Bereavement Leave

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about leave for bereavement:

Most offices have a policy allowing one week off for immediate family bereavement. Our office indicates it is only once a year. How should a double death be handled if both parents died close to the same time?

Signed, Wondering about bereavement leave

Dear Wondering about bereavement leave:

Most offices have a three day bereavement leave for immediate family members, although some provide longer leave time and some provide none, except on a case-by-case basis. No matter how it is handled, the issue of bereavement leave is that someone has lost a relative, loved one or friend, through death. The ceremonial activities surrounding a death require time and often, travel. Even if no ceremony is held, a grieving person needs a few days to get through the initial feelings.

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Getting A Raise

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about getting a raise:

My co-worker and I have been complaining to each other about how we deserved a raise. Well, I finally presented my dilemma to our boss, and she has decided to give me a raise, but not my co-worker. She asked me to be discreet about it. Should I mention it to my co-worker or not?

Signed, Mum or Not

Dear Mum or Not:

Where are your loyalties? Aren’t they misplaced. You are hired to work for your boss, not your buddy. Here’s your real dilemma: If you tell your co-worker about your raise and he/she would obviously confront your boss then you should not be surprised if you get terminated because of your lack of discretion. Secondly, she’ll never, ever trust you again so goodbye career at that facility. Your co-worker did not get a raise because they were deemed unworthy.

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Hiring Promises Broken!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about promises made at hiring broken:

I will be graduating this summer (a busy season for my company) and before I was hired, I advised my boss of this and he said there wasn’t going to be a problem. The other day, I told him which dates I need off and now he says “I don’t know about that.” I made it clear before I was hired that I need this time off because I have to travel to my graduation (5 states away) and back.

Also, he told me before I was hired that he would give me a 45 day review and he would also get me up to the same salary I was making before (I am making 8k less). When they offered the salary, I was ready to walk out the door, because it was so low, but I accepted it without hesitation because I was desperate for work (same kind of job as my last job). What should I do? How can he renege on his promises now? I will quit my job over this when graduation time comes if he won’t let me get the time off of work now. I am a great employee, always early and always taking more responsibilities on. Please help!

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Back Pain Less Back Pay!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about stoppage in pay after disability:

I work for a large multinational company. I live in Spain and pay N.I and tax to the UK as I’m paid by the UK office of the company. I’m a UK citizen and passport holder and was born in the UK. My contract states that I get paid sick pay pf 1 months basic salary for the first month then 50% after that. I have been off work with a slipped disk, since August 17th 2005.

In December, they stopped paying me sick pay. No warning was given. It took two weeks of sending emails before I could get a response. They said they where waiting for a doctors note. I went to my doctor and got the required note. All of a sudden this note is now not good enough. So another week or so went by before they could tell me exactly what they wanted. My doctor filled in the questionnaire, and faxed it to them. The company has now said that it needs to be in English, this was never a problem before as they had stated that they could translate the notes themselves. They also said I wasn’t entitled to SSP but in December 2005 this was not a problem as I was off work then for 4 weeks and got SSP. They said this was due to me living in Spain, I went on the DWP website and they said that as I pay NI in the UK I’m entitled to SSP and certain other benefits. I pointed this out to my company and they have gone silent yet again.

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Unequal Pay For Equal Work!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pay difference:

I have worked for a certain company now for six months on a temporary basis and now on a permanent basis. My question is, when I was interviewed they told me that all the administrative assistants got the same pay which I found out, by accidentally seeing another administrator’s check that she is making substantially more than I am and has been on the job only a couple of months before they made her permanent. She works for one person and I work for five. My question is: how do I get the point across that I know for a fact that other Admin. Assistants get paid more than I do without them finding out how I got this information, or telling me she has more responsibilities (which she doesn’t).

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Pay For Salaried Time Off?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about docking a salaried employee:

I have three of my office staff on salary. One of my gals has gone over her sick leave and vacation leave for the year. Our controller does not want to pay her for time taken off last week due to her baby being in the hospital for asthma. Can an employer dock an employee who is on “salary” for going over on time off?

Signed, Office Manager

Dear Office Manager:

What does your employee handbook say about this? If nothing’s there, what have you done in the past under similar circumstances? The key is to be fair and consistent. If it is documented the amount of sick leave and vacation leave employees have and she is over, then she doesn’t get paid for it. Make sure you tell her before you do this. Also make sure communication is open and clear.

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Boss Doesn’t Want Me To Take Better Job!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a boss who insists I shouldn’t leave:

Although my passion is catering, I have found it necessary to take a position in a small dress shop for the past 8 months to make ends meet. I have now been offered a fantastic job in my chosen field at over twice the salary. I should be overjoyed, however, when I told my current employer that I would be leaving (I gave a two-week notice even though the catering job would like me to start much sooner) my employer became very angry and is threatening to phone my new employer and tell him that if I leave he will have to close the dress shop. She could hire someone else, but just doesn’t want to. What is the best way to handle this situation? I’m afraid I will lose the catering offer or at least start the new job with a cloud hanging over me. Thank you.

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My Boss Owes Me Pay!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about money owed:

My boss owes me for files that I have closed. I am on 100% commission/independent contractor. I have requested numerous times, written and verbal, but I keep getting pushed to the back burner. I have about had it with this run around and I am looking into getting an attorney involved. Any thoughts?

Signed, Payless

Dear Payless:

Do you have a contract? Have you a log of requests made for payment? If not, do the best you can to list the numerous times you have requested payment and to whom you made the requests. In short, prepare a statement with a letter to the employer stating what you are owed for the services performed, dates of service, and a list of your attempts that have gone nowhere. Address your letter to the individual to whom you have made the requests and to her/his boss and/or to the chief financial officer. Have you previously had a good relationship with this employer and do you want to continue to work under contract with her/him? If so, state that previous to this problem that you have been pleased to work with this firm and have delivered quality work that satisfied the requirements. Also include a sentence to the effect that you should not have to employ an attorney to resolve this because that could cost them for attorney fees and that if you cannot resolve this within two weeks you may be forced to do so.

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Rules For Breaks???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about breaks:

What are the laws on part-time work breaks and full-time breaks and lunch in retardants?

Signed, Part-timer

Dear Part-timer:

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. Some states may have requirements for breaks or meal periods. If you work in a state that does not require breaks or meal periods, these benefits are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). If you are not receiving the breaks you feel you need to be an effective employee, ask for a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the issue.

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Uneaqual Pay

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about unfair pay: I am paid the minimum wage but my co-worker, who does exactly the same job as me, gets more.

I currently work as a production operator in a factory. I have worked there for 7 years. I am paid the minimum wage but my co-worker, who does exactly the same job as me, gets more. He has been given a pay raise even though my time keeping and punctuality are much better. I feel, as though my boss is doing his utmost to make me feel uncomfortable and wants me to leave, but has no reason to sack me. I feel victimized, and my co-worker has also stated that it seems unfair. Is there anything that I can do about this I am extremely unhappy.

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