Dear Untrained:

Probably your boss thought you were insubordinate because of some sarcastic or angry remark you made, rather than because you didn’t know how to do a procedure. Hopefully you can start over with your boss by approaching this problem a bit differently.

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Written Warning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about written warning:

Does a written warning need to be signed? How long between warnings is valid when unaware of a second warning being given?

Signed, My Signature

Dear My Signature:

Your questions about warnings add to the many we have gotten. In short, we’ve advised that signing a warning indicates you have seen it, not that you agree with it. Being shown a warning provides an opportunity to respond to it by apologizing and/or composing an explanation that might be inserted with it where it is filed.

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Pro and Cons Stress Debriefing

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a critical incident:

Critical incident stress debriefings and the value they provided in the workplace?

Signed, Advice?

Dear Advice?:

Please explain more fully what motivates this question. Is this academic or prompted by real incidents?

William Gorden

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Should We Fire Over Threat To Supervisor

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being sent home: I have spoke to the supervisor and 2 other witnesses who saw the altercation when the supervisor asked the employee to clock out and leave.

I had a situation yesterday where a supervisor had sent one of her employees home because he was responding to her in a volatile way and used curse words. He called her on her personal cell phone that night cursing at her and threatened to kill her. There is not proof of this threat other than the phone records showing his number called her. Now she is afraid for her life and has made a police report. She will not return to work as long as he is here. What are my options as HR to terminate the person who made the threat? I have spoke to the supervisor and 2 other witnesses who saw the altercation when the supervisor asked the employee to clock out and leave. I have written statements from them and the supervisor. Help!

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Tenant restroom left a mess

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unsanitary conditions: each day there are wads of toilet paper on the floor, un-flushed toilets, menstrual and fecal mess smeared on the toilets and walls, etc.

I work for the company that owns the business building we’re in. On a tenant floor, ever since a new tenant moved in, the women’s restroom is left a mess daily. Despite several email reminders to all tenants (this email is sent to all as to not point fingers) on proper restroom etiquette and hygiene, each day there are wads of toilet paper on the floor, un-flushed toilets, menstrual and fecal mess smeared on the toilets and walls, etc. Other tenants are having to go to other floors to use the restroom, as it’s disgusting and they also don’t want their own guests dealing with the mess. I’ve tried emails to the tenants, checking who’s going into the restroom via our key-card system log, etc…but nothing seems to work as it’s a high-traffic bathroom. The tenant employs many “young” staff, and several seem to be making these messes. Before I discuss with our own HR staff to see what they think we should do, I’m asking you! Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.

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