#1  
Unread 05-29-2002, 06:58 AM
jampc
 
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Default Lying About Being Sick

We have an employee who called in sick and was later seen by another employee at a bar drinking. I met with the employee who denied this happened. In order to discipline her, I feel like I must have the employee who reported the incident meet with us before proceeding with disciplinary action, otherwise she could refute the allegations. She has requested to meet with the individual who reported the incident. The employee is willing to meet with us. Would it be possible to write her up without this meeting, which could jeopardize the working relationship between the two employees.
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  #2  
Unread 05-29-2002, 11:40 AM
bobbysmom
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

You might ask the employee who said she saw the employee at the bar to have her eyewitness account in writing, have it signed and dated, before going into the meeting the employee who was at the bar. This would avoid from having her presence at the meeting. Also, did you ask the employee who else might be there who could substantiate she was at the bar instead of being at home sick? This can certainly strengthen the eyewitness account. If there was no one else, I would go ahead and posture your meeting based on a report you received and that you wanted to get to the truth. If the employee at the bar insists on finding out who told on her, you can say that it doesn't matter who but what does matter is that you want her to tell you the truth. If she continues to refute, advise her that you have the report from the employee who saw her in writing and confronting the other employee would not resolve anything. Impress upon her that if she truly was not sick, she was abusing the sick policy and that is not acceptable. I would also tell her that this incident will be included in her personnel file and any abuse in the future of the sick policy will result in more serious consequences. Sometimes I find that just letting the employee know that they might have been caught doing something they shouldn't is enough to get them straightened out.



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  #3  
Unread 05-29-2002, 11:57 AM
Hatchetman
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 05-29-02 AT 06:04PM (CST)[/font][p]I understand what your concern is, but think about what you are really saying and trying to establish --

"When an employee calls in 'too ill for work', the employee must stay at home, may not do any activities other than lay in bed. After all, if the employee is well enough to get out, then he or she is well enough to work."

If your sick leave policy actually requires an employee to stay in bed or not go out of the house when the emplyee calls in ill, then you may have some basis to continue. But if your policy doesn't speak to the employee being restrictd to home, then you have "no place to go." Being unable to perform one's duties doesn't mean that the employee is bedridden or can't do other life activities.

If your policy does restrict the "ill employee to home", then you may have a basis to investigate further. But how are you going to do that? As suggested, get a written statement from the other employee as to what he or she witnessed. By the way, what was that employee doing in a bar during work hours? Oh, it was lunch break. I see. So, what then is the problem with the "ill employee" going to a bar during the time that he or she would be on lunch break? You're not "technically" paying for the time.

To make this whole issue resolve itself quickly, if you don't believe that the employee was unable to perform his duties due to illness, then require in the future, medical verification, until the point that you are satisfied that the employee is calling in ill when he is unable to work due to illness or injury and verificaiton is no longer needed. Give him notice on expectations and requirements, deadlines, etc. I think you're going to have a hard time in justifying it, at this point, but in comparison to what you're trying to establish, it will be easier. If your sick leave policy doens't provide for rasking for verificaiton, then re-write your policy to allow that to occur and then deal with the employee.

Just pay him "sick" for the day and move on (and require verification if you can't trust him any more).
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  #4  
Unread 05-29-2002, 04:50 PM
Mike Maslanka TX
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

whatever you do, do not put the two of them in a room together---that never works...
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  #5  
Unread 05-30-2002, 01:31 AM
HR in PA
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

I completely agree with Hatchetman. If this individual has excessive absenteeism, that is one thing. If this is an isolated absence, let it go. Keep in mind that it is not only physical illness that causes an employee to call in sick. If your employee was dealing with some type of emotional issue, it could explain why they may have been in a bar. We've all dealt with things in our personal lives that at times make us not want to get out of bed in the morning.
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  #6  
Unread 05-30-2002, 02:08 AM
Rockie
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

What was the second employee doing in the bar?

Anyway...no, do not put both of them into the same room. This will just cause a confrontational issue.

This is another example of "he said", "she said" type of deal where you will get nowhere. I would just advise the first employee that this had been reported to you, that he had denied it, that if it occurred, shame on him and if you hear of anything else like this occurring again while he is supposedly sick, then you will have to consider that it is more than likely fact.

Then move on to something else.
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  #7  
Unread 05-30-2002, 02:38 AM
jampc
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

Thank you to all who have responded thus far. Good food for thought as i continue my decision making. Tends to complicate matters. I am going to go back and look at our specific language re: sick/personal leave before proceeding.
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  #8  
Unread 06-04-2002, 02:08 AM
Ruskanen
 
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Default RE: Lying About Being Sick

We have a no fault attendance policy where hourly employees are allowed 12 points (12 unpaid days) a year for illness, appointments, personal issues, etc. We can't manage their time while they are gone, but we can let them know how much time gone from work is acceptable or unacceptable. If this person starts to have an attendance problem, address it. If not, I agree with the others that say let it go.
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