Criticism and Discipline; Rules and Policies

BUT I’m really sIck!

Primary Topic—Employee Problems and Problem Employees

Additional Topics—Criticism and Discipline; Rules and Policies

“I’m really up a tree as to what to do with Kelly,” said nurse manager Jane Babson. “I know she’s genuinely ill quite often, or at least I know she’s asthmatic and some of her absences seem to relate to that. She’s out often enough that her sick time is always used as fast as it’s earned, and she’s chipped away a lot of her vacation bank to cover illness. Yet she’s never out long enough to go on disability so I could get some reliable temporary coverage for a while.”

Personnel representative Diane Jones asked, “What happened with the other absence problem you mentioned some time ago? Wilson? Or was it Williams?”

“Wilson,” Jane said. “That one’s pretty clear cut. Sick time taken as fast as accrued, patterned absences—always before or after scheduled days off. Good health, at least by all appearances. She’s even been seen at the mall a couple of times when she was supposedly sick.”

“No problem dealing with Wilson,” she added. “A file full of warnings—next time she’s out.”

“What about Kelly?” Diane asked. “I’ve tried to work with Kelly about the time she’s missing. After all, I’ve got a unit

to staff and whether somebody is truly ill or just faking it, the work still isn’t getting done. And Kelly’s pretty quick to claim that she’s really sick—not like those others and their so-called mental health days, as she puts it—and she’s come pretty close to threatening me with some kind of legal action if she gets disciplined for absenteeism.”

Jane sighed heavily and asked, “Diane, what can I do about Kelly? And can I do something different about Wilson?”

Diane leaned forward in her chair and began, “Let’s consider what we’ve got here, and then we’ll look at options. First, . . . .”


Put yourself in the position of personnel representative Diane Jones and summarize the advice you would present to Jane Babson.

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