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Old 12-13-2012, 03:27 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,849 posts, read 31,487,409 times
Reputation: 22457

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My husband and I own a small business and we have a young person who works part time for us. She is a very nice, very bright 19 year old who works very hard and does a wonderful job when she is here. The problem is that she is absent from work about one day every three weeks for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes she has a "migraine" and sometimes she has an urinary tract infection. Once in a while she has to take her mother to or pick up her brother from the doctor. Since she started working here last spring she has had 4 - 5 colds or other bouts of being sickness where she had to call in and stay home.

She parties pretty hard and I suspect that some of the "illnesses" is due to being hung over or just feeling bad from staying up too late. My philosophy is that if you have a job, you go to work. Period. End of sentence. And if you aren't sick enough for the emergency room, you better be at work.

My husband, on the other hand, cuts her slack every time. In fact, she has come to work "sick" and he has sent her home. When she comes to work "sick" on my watch, I make her work and in two or three hours she is fine and doesn't complain (or groan or whine) any more. I do this because I think she is just slacking, and so far that hypothesis has proven right.

I am really sick of this and I would like to give her an ultimatum to shape up or she will have to ship out. My husband, on the other hand, feels that this is unreasonable. He says that people do get sick. Yes, they do. But some of this sickness is the aforementioned hang over, and I do not agree that being hung over is a reasonable excuse. And yes, I have been hung over once or twice in my life, and I went to work.

What are your thoughts?


20yrsinBranson
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
16,161 posts, read 19,045,330 times
Reputation: 8641
What does your company's employee manual state regarding sick/personal days? That's the first thing to consider. Past that, if you want to grant exceptions, it's going to be between you and your husband to reach an agreement about just how far you're going to let the employee push that boundary. One thing seems clear, though, and that's that right now, you're letting the employee define what is and isn't acceptable. You have to nip that in the bud. If you don't already have a policy defined, define one. And then stick to it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:12 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
30,220 posts, read 66,729,272 times
Reputation: 35683
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
My husband and I own a small business and we have a young person who works part time for us.
She is a very nice, very bright 19 year old who works very hard and does a wonderful job
The problem is that she is absent from work about one day every three weeks

I am really sick of this and I would like to give her an ultimatum to shape up or she will have to ship out.
What are your thoughts?
When excuses need to be made teens tend to use reasons the listener will be OK hearing.

A few thoughts:
1) How many other nice, bright, part-timers are lined up around the block ready to work hard and do a wonderful job?
2) Of the 21 calendar days in those 3 weeks... how many are work days?
3) Is the real issue the number of days taken or the short notice?
4) Would a different work schedule/pattern work better?
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:10 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 11,881,568 times
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The question is if you can make do without her one day every three weeks or not.

Some businesses can't function without certain people there every single day. And some businesses will not allow ANY days off period! (Employees HATE working at those businesses.)

It seems to me everyone needs an extra day off every now and then. Some people prefer to work every single day of the year and then take 2 weeks vacation. Others prefer to spread those days off throughout the year.

And to me it does not matter why an employee needs a day off. People are sometimes sick, sometimes need more sleep because they were up late the night before, or may have business matters to take care of. Whatever!

I think she would be a happy employee if you made some sort of arrangement where she can take these days off without worrying. And only if you can do this.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, CA
505 posts, read 1,530,432 times
Reputation: 527
Personally, I would let her go and find someone else. As a business owner, you're providing them an outlet to make a living for themselves and helping them, not the other way around. I let a girl go several months back that is the same way, but on a more worse scale. I hired her and she started work. First week was fine and she worked the full week. Second week she left for an hour and nobody knew where she was. When asked she said she had a family emergency. Second week she called in sick one day and disappeared again for a few hours and said that her roommate was locked out of the house. Third week she called in sick again and didn't show up another day saying that she thought it was a holiday (it was July 1 and not July 4). I just had enough and let her go. There's way too many other people looking for a job that can do better than her and you don't have to babysit her. It's just not worth the trouble.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:38 AM
 
18,857 posts, read 57,374,908 times
Reputation: 33452
Hourly or salary? If salary, fire her. If hourly, cut her hours in half and hire a second part-timer for the other half, one who would also be willing to come in when she is sick. Once the second one is trained, if the original employee has continued with "sick", ease her out or fire her outright.

I've hired and fired hundreds within this age group. Frankly, your husband is being a wuss. I assume you know whether or not the employee has something she is holding over your husband. Stuff can happen.

... The more I think about it, she needs to go now. Hubby is showing favors, and that does not bode well.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: In America's Heartland
929 posts, read 1,928,325 times
Reputation: 1177
It doesn't matter how great of an employee you are, if you can't show up for work. It all comes down to the number one ingredient with me... DEPENDABILITY. Now granted, we all get sick, and I don't want someone contagious getting everybody sick, but this sounds like someone that doesn't take their job seriously. I would sit down and have a serious conversation with this employee about the importance of dependability to your business, if you haven't already. If you have, then I would find a replacement ASAP. Most of us have gone to work, when we didn't really feel good... That's life, suck it up and deliver day in and day out.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:30 PM
 
673 posts, read 2,518,061 times
Reputation: 407
You ask: how many absences is too many. Here are a couple of ways to look at it - not factoring serious, documentable illnesses. 1) Most people get colds or flu maybe twice a year and maybe are sick for 3 days. That's 6 days. 2) If a person were to get slightly sick once every two months, that's also 6 days. So I'd question anything in excess of 6 days.

When we have a chronically absent employee, we have a talk with the employee. We explain that 1) their role is required for the business to function and 2) if they cannot fulfill that role, the business cannot employ them. Then we have the employee sign a document describing the talk.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:47 PM
 
18,847 posts, read 33,120,485 times
Reputation: 26189
Does she handle cash or responsible for merchandise? With this type of employee, a "warning" is not good. So, I suggest hiring another person, same as above, cut her hours down to nothing. Tapered. Then, when she calls in sick, give a warning, and the next time, she is terminated. That will also eliminate your issues with unemployment insurance. Non charge termination. Not eligible for UI.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:08 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,832 posts, read 12,414,336 times
Reputation: 5244
Simple, she needs an incentive to change her behavior, be it negative or positive.

Negative: Threaten to terminate her if she keeps this up.

Positive: Suggest a bonus or raise if she corrects it and doesn't call in sick/absent at the last minute for, say, more than once a month.

Here's something cool to try (I'm not sure if it's legal in your area but please check on that first):


There was a study done on giving incentives to Teachers.

Group 1: Received no performance bonus.

Group 2: Was told that they're eligible for a $5000 bonus if their students' average scores exceeded some at the end of the year.

Group 3: They signed some sort of contract where they received $5000 upfront but will have it taken away at the end of the year if their students did not perform well.

Guess which group performed the best? Group 3.
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