My Employer Believes A Disgruntled Tenant

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about refusing to sign a write up:

I work at an apartment complex of well over 900 tenants. One of the tenants recently came into the front office with two witnesses and said that she thinks I need to be fired and will continue to call my home office about it. I have an excellent communication with all people and residents but this one is out for blood. Three days after this happened my home office said they are writing me up because the girl’s needs aren’t being fulfilled. I have documentation and witnesses about numerous occurrences that show how much we do for her and go out of our way. I refuse to sign the write up. Is there a legal route I can take, now that my home office is trying to do this as a way to satisfy a disgruntled resident?

Signed, Being Treated Unfairly

Dear Being Treated Unfairly:

There are no laws related to warnings or reprimands, unless some other issue (discrimination, etc.) is involved. You may wish to check other sources about it.However, I wonder if you have contacted your managers to discuss this matter and explain your viewpoint, or if you had already established a strong record of the things you have done to help the tenant. It’s important to keep higher levels informed fully BEFORE they get a complaint.

I don’t know what the reprimand involved, but it may be there are things your company would have preferred to have happen with the tenant, but you didn’t agree. Or, it could be as you say, they are merely trying to keep a tenant at any cost to your feelings about the matter. It’s an unfortunate situation.If you have not done so, contact your immediate manager and ask if you could submit the documentation you have about this incident, so the write-up might be reconsidered. If you have already done that and they still are issuing a reprimand or warning of some kind, you will want to make sure your documentation is in your personnel folder with the write-up, in case something else happens in the future.

Your signature on a written warning or reprimand form is just a way to verify that you received it, not an admission of guilt. By not signing it you may appear to be hostile. Instead, sign it and write next to your signature “Explanation about this matter is on record.” Then, give them a letter with an overview of your information and documentation and say you would like to have it placed in your records. That is done in many workplaces and usually is no problem.I’m sorry this is working out this way, but I hope you will get a record of all future conversations and ensure your employer is aware of them. You don’t want to be nit-picky and send excessive notes, but you could let your manager know who you are doing your best to represent the organization and do a good job with all tenants.If there are others who could deal with this tenant, have them do so to avoid you contacting her.

There is no point in being a target when it’s obvious the two of you are not going to communicate well together. In addition, do not do or say anything to purposely upset the tenant, since that could not only cost you your job but could result in a feud that could have very bad results if the tenant is as threatening as you say she is.Best wishes with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.