Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about written reprimand:

On June 9 this year, I received a written, via e-mail, reprimand from the office manager in which she admonished me to comply with the firm’s procedure in the presence of another employee. For clarification, the e-mail was addressed to me and another employee; both of us have similarly-situated jobs as legal secretaries. To give you a little background: I’ve filed two grievances against this office manager during my five and a half tenure with this firm. The other employee has only been with the firm for two years. I’m currently in good standings with this firm, and the office manager has consistently abused her power in a retaliatory manner to get back at me and has created a hostile work environment by placing me under heightened, unwarranted scrutiny. I’ve attached the office manager’s e-mail below for your perusal. My point is that any reference to compliance of firm procedure should have been done in private and not in the presence of another employee.

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Slandered By Former Employer???

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about not being hired because of bad remarks of a former boss:

Recently, my manager excused me from my small, part-time job. Although it was very sudden, she was nice about it and professional, explaining that ‘it wasn’t working out’. I took it gracefully and moved on. I put in an application for a job I was more than qualified for, with my ex-employer and her company as the last place I worked. I was basically guaranteed the job. But I did not receive a follow-up phone call, and I was worried. A friend of mine, who works as an assistant manager at a local store, called my ex-employer, questioning her about my position there; how long I worked at her company and all of the usual questions that go along with hiring.

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Questioned About Sabotage!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about question of sabotage:

I’m a mechanic employed in the public sector. I work for the county where I live in Wisconsin. A situation has come up were a co-worker supposedly sabotaged a machine I was repairing and it was caught on camera. The odd thing is my supervisor said I may be questioned and I said I wanted the union steward to sit in. He seemed dismayed by that and then said they might ask me if I sabotaged it, presumably for the overtime to repair it. I did not do it, but now wonder if they are out to get my unpopular coworker. Do I have a right to see the footage as an employee? Do I have the right as a taxpayer in my county?

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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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