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FedCO1102  
#1 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 7:06:10 AM(UTC)
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I'm a new supervisor with an employee who has been out a lot this past year. Largely out without prior notice (tell me they're going to be out not requesting). These absences have been more than 25 this year alone not to mention their other prior approved leave, they've been out of the office more than twice as much as anyone else. I've asked if they need support, if their workload is too heavy, if they have a need for an accommodation or need to change their schedule, etc etc and gotten very little response. The reason for their absences have been either "feeling ill" or "having errands". These absences have resulted in missed deadlines, contributed to project failure, and work being shifted to others. Up until recently, they've been very careful about only being out 2 days in a row max without prior approval. Now, they've been out for 3 days straight without prior approval (9 calendar days total). I'd like to request a Dr note now but I'm not sure if that's going to put too much on this employee. The union says I have to meet with them and the employee to warn them before I request this note (and has a bunch of other requirements).

I feel like I've bent over backwards for this person and would have to jump through hoops to even try to curb what I feel may be abuse of leave. Am I just looking at this whole situation wrong or does it seem like the employee might be abusing their leave and taking advantage of me? I can add more info if needed.
frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 7:38:03 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: FedCO1102 Go to Quoted Post
I'm a new supervisor with an employee who has been out a lot this past year. Largely out without prior notice (tell me they're going to be out not requesting). These absences have been more than 25 this year alone not to mention their other prior approved leave, they've been out of the office more than twice as much as anyone else. I've asked if they need support, if their workload is too heavy, if they have a need for an accommodation or need to change their schedule, etc etc and gotten very little response. The reason for their absences have been either "feeling ill" or "having errands". These absences have resulted in missed deadlines, contributed to project failure, and work being shifted to others. Up until recently, they've been very careful about only being out 2 days in a row max without prior approval. Now, they've been out for 3 days straight without prior approval (9 calendar days total). I'd like to request a Dr note now but I'm not sure if that's going to put too much on this employee. The union says I have to meet with them and the employee to warn them before I request this note (and has a bunch of other requirements).

I feel like I've bent over backwards for this person and would have to jump through hoops to even try to curb what I feel may be abuse of leave. Am I just looking at this whole situation wrong or does it seem like the employee might be abusing their leave and taking advantage of me? I can add more info if needed.
You need to talk to your ER/LR specialists. Looks like you may have a couple of things to work on.
1. Performance Issues: Missing deadlines, etc. This alone could result in a PIP (more accurately called a Performance Demonstration Period)...which, if failed, means you can remove them.

2. Conduct issues: If they fail to follow agency policy on requesting leave, then you can provide a letter counseling them on their requirements under the policy and failure to follow said policy can lead to adverse action. You can also put them on leave restriction if this behavior shows a pattern (again: SEE YOUR EMPLOYEE/LABOR RELATIONS SPECIALISTS!!!).

No matter what, a grievance or EEO (or both!) complaint will likely occur, so make certain you have talked to the experts in your HR office.

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
0018 Hopeful  
#3 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 7:57:18 AM(UTC)
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You don't own them, if they have the med leave to be gone that is the end of the story.

I suffered through a similar situation with two local nationals in Germany. I got really irate about it and called HR, which pissed me off even more and then I spoke to my (our) supervisor. Who told me what I just told you.

I have been screwed regularly on similar situations by people I currently supervise. Makes life challenging, but it is part of the civil service life.
FedCO1102  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 8:27:55 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 0018 Hopeful Go to Quoted Post
You don't own them, if they have the med leave to be gone that is the end of the story.

I suffered through a similar situation with two local nationals in Germany. I got really irate about it and called HR, which pissed me off even more and then I spoke to my (our) supervisor. Who told me what I just told you.

I have been screwed regularly on similar situations by people I currently supervise. Makes life challenging, but it is part of the civil service life.


100% I don't own them, this isn't the military. This is also the part that's killing me right now and why I'm here (and also asking my HR/ER people). The employee has used up their sick leave so it's annual in lieu of sick and I don't think they're getting any sort of treatment. It really feels to me that the employee is going "I'm tired, I'm calling out sick", "I have errands, calling out sick", "I think it's going to be a rough day, calling out sick". Several times they have said that they have errands or that they're just tired which is why I'm thinking that. I've put meetings on the calendar to chat with them and they've suddenly had to call out sick or suddenly had an appointment or just simply wasn't reachable and didn't show up...

I think the next step is going to end up being a PIP which sucks.
smithandjones  
#5 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 10:45:47 AM(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: FedCO1102 Go to Quoted Post
and taking advantage of me?


that word choice really jumped out at me. It's really not about you.

The worker probably hates his/her job but doesn't have any better options right now. It's not personal. And they don't have to tell you their physical or mental conditions. Encourage them to seek assistance - encourage them to help the team complete tasks/goals - recognize work hardships or challenges they have faced working with the government - but don't react as though it is a personal attack on your management skills. As others have said - seek appropriate guidance before making things worse for everyone.
old fed  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 2:11:48 PM(UTC)
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your agency may be different but according to the contact at mine and upon advice of HR we quit doing anything in lieu of for an offender. the contract said the employee MAY request it, not that they would get it. they were marked AWOL. but check with HR obviously
FS0201  
#7 Posted : Monday, September 13, 2021 2:39:08 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: frankgonzalez Go to Quoted Post
You need to talk to your ER/LR specialists.


This.

The excuse of, "I read it on FederalSoup..." won't work. Please do your due diligence.
FrankJr  
#8 Posted : Sunday, October 24, 2021 12:04:02 PM(UTC)
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Do what the union is asking you to do immediately. No mystery the employee is taking advantage of the situation. I had a coworker that would return the last hour of the 3rd day to avoid the doctor's note. The union doesn't like the fact the employee is taking advantage of the situation. Management cannot claim performance issues for dates and times the employee isn't on the clock. Not out of the ordinary for management to schedule project meetings during dates and times a specific employee is out of the office; only to fault the noted employee for the failure of the project.

Ultimately the employee will use up all of the leave resulting in leave without pay. Give the employee rope enough...
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