Should I Give a Statement About Something That Happened Two Months Ago?

A question to the Workplace Doctors: I’m being asked to make a statement
about something that happened two months ago. What should I do? 

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Question:
I am currently on leave but my supervisor sent me a message to say I must come into work and write a statement about something that happened almost two months ago.  The problem is that the situation didn’t actually happen in my department at work, it happened in another department with which my department interacts. When the situation happened, the guys told me about it and I told them to follow procedures and report the matter to the right people. They didn’t tell me what they ended up doing. read more

What Can Husband Do When His Wife is Involved With a Supervisor At Their Workplace?

A question to Ask the Workplace Doctors: What recourse does a spouse have
when his or her partner is involved
with a supervisor
in the company for which they both work? 

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Question: My niece works with her husband at a firm (both are employees). She has started an affair with one of the supervisors. What recourse /grievance can my niece’s husband raise with the company?

Response:
It is hurtful on many levels, when a spouse is having an affair—and even more so when the married couple and the third person work for the same company. Apart from the emotions and embarrassment for all involved, it’s bound to have a negative effect on work and the work environment, especially when the relationship is between a supervisor and one who is supervised. Employers are also concerned about accusations of sexual harassment if the subordinate employee later claims coercion. And, nowadays, workplace violence can be the result of such a situation. That’s why employers usually have rules prohibiting such relationships. (Although, such rules don’t seem to have much effect on workplace affairs. People will do what they want to do, in most cases.) read more

Did I Over-Step The Mark?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about accessing coworker’s account:

I have access to everyone’s emails as the only IT person, but I got into trouble for going into a colleague’s account to get information I need, even though I repeatedly asked for the information. How do I avoid this in the future?

I have always been employed in workplaces where it’s just presumed that you are monitored and that your emails can be accessed if someone requires information.

At my new position (as a manager), I have access to everyone’s email accounts including other department managers. I had requested information, several times, from another manager so I could meet some important deadlines, imposed by the CEO. After asking for the information from the manager and being given the complete run around, I spoke to the CEO who said “work it out with them” (even tho I had tried). So I took it upon myself to pop in to the managers work emails and grab the information I needed (after all I need this to meet a deadline and keep my job). read more

Will I Be Fined for Mistakes?

Can the owner make you sign a paper that takes money from you if you run so many bad parts?
Signed Worried I Will Owe My Boss

Dear Worried I Will Owe My Boss:
Your question is straight forward and deserves a clear yes or no. It is a legal one that a labor attorney might be able to answer depending on the size of your workplace and if your employer has any government contracts. We aren’t attorneys and don’t pretend to know or give advice that might be inadequate or wrong.

Yours is a question to which you might get free advice from a call to a local attorney or from your state’s Department of Labor. However, you probably know the answer to your question.
You know you probably can be fired for a good reason or no reason because apparently you work without a contract secured by union bargaining. This is called an “At Will” employment meaning you can be fired at the will of your employer for any good or no reason just as you can quit for any reason. If you make defective parts, that employer can fire you, and probably also can tell you if you won’t sign a paper in which you agree you will pay for making defective parts, you will be fired. Is that fair and right? You may say, “No, that’s not fair. I do my best and the machine and pressure to work fast causes the defects.” You may be right but if you’ve signed, you will have agreed to pay. read more

Snow Day Call In Doubted

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss checking on an employee who called off from work because of a snowstorm:

I have two jobs and I called into my full time work because of a snow storm. I tried to get in to work; however, I ended up off the road waiting for a tow truck. My full time job called my part time employment to see if I was working there instead, in fact calling me a liar. I was upset by that. I felt they had really over stepped the mark. My supervisor at my second job wrote a letter to proclaim my innocence. read more

Coworker and Former Friend Accused My Husband of Verbal Abuse

A Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a situation between coworkers who were close friends but now are in conflict about a personal issue that resulted in a confrontation at work.

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Question:

I have been friends with my coworker for four years. She lived in my home for three months when she had nowhere else to go. We have spent holidays together that included her family and mine. Almost a month ago she decided to change everything.

It started off with my husband and I kicking out my daughters’ boyfriend (my daughter is now 18 and her boyfriend is now 19) He had been living with us for about a year and a half after he got my daughter pregnant. We took him in, even though it caused us a financial burden. My coworker “friend” was asked by my daughter if her boyfriend could stay with her during work days for two weeks until the house they wanted to rent was ready. read more

Complaint About A Co-Worker Was Unintentional!

Question to Ask The Workplace Doctors:
Complaint about a coworker was unintentional!

“How can I tell my boss I didn’t mean to complain about my co-worker?”

I had a mandatory one on one meeting with my boss recently to go over how I was doing since being hired 4 short months ago.  It was a rushed meeting because we spent most of it going over the company website, then had 2 minutes left to go over my numbers and open questions/concerns.

In the process of discussing my work I informed her that I noticed a co-worker who has really high numbers is because she does not take a lunch. After much protesting of not telling my boss who it was, she said since I brought it up, she needed to know. read more

Write-ups Over 3 Months Old

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Write-Ups: Can a new boss write up employee for absences that are three months old?

If a new boss takes over and see’s that a write up was not given for an absence, that occurred 3 months past. Can he still do this?

Signed,

Write Up Right?

Answer:

Dear Write Up Right?:

To the best of my knowledge there are no laws governing write ups. They are a form of discipline in many workplaces. Can your new boss write you up for an absence three months ago? If he has, apparently, he can. Possibly he learned of this from your previous boss. Also perhaps he wants to warn you that being absent without a valid excuse should that occur again can be cause for firing. read more

In Trouble for Fulfilling Supervisory Role

A question  to Ask the Workplace Doctors about getting in trouble for taking a supervisory role: 

Question:

I was told when I was hired by my supervisor that I was to supervise a secretary. It is in my official job description. While supervising a secretary who was not performing her job duties adequately, I contacted indirectly our dept. head and the personnel dept. I wanted to extend the probationary period for the employee. The department head called me into a meeting in front of the secretary and many others and informed me that I was not the supervisor for the secretary and that I was guilty of harassment. I was called a liar and told I violated the chain of command by contacting Personnel, although I had contacted them several times in the past over other employee issues. What next? read more

Should I Report This?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss who works her assistant off the clock: Should that be reported?

I have a boss who does her schoolwork on work time and asks others to assist with her schoolwork also on work time. This involves many hours per week. She has her administrative assistant working 50-60 hrs. per week and gets paid for 37.5 hours. Meanwhile the boss is out the door.

Signed, I’m Not The Boss

Dear I’m Not The Boss:

You are not the boss but you don’t say if you are the administrative assistant who the boss asks to assist with her schoolwork. I gather you mean the assistant works 50-60 hours and only gets paid for 37.5 and the boss doesn’t work that long. If you are the administrative assistant who is being asked to work off the clock, you should be very angry. read more