Outrageous Disciplinary Actions?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about voicing opinions during a restructuring:

Several weeks ago a senior partner with my firm announced a restructuring for our department, and mentioned that it might be necessary to downsize 1 or 2 positions, and that eventually 2 more positions might also be replaced. In the aftermath of this announcement I was given a “verbal warning” to “keep my discussions with coworkers positive” rather than discussing potential job eliminations.

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Unethical, Possibly Illegal Daily!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about management misconduct:

I have worked in the advertising sales department of a daily newspaper for over 20 years. It was always a good place to work and I had a boss with very high ethical standards. My boss, who had been there 40 years, was forced out by new top management and in the last several years, the middle management has condoned what I consider to be downright stealing from customers, i.e., billing for ads even when ads did not appear in the paper (“only give credit if the customer happens to notice & calls to complain”) charging for daily internet ads when the website was down for days at a time, neglecting to tell long-time customers that they would actually pay less for their ads if they gave up their so-called special low rate contracts, etc. I could go on and on…

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Boss Said Husband Stole From Company!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about reporting theft:

I work for a property management company. We have several property owners. My boss is one owner and there is no one higher up. My question is: on several occasions my boss has told me her husband stole money from deposit on apartments and rent that was paid in cash. Should the owners be told? I have no proof, but the owner would, if she looked closely at their records. I should mention that the husband comes and goes as he pleases.

Signed, Worried

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Lies in Court?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a legal matter:

What can you do when you know the Tribunal Courts lie. You KNOW they do or have. This case involves a Civil Protection Officer who hit someone in the back of that person’s vehicle and the Civil Protection Officer tried to get away with it. The owner of the vehicle got his license plate number. How would you categorize that? What form(s) of abuse? Thank you.

Signed, Seeking Justice

Dear Seeking Justice:

What can you do when people lie in court and when you know what was said was untrue? Lying within a court in most countries is a crime itself. So, if indeed you KNOW, and you have evidence of that by witnesses and or such tangible proof as photos of paint left on the hit car from the vehicle that hit it, you can pursue that by obtaining an attorney who says you have a case and it is worth the time and costs to file it.

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Should I Report Improper Time-Clock Action?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about coworker clocking in fraud:

What should I do now that I’ve witnessed a fellow employee illegally clocking in? Should I go to HR, should I go to our boss, should I confront him, or should I keep to myself?

Signed, Wondering About Next Step

Dear Wondering About Next Step:

I think there are several things to consider as you decide what to do about this situation. Think about them in light of your workplace, the culture there, your position and the supervisory and managerial team that will be involved.

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Should I Say Others Have Left Early?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about leaving before quitting time:

I had horrible heartburn at work and was embarrassed to tell anyone, so I left five minutes early–and got caught. I accept that I got caught. However, this is an aberration and of course I would appreciate understanding of my situation. The supervisor corrected the time sheet for everyone to see. She did not tell me about the correction. (She did tell me that she noticed my leaving early) Thus, I heard the next day, from OTHERS, about how she corrected the time sheet.

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Humiliated At Work

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being corrected:

I was taking first grade students out for a fire drill in a class where I had only been twice. The regular teacher was in the room when the alarm went off and I had just begun taking attendance. I asked her which door to take the students. I thought she pointed to the far door. I took the students out, but realized that I was separated from some students when I tried to take attendance.

The teacher aide loudly announced “we are missing a lot.” The main teacher was down the block with the other students and told me she had the rest. When we came back to the class I felt humiliated when she sternly told me I had taken the wrong exit and that I must wait for all of them if they are separated. She said the children could have complained that they were lost and I would have gotten into trouble. I felt like one of the students. I need help getting over feeling depressed and humiliated.

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My Boss May Be Doing Something Dishonest!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about boss’ honesty:

I’ve worked for this company 10 years and I know the ways and procedures we do things when it comes to receipting money. All of a sudden my boss wants to receipt all the cash and I will receipt the checks.Several times now I’ve noticed that the cash doesn’t get receipted on the day it’s received. I did ask him about this the other day and I was told, “Well, I’m not sure. We were really busy that day and in a hurry to leave.” So now, 10 days later, the schedule shows it’s been receipted.This is just one of many stories I have, and I don’t know what to think about this this, unless he’s borrowing cash then putting it back.

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Being Accused Of Lying On My Time Card

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time card cheating:

One responsibility of the office manager at my office is to fax the time cards to the payroll service. The manager seems to think that I lied on my time card and called the boss to alert him. She said she will check the job sheets for the last couple of weeks to see if it is valid. She had no right to do this, she doesn’t add up the hours on the time cards. She is always searching for something someone did wrong, to get them in trouble. She also blames her mistakes on others. Is there anything I can do about this?

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Manager Being Harassed by Union Employees!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about managing with union members:

I have been an excellent manager in the past in non-union settings. Now, in a union setting I get called names, have had my car damaged by scratches and suffer constant verbal humiliation. I have tried everything to fix the problem, from write-ups, speaking to upper management and speaking to the shop steward. Nothing seems to help. What can I do to protect myself?

Signed, Need help!

Dear Need help!:

I don’t have enough details to accurately understand the whole picture, but perhaps I can make some suggestions that will be helpful.This is not really a union-managment issue, it is a general work issue involving behavior that must be stopped. Once a situation like this develops it is very difficult to correct it. And, it sounds as though you have endured this for some time. Something definite needs to be done and done immediately. Develop a written time-line of what has occurred, including dates, events, people who have talked to you about it, what statements have been made to you and so forth. This might incorporate the written material you have already submitted.Write it clearly and consistently. Consider having someone review it for clarity. What you want to produce is a report that clearly shows what has happened, what has been done about it and the results. Then, attach to it an overview statement saying how you feel about what has been happening. If you feel frightened, say so. If you feel you want to manage effectively, but can’t do so in this circumstances, say that. If other managers have had similar issues, note it. If you are the only one, state why that might be the case. Say what you have tried to do. If there are some employees with whom you have good working relationships, list them as contacts about your behavior with all employees. If there are a few specific employees who are causing the problems, list those. Point out that your evaluations have been positive and you haven’t been told that you are managing incorrectly. Say that you must have help to resolve this and ask for immediate meetings with company staff who can assist you.Then, turn your report and the cover letter over to your manager and ask him or her to forward it to HR and work with you to find a solution.Union employers are well aware of these kind of situations, and you can bet you are not the first manager who has been treated this way. Your employer has the obligation to provide as safe a work environment as possible. According to the details of your situation, it appears laws have been violated (the damage to your car) and perhaps there is even a hostile work environment based on gender or other issues. (The comments.)

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