Trying To Run We Old -Timers Off?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about being pushed out:

Help! Harassing Management, Unreasonable Policy Changes, De-motivating, Under Achieving, Uneducated, Ineptitude, Motivated by Greed. I could go on, but a survey of the entire employee group would tell the true story. Many of us have been there for 6 to 10 years and I believe they are trying to run us off. New Attendance Policy as of Jan 1 this year not in Hand Book yet. However, they are going back to last year and occurring absents if you used your 48 hrs. of sick and your 1st day of sick was Feb 5th, then you cannot be sick until that date. If you are sick on Feb 2nd, you are put on Probation for 1 year. Our Benefits are 48 hours of sick per year. 2 weeks of vacation as accrued. But I have been sick this year with the flu on Feb 2nd and I missed 1 day. Went to the Doctor; was put on Prednisone 14 days. I was put on Probation, which means no promotions and possible termination.

Please Help Our Very Hard Workers are being driven off and this leaves more work with fewer people. I believe it is designed that way because we have too much seniority and make more money. We are being replaced with much low paid employees. I am 50 yrs. old and I also believe that are targeting elderly with the policies that they are enforcing. I am currently applying for FMLA for intermittent Asthma occurrences. What Should WE DO?

Signed, Needing Security and Health

Dear Needing Security and Health:

Whatever the reason for the way your work place is being managed, it appears that management does many things that would hurt the motivation and morale of employees. You should research your options in several ways.

Gather the following materials: A copy of your handbook, any contract or employment agreement you signed, any written policies or memos related to the issues you’re complaining about and the names of those who would be willing testify about the matter. You will probably get enough advice from all your resources combined to give you a clear picture of what you should do next. *Contact a labor attorney and ask for a free consultation to see what legal recourse you have. *Another resource is your state’s Department of Labor. States regulate aspects of working conditions as well as some wage and benefits issues, according to the size of the company. A phone call or a visit to their web site might provide some answers. *The size of your company and the nature of the business will play a role in what can be done legally. The nature of any employment contract or official understanding will also be part of the whole picture. Businesses are not required to provide sick leave, however the fact that you have been given it in the past would indicate a contractual arrangement. Businesses can change sick leave policies if there is no contract–but what has happened at your work seems to be unreasonable. You may be correct that older employees are being targeted. If that is the case, you may be able to get help from the Office of Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), the federal regulatory agency that handles such matters. You would need to have clear evidence to indicate that: Statements made my managers or statistics that indicate a targeted group. If someone other than the owners manages your company, maybe company owners do not know about these rules changes and should be told what is happening.

If there is an HR or personnel section, they might be able to explain some aspect of it or consider your concerns. Are there any supervisors and managers that seem to care about the employee view of this issue? Perhaps they can be a good resource or at least explain what is going on and why. It could be that management has felt there has been abuse of sick time and this is their over-reaction to it. Sick leave usage has a tremendously negative impact on business–and many employees use it as extra vacation rather than because they are genuinely ill. Managers become angry and end up hurting everyone in the process of trying to deal with a few problem employees. According to the size of your business and the number of employees, have you considered affiliating with a labor union or asking a union for advice about how to handle these matters? The phone book would have phone numbers for those organizations. Have you talked to your supervisors and managers about this and explained how discouraged and frustrated you are? If every good employee writes a letter expressing concern, then follows it up with a personal conversation about how this is affecting their motivation and their morale, the weight of so many voices might have an impact.

The communication should be civil and focused on finding answers rather than accusing–especially if those might be used in court some day. If none of that works and you find you simply can’t stay, perhaps the best message is for everyone there with marketable knowledge and skills to find other work in a better environment. Management may want younger or different employees–but no business wants to lose all employees at once. If employees feel they couldn’t find other jobs or they don’t want to change jobs, they will need to either follow-through on trying to improve this one or tolerate what seem to be very unreasonable practices. I hope this triggers some thinking for you about what you and others can do in this frustrating situation. If you wish, please let us know what develops. Put your faith in making your voices heard. Not giving up about the way it should be is WEGO thinking.

Tina Lewis Rowe