Thursday, June 20, 2024

my good friend is in bother for attendance points brought on by her dad being sick — Ask a Supervisor


A reader writes:

I’m questioning in case you have any recommendation on encouraging a coworker (or former coworker) to face up for themselves. I’ve a sense there’s not rather a lot I can do, however I really feel so helpless watching this case.

My former coworker and good friend, Jane, continues to be on the job the place we met. It’s not the worst employment state of affairs I’ve ever heard of, however they hold salaries low, are extraordinarily cliquey, and encourage in-fighting amongst employees. HR is primarily involved with pressuring staff to surrender federally protected rights, spreading confidential info, and micromanaging folks’s clock in/out instances.

Jane’s father is in hospice. He’s sadly terminal and is unlikely to be round for very for much longer. She is in her late 20s, so nonetheless fairly younger to be dropping a dad or mum. As a result of distressing nature of this, she had some points with attendance as she tried to stability her in poor health father and a number of jobs. HR’s response to this was to put her on a PIP for attendance. Am I loopy to suppose that is completely bananapants and unbelievably unsympathetic? (I solely left this job a couple of months in the past, and I’m not sure how a lot it warped my concept of what’s regular.) I get that it’s technically allowed, however I can’t think about my new crew or firm doing this — I’m exhausting pressed to suppose it’s now the skilled commonplace.

I’ve inspired her to look into FMLA and numerous types of paid (or unpaid) day off to be together with her father, however she’s extraordinarily averse to battle. Moreover, I’m pretty new to the company world and I’m not sure whether or not I’m giving the proper recommendation or if I have to be extra particular. I’ve tried to encourage her to search for new jobs however with a lot occurring clearly now isn’t a good time for that.

Due to her nature and now being positioned on a PIP, she’s involved about bringing it up or pushing again on these circumstances in any respect. For numerous causes, she will be able to’t afford to be with no full-time job for lengthy and she or he’s additionally comparatively inexperienced within the skilled world. I feel whereas she values my assist she’s not sure if she will be able to take my recommendation significantly (I’m a bit youthful however somewhat extra world weary, having been alone since I used to be 17 years previous). I’m questioning if somebody with extra expertise than both of us confirming that is certainly insane would assist give her a push.

(To be clear, she is on no account integral to the functioning of the corporate. The crew may completely deal with her taking per week or two off. They’re griping about being quick staffed however they simply walked out an worker on the crew who put of their two weeks, for no purpose apart from to make some sort of level? None of us below the supervisor that runs that crew had or have entry to confidential info/commerce secrets and techniques.)

Is the reply merely “you possibly can lead a horse to water however you possibly can’t make it drink”? Or is there one thing I’m lacking past normal advice-giving?

Are you aware precisely what the attendance points have been? If it’s simply that she’s missed some work as a result of her dad is terminally in poor health, then sure, her firm is being horrible. They as a substitute needs to be speaking to her about choices for day off (together with issues like FMLA).

Alternatively, if it’s one thing like she’s missed work with out alerting anybody she’d be out, or that her presence at work has been unreliable with out speaking to anybody concerning the purpose why … nicely, she nonetheless shouldn’t be on a PIP in the event that they now perceive what’s taking place; they need to be explaining what they want on her finish (like an alert when she’ll be out, to the extent that’s reasonable) and what her choices are for day off.

You talked about among the attendance points might have stemmed from working a number of jobs; if that’s been a part of it, that’s going to attract a much less sympathetic response. Both approach, her dad continues to be dying and they need to assume she’s devastated and never working at optimum capability, and they need to be making an attempt to work together with her on getting everybody’s wants met, not being punitive. However a few of this is dependent upon how a lot has been “my dad is sick” versus “I’m working a number of jobs” (in addition to on how a lot of the state of affairs together with her dad has been communicated to them).

As for what she ought to do from right here, you’re completely proper that she needs to be inquiring about FMLA. Some issues to find out about FMLA: to be eligible for it, her firm must have 50+ staff and she or he must have labored there for a minimum of a 12 months and have labored a minimum of 1,250 hours throughout that 12 months. But when she meets these necessities, FMLA needs to be her subsequent step since it’s going to defend her job whereas she’s out for dad-related causes. It’s not adversarial to make use of FMLA! It’s there for precisely conditions like this. And that PIP is her firm telling her that she dangers getting fired if one thing doesn’t change; one factor it might be sensible to vary is the authorized framework they’re utilizing for that go away, and FMLA will try this.

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