Reports A Coworker

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors of a report of a coworker:

Should a supervisor respond to an employee who has snitched on another who has been caught abusing sick time? (The employee was seen in a mall when she called in sick.)

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

First we need to define terms. It shouldn’t be called snitching when an employee reports another employee for clearly violating a rule or procedure that has importance to the company. That is the ethical reporting of a violation or concern. Snitching occurs when an employee reports trivial issues, more in the line of gossiping or backstabbing. Calling in sick puts everyone at a disadvantage and the employee is paid for not working. It’s one thing to just not feel like going to work, so you stay home even though you’re not really sick. But to go shopping–that’s pretty egregious and extreme.

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