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#152958 - 01/23/04 04:07 PM What would you do?

We have a system in our organization that allows vacation days (in addition to normal vacation days) to accumulate. The system began about 3 years ago. At that time, when a full time employee reached the 10 year mark, they received 1 additional day. Then an additional day was received at 5 years increments, with a maximum of 17 days regardless of how long you were a full time employee....(go figure).

Anyway, a couple of days ago the list of additional days were posted on the back bulletin board. Yesterday, all hell broke loose. It appears that a part-time employee (being part-time for well over 10 years) became full time during 2003. They gave her 4 additional days. We have another employee who worked 7 years as a part-time employee and became full time 1 year ago. She was given an extra day.
We also have an employee here who have been full time for 7 years, working parttime 4 years before that, and didn't receive anything extra. (We have a couple of other employee in the same position.)

One of these is working under my supervision, lets call her Sally. Sally contacted Human Resources and was told that they took into consideration that the part-time employee was part-time for so many years and this was a way of showing appreciation. Sally was extremely upset and let Human Resources know about it. Lets call Human Resourses, Mary. Mary said that she should not continue to be so upset because

after all it was only one day. At the end of their conversation, Mary also said that Sally could always go to apply at ....(another industry in our city), she heard they were hiring. At this point, Sally came to tears.(She is an extremely emotional person) I was shocked at the conversation that had taken place.

Later that day, Mary contacted my office to explain the situation to me. She said that she wanted me to hear the story from her and not anyone else. As she explained it, she again mentioned that Sally had better quit complaining because "they" would strip all of the extra days from everyone. Again, she stated that she just didn't understand it, because they were talking about "one" day and that was nothing. After a lengthy conversation, I told her that it was "nothing" when the day was not hers. I told her that I understood why Sally was upset. I know that she expected me to side with her...and I couldn't. I just don't see the logic in what they have done.

Now understand, I am happy for the girls who received the extra doubt they deserve it, but if you are going to consider their "part-time employment" then consider everyones. Our conversation ended.

Today, Sally came to work, no makeup, crying and extremely upset. She started raking up old situations that happened to her here. Years ago, they didn't really accuse her, but gave her the feeling that they suspected that perhaps she had stolen money from the organization. She felt like everyone here knew that. Once they found the person actually responsible, they never apologized. A number of other things happened during her employment. She was led to believe that because she was slower to learn certain duties, she was maybe not worthy of the areas she was working in. Today, she is working under my supervision. She is doing a great job. At times, she may be slow, but what she does is accurate....I have no complaints.

I suggested that maybe she should talk to our CEO. I told her that perhaps he was not aware of the situation and something could be done. (At the least, I thought he might make her feel better). She, along with others, called to talk to him. He stated that they better not bring up any of this. He said that they should mind their own business. He was already angry, because the entire organization was buzzing and if they spoke to him, he would only get more angry. This just devistated Sally. She has been crying all morning.

Oh, she just walked into my office, saying she was leaving for the day. It is just as well, she is miserable and I knew would not be able to function.

Now for my her supervisor, should I go to speak to him on her behalf. I feel like I should. But I'm not sure that this would be beneficial to either of us. I am afraid that she will quit her job..........I just feel so sorry for her.....

Later tha

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#152959 - 01/23/04 04:56 PM Re: What would you do?
RR Joker Offline
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RR Joker
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 20,654
The Swamp
Doesn't sound to me like there is any logic to the system...everyone should be treated equally...and it appears to me that Sally and the others were also appears that the one that was pt for 10 years was given days in excess?

The policy here affects only full time employees...2 weeks to begin, then accumulating 1 day per year after 5 years to a max of 20. Some officer status receive more days sooner, but after a certain waiting period of I think a year and still with a max of 20. I've never seen any exceptions made to this policy.
My opinion only. Not legal advice.

Say you'll haunt me - Stone Sour

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#152960 - 01/23/04 05:11 PM Re: What would you do?
Brandy Osborne Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 660
That's a tough call, I think it would depend on your relationship with the CEO. I think the moral thing to do is to speak to him, though I'm sure that some of his anger is based on the fact that he knows that HR has made a big boo-boo and the fall out could be large. I am surprised that "Mary" would be so bold in her conversation, as if I were "sally" after all of this mess and then being told that"x" company was looking for people, I would be looking for a lawyer to talk about job discrimination. I would be aghast at such an arbitrary system, and that it was so unfairly applied as well as so openly posted. We have a set system that equates hours to Vacation days... IE full time gets x amount, part time gets amount based on hours worked per year. But back on track with your question. the risk in speaking to the CEO is backlash for both you and her, seems to me that they are gunning for her and while it might be right to take up the fight for her, they could turn that gun on you too. Tough call. I'd like to know what more long time people thought.
Practice, practice makes perfect,
Perfect is a fault, and in fault lines change

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#152961 - 01/23/04 06:01 PM Re: What would you do?
DawgFan Offline
Diamond Poster
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,678
United States
I don't really know what to tell you, 007. I think that Sally is being treated unfairly. The system SHOULD be applied equally. If you are going to consider one person's part time employment, you should consider everyone's. I am rather apalled that they would post that so openly. That's asking for it right there. Would they post salaries? I'd let it ride until Monday (let him cool down) and then approach him, although, I have a feeling I know what Sally is doing with her half a day off. You may not be able to keep her, but I can't blame her at all. I hope it works out for the best!
Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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#152962 - 01/23/04 11:47 PM Re: What would you do?
Bob McComas Offline
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Bob McComas
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 570
Dallas, Texas
While its not the most screwed up thing I've ever seen, it's gets close to the top. Unfortunate situation for all involved. Sally appears to have little respect in some circles. That happens - it won't change. HR should be above it though and not let it interfere with it's mission of fair and equal treatment for all.

That said, the CEO isn't going to be in a position of correcting it without someone losing creditability (HR?). Having been approached by several employees at one time, put him on the defensive and the last thing he wants to do is "cave in" to sentiment.

My approach would be to go the the HR person in her office, on her turf, and ask how did this happen? and how can the situation be corrected for all concerned? Go to the source of the problem for the best answer. This way she has the opportunity to correct the situation and be a heroine.

If she refuses, then ask the CEO for a meeting between you and HR to resolve the situation. If he refuses, it dies right there and you have done all you can do.

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#152963 - 01/24/04 12:57 AM Re: What would you do?
HRH Dawnie Offline
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HRH Dawnie
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 7,353
Anchorage Alaska
I think Bob has the best approach. If "Sally" wasn't up to par in the opinion of her former supervisors, it's not HR's duty to hold that against her, it's her supervisors duty to pay appropriately to the work she preforms. It sounds like Sally is doing a good job and being penalized by HR for someone elses opinion, not her current supervisor, which is frankly wrong.

As her supervisor I'd feel the need to follow through as Bob has suggested. If I didn't do something for my staff I'd feel I wasn't doing my duty. If it affects you in a negative fashion, well you probably should consider going elsewhere because it's not a place any good person should be working. Your top consideration should be will you feel getting up in the morning and facing Sally if you don't do what's right in your heart? The guilt would be worse for me than an argument with the CEO.

Sometimes it sucks to be the one to stand up when things are wrong, but in the long run, you'll respect yourself, and your staff will respect you for trying to do the right thing.

Good luck! And give Sally a virtual hug from all of us. This is goober! (kick someone from HR for me)
Dawn Coursey VP/CRA Queen

CRA Rating is in...Oh who cares...I'm home with the baby.

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#152964 - 01/24/04 08:21 PM Re: What would you do?
deppfan Offline
Power Poster
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 5,184
All over the map.
I have to back what Bob and Dawnie have said. Man...what a mess. I think what you can do for Sally right now is to explain to her what you told us. You are pleased with her, you don't know if anything can be done about the situation or not, but YOU, as her supervisor are happy with her. I just don't know what to tell you past that. Sounds like she has a tough decision to make.
On the road again.....I just can't wait to get on the road again.

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#152965 - 02/05/04 09:06 PM Re: What would you do?
WildTurkey Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 921
Down South, USA

..... The system SHOULD be applied equally. If you are going to consider one person's part time employment, you should consider everyone's. ....

I would go further and say that the system MUST be applied fairly, anything less is discrimination and leaves you open to legal action. As it is someone in your department who is affected I'd say that you should send a memo to HR, and get a written response before, if HR won't get their act to gether, escalating the matter further.
This is my opinion; it is not legal advice, nor the view of my employer, and it may change tomorrow.

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