Suspended Without A Warning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about suspension:

It’s my 5th day at a new job as a clerk at a gas station. A fellow employee did a “beer run” while I was cleaning the parking lot. I got suspended but no write up. Is that possible?

Signed, Feels Unfair

DearĀ Feels Unfair:

An employer is not obligated to go through a series of disciplinary actions if it seems a more serious action is immediately required for a rule’s violation or some other event. It does seem unfair to suspend you if you are a new employee and the person who did wrong is more experienced–or if you had no way of knowing what he was doing. I have an idea there are other elements to the situation that were upsetting to your manager.

If, however, you knew what the coworker was doing and didn’t say anything to stop him, your managers may feel that you supported his actions or that you didn’t show due diligence about taking care of business.If you want to keep this job and put this behind you more quickly, it might be a good idea to write a note to your manager or just talk to him, if you have a good relationship already, and say that you had no intention of being part of a rule’s violation and it will never happen again. Right now it will be to your benefit to focus on how to show that you are a dependable employee. It may be that the management could have handled this better, but it won’t do any good to argue that point, with only a few days on the job.When you go back to work, resolve to not let this have an effect on how you act toward your manager or toward others. This undoubtedly won’t be your last job but every reference can help in the future, so you want to demonstrate that you are a good employee and were not part of this issue.Best wishes to you with this. I’m sure it’s very upsetting, but I hope you’ll be able to move forward and past this quickly.

Tina Lewis Rowe