Some Get By- Others Get Reprimanded!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about fairness in reprimands:

I have a colleague at work, if required to follow company practice, then ignores procedure and then flaunts his actions. But if then a fellow employee takes similar action, he is reprimanded. This is unfair treatment.

Signed, Unfair?

Dear Unfair?:

Joe is told by his dad to mow the lawn on the weekend but instead plays soccer. Dad mows it and never says a word to Joe. Adam, brother to Joe, is assigned by his mother to take out the garbage once a week and forgets to do so. Dad grounds Adam for a week. Unfair? Right. Why does dad treat the brothers differently? There may be reasons. Dad may simply treat the sons differently because of an oversight, failure of his memory, or he may have Adam’s mother on his back about the garbage. Adam calls up his girlfriend and angrily tells her he is grounded and that his dad ignores Joe’s failure to mow the lawn. Adam pouts about the house and acts like life sucks!Bosses are not always consistent and they may favor one subordinate over another. Possibly the subordinate, who ignores a rule, is more efficient or pleasant and consequently the boss lets it pass, whereas another, who breaks a rule, has ignored other rules too and has a negative attitude.

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Docked One Hour For One Minute!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time docked:

Is there any legal way you can be docked one hour for being 1 minute late?

Signed, One Minute Too Late

Dear One Minute Too Late:

One hour’s work for one minute being late appears to be a little stiff, but an employer may deduct an hour’s work from an employee wages for being one hour late provided the gross earning for the total hours worked do not drop below the minimum wage per hour. This action on the part of the employer is a disciplinary action. Failure to pay for each hour worked may be breaking a contract (by the employer) between the employer and the employee but it’s hardly enough to argue over. This company policy of deducting hour(s) worked based on tardies should be clearly stated in the company Employee Handbook. If it is not, I would strongly encourage you to communicate your concerns in regard to this practice “not” being published to the appropriate management person. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to work on time! Best of luck. Guest Respondent with HR Experience The Workplace Doctors Thinking and acting as a team member is symbolized by our WEGO signature.

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Jokingly Accused Of Stealing Gone Too Far!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being labeled a thief:

I am an Automotive Technician. The person who works to the left of me could not find his $150.00 flashlight one day. Upon hearing this, the person on the right of me said, “Oh, Scott probably stole it!” I knew he was joking so it did not bother me.

The next day the flashlight person found his flashlight in a drawer of his toolbox. Upon hearing this, the person on my right said, “I felt guilty about taking it and put it in his drawer when he was not looking.” I still did not take this seriously because we all misplace tools and or lose tools frequently. I even joked about it.

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Will A Verbal Warning Remain In My Files?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time a warning remains in one’s file:

I work in a retail job and was given a verbal warning which is to last 2 months, and was also given a probation period of 8 weeks. If I wished to leave the job, would the verbal warning stay on my file forever or a certain period of time? The reason I would like to leave the job is due to the fact that my manager has double standards, and even though I work very hard and all staff agree with this, if any little mistakes are made there is no trust in her of employees. She jumps to conclusions and takes what other members say and puts them in another context. This leads to conflict between staff, but mainly hurts the accused even when they have done nothing wrong.

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Suspended. Should I Fight?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about record of suspension harming getting a job:

I was suspended from work for few days and also there was another lady who was also suspended. It was not fair, but no one listened to us that we were innocent and still charged us and punished us. I was pregnant and lost my child. I became diabetic and also I was offered new job but that was rescinded one week before I could join. On asking Human resources of the other company I was told that number of days I got in suspension became a question. I had gone through lot of anxiety and had ended up at the psychologist so I was not in the position to fight back. The other lady fought back in civil service and got her suspension over turned. I thought I lost my new job because the new state agency must have looked at my personal file and found out that I was suspended.

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Tampered With My Time Card!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about time card error:

About three months ago I took a new job as a supervisor. The problem was that the guy that was in the position got demoted to being under me. He could not handle the job. Well today I got called in to the owner’s office and got accused of messing with my time card. I went around and around with them telling them it was not me. After almost losing my job we come to find out that it was my co- worker that set me up. He has it out for me and now I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping he gets himself caught. Is there anything I can do legally to get him off my back.

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Is A Warning By Phone Enough?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about verbal warnings:

Can a verbal warning be done via phone or does it have to be done face to face? What’s the rule for giving a verbal warning?

Signed, Rules

Dear Rules:

A verbal warning can be 1) Verbal; 2) Via telephone; 3) Via fax; 4) Via written document or any other form of communication so that you receive the warning. If they want to send it by certified mail then you received a verbal warning if such a warning has been either designated as verbal or deemed to be verbal by a reasonable person. You sir, are obfuscating the issue. You have been warned not to obfuscate in the future otherwise you will receive a written warning in the opinion of Dan Kearney, Guest Respondent & HR Manager

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Signing A Verbal Warning?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about signing a verbal warning report:

A verbal warning is given, HR documents the verbal warning. Would you recommend the employee signing something acknowledging they received a verbal warning?

Signed, Warned

Dear Warned:

Yes, that would be ok if it states that it is a verbal warning. Also, if the warning was unjustified and assuming you were the one warned, you might explain why it was from your perspective. I hope this is the last of warnings and that you can work on a cooperative and harmonious working relationship–and still speak up for your self. Ego finds its sufficient space in WEGO.

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Should Anyone Else Be Present While I’m Reprimanded

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about process of a reprimand:

If I am receiving a reprimand at work, should there be anyone else in the room except for my boss? Also if the answer is yes, should that person be of higher rank than me? Are there is any websites out there that may help or Kentucky state laws?

Signed, All Alone?

Dear All Alone?:

Yes, there should be a third person in the room during the reprimand. The supervisor will usually ask someone to “listen and observe” during the session. However, if there is someone else you would like to serve as this third person, simply approach him and ask, “Could Tom be with us during the session?” The KY State Department of Labor should offer additional information. Type those words in to your search engine. Best of luck.

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Do They Have To Tell Me When They Warn Me?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about rules of discipline:

I work in a chemical plant. I was recently leaving my workstation to go home for the day. I violated a plant policy by not having my safety glasses on in a warehouse area I was passing through as I was leaving. My immediate supervisor and her boss saw me, stopped me, and said, “You must wear your safety glasses”. I disputed their claim, since I was leaving for the day, but later found out that they were correct; I am required to wear them whether I am leaving for the day, coming in, or in the middle of my shift.

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