Given My Coworker-Friend’s Job

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stress caused by being assigned to a coworker-friend’s job:

I am covering for my coworker who is out for 6 weeks. We have became really great friends over the last year. I was approached by our boss and was told/offered my friends job. I do like the job. My friend has complained about the job for 2 years. But they are making me take it. I know my friend is going to feel like I stabbed her in the back and not have anything to do with me. I don’t know what to do. (more…)

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Photographing A Coworker’s Timecard

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about
photographing time cards
:

We are an Ohio business and our volume of business rises and falls weekly due to the nature of our business. With that said, there are times when one or two employees are told to stay home for the day; this is all done evenly across the board so no one employee is singled out. A certain employee feels he is being treated unfairly and was seen taking pictures of other employees time cards. The time cards contain only the employees name and week ending date, no social security numbers. Are there any laws regarding this employee taking pictures of other employees’ time cards?

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Climate of Fear

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about loss of those charged with a managing a department.

Our department is under the microscope for not stopping the students from protesting. Our Interim Assistant Director re-applied for the position that he had for three years. The Director resigned due to the overwhelming pressure from the Administrators. The hiring manager is the Vice President of Student Affairs. She gave us false assurance that he would get the job. She did a complete turn around and told our Assistant Director that he had until December 31 (1 week) to pack up and leave his keys behind. It’s now January 16 and he received a letter that they decided not to fill the position.

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Don’t Want To Make A Mistake

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a query signed by a subordinate:

Good morning. My boss gave me a query for lateness to work, but asked the administrative officer, who is a very junior staff to me, to sign the query letter on his behalf. I need clarifications before I respond so that I don’t make mistake. I expected him to have asked my immediate boss to sign on his behalf rather than a very junior staff. Please, I need your urgent response. Thanks.

Signed—Don’t Want To Make A Mistake

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Can My Last Employer Take Action About A Racism Accusation On My Last Day?

Question:

I have been accused of being racist on my last working day at my previous employer. To my knowledge I haven’t been racist but they’ve taken whatever I said to heart and portrayed it as a racial comment. I do not work for the company anymore. Can they still take action and if so what could it be?

Response:

You do not say if the racist actions or comments were said to have happened on your last day or if you were told about it on your last day, but it had happened previously—or if you were asked to leave over a number of things, racism being one of them, or if you were leaving with good feelings until the accusation was made. Those factors would make a difference in how you were viewed by managers and coworkers.

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Accused Wrongly, But Feeling That I May Be Fired After Years Of Good Work!

Question:

I asked a coworker if she had the information I needed that was sent to her in an email. She said she didn’t know anything about this. When I asked her if she had she read her email or talked to another person about this matter, she yelled at me to not speak to her that way. I was totally shocked at her response that I said “What???” while holding my hands up. I never expected this response. She then screamed at me several times with a raised arm and pointed finger to get out of her office. I said “What?” again and proceeded to defend myself. She then yelled at me again to get out with a raised arm and pointed finger.

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Time Card Disclosure to Home Owners Association and Board

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time card disclosure:

Can a board member display employee time cards at an open meeting of the HOA?
Signed- Right? Wrong?

Dear Right? Wrong?
My few thoughts about your situation caused me to do some investigation and I have copied that below. However, I doubt that it specifically applies to a Homeowners Association. Most law regarding time cards is for profit organizations. Probably your concern deals with privacy. Obviously disclosure of time card information to an open meeting affects privacy, but time records in themselves are not generally protected private information as are medical records. The reason for the disclosure of time cards, to me, signals that something is or someone is uneasy about how the records are kept or not kept or more likely about attendance/absence of an employee.

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Terminated Without Proper Investigation

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about terminated without proper investigation:

I joined a large company last June to head a large technical team. The person leaving my position went to another area of business, probably out of frustration. I wanted to start new and brought in fresh ideas and equitable work distribution. Some of the folks apparently did not like this as they were used to taking it easy.

One of those employees – usually a good worker – did not like one scope of an improvement sentence in his mid-year review. So he went and complained of frivolous things (and untrue of course) to HR in Feb. this year. HR apparently did not take it seriously. Then he rallied a few of his peers (that also reported to me) since they come from same region in Asia. They added their backing to this employee. HR started an investigation. HR however would not reveal who complained (as expected).
One of my employees was a low performer. However, when I knew that she was pregnant, I rated her as “Satisfactory” for year-end review. During calibration for the year end across our group, my manager and my peers raised an objection and wanted her to be marked as a poor performer. The HR representative in the call also agreed that she could be marked as low since she is not on maternity leave yet and her evaluation was for a time before her absence. So, I agreed with the team to mark her as low.

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Told My District Manager Wrote Me Up

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a write up:

Can my district manager enter a write up into my personnel file that I have never seen? I was told I was being written up, but he never showed me a document that I could read or sign. I feel I was being bullied and no document even exists.
Signed Bullied By Write Up

Dear Bullied By Write Up:
Apparently, if you have been told correctly, you can be written up by your district manager. Whether this is within the rules of your organization hinges on what are its rules. Have you been bullied by this because you have not been informed and allowed to read it? Not necessarily. Your information of a write up might be simply that someone heard you were whereas what real took place was that the district manager made a note of something he/she disapproved. Supervisors and managers can do that. Is that good management? It is not good management to allow such a notation to get into a rumor mill.

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What Can I Do to Prevent a Repeat of Problem Behavior By a Colleague Toward Younger Staff?

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What should I do to ensure my staff
is treated appropriately by someone
who has behaved inappropriately in the past?  

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Question:  
I have a male colleague who has placed several junior staff (15-20+ years younger; mostly but not entirely female) in uncomfortable situations over the years: getting drunk to the point that they have to take him home to his wife since he can’t stand up straight (injuring themselves accidentally in the process), calling female colleagues while drunk and then lying to his wife about who he’s talking to, getting drunk in front of clients and having colleagues need to “clean up” after (including both helping him as he throws up as well as dealing with the clients), and so on.

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