If Sick, Can I Be Given A Disciplinary Warning?

Question:

I’ve had 9 days off work due to sickness (1 day in September, 2 days in November and 6 days in December last year). For the sickness in December, I was sent to hospital by one of my managers to get me checked out. I was given a few tests and everything was fine. I went to my doctor the next day. He signed me off work for 2 weeks due to a virus. I have been given a verbal warning for being off sick 3 times in the last 26 weeks. That calculates to 8.5% of my time on the job. Can I be disciplined when being signed by my doctor? I am a night worker and work 32 hrs. a week over 4 nights.

Signed,

Warned


Answer:

Dear Warned:

You sound like a very dedicated employee and concerned about your work record. Unfortunately, we all get sick and must miss work from time to time. Companies have individual rules/policies relating to absenteeism, even when it is sick/illness related. You stated that you had had 3 occurrences of illness during the past 26 weeks and you had had a “verbal warning.” I believe that your supervisor is simply following company policy/procedures in issuing you the verbal warning. In most cases, a verbal warning is simply a way of informing the employee that “this is the company policy and you should be aware of it.” Even though you are a 32 hour employee, the same rule must apply and be followed. Don’t think of the warning as a disciplinary action, but rather a means of communication. Yes, the company can issue this type of “verbal warning.”

You may want to discuss the matter with your immediate supervisor if you continue to feel troubled over the situation. Good luck with your continued employment.

Helping make the rules fair and fairly applied is one step toward building a spirit of WEGO.

Jerry Allen