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    10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2009 3:50 PM by TheBigEasy

    I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted

    BizBud Newbie
      I have an long term employee who is very well liked by his fellow employees and by customers.

      The problem is for well over year he hasn't been able to work more than half time as he been recovering for illness, and it unlikely he will ever be able to work full time again.

      He is very well paid. Right now I am facing major budget pressure. I need to move him to pay that is related to how much he works (or fire another employee who is working which doesn't seem fair), but I know that he can't afford a pay cut and if we cut his pay he is likely then to speak badly to customers and other employees. If we terminate him it will seem curl to customer and fellow employees.

      Suggestions?
        • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
          MnlyTechnlgy Adventurer
          BizBud - Unfortunately the "humane" part of management is always conflicting with what it right for the company. As a manger you have to look at the bigger picture over what this one employee's reaction would or could be as a result of doing what is financially viable for the company. Look at what damage is being done (with your other employees) by allowing this employee to continue to be "paid well" while working 50% of the time? Have you sat this employee down and discussed what they feel is the outlook long term? Maybe the employee is feeling obligated to stay at the company because of the trust he's been afforded from the company as well as the relationship he has with the customers. I think if you sit this employee down and explain the situation of the company, relative to his position, this employee may be more open to suggestions you are faced with placing on the table. Maybe you could offer to reduce him to part time status with reduction in pay, which would allow him to remain employed and allow you the possibility of hiring another part time person if necessary or possibly job-share (if the position warrants it). Another option would be to explain the situation and offer the employee a generous severance package, which would not hinder his financial situation short term and allow your company to restructure financially. If the employee is suffering from a long-term illness which interferes with his ability to work full-time, he may not be aware that he might qualify for disability compensation to supplement his pay. I think the most important thing is to not shy away from communicating professionally. This potentially affects the company culture as a whole, not just you and this one employee.
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Welcome to this web site.
            The problem is for well over year he hasn't been able to work more than
            half time
            as he been recovering for illness.
            What about Disability?? I am not an expert on disability, but if you Google Disability
            they list benefits, who decides, social security disability and MORE
            Talk to your lawyer
            Good luck, LUCKIEST
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              How many people does your firm employ and in what state are you located? What you are required or allowed to do in this situation may be impacted by those two things.

              Otherwise, I agree with the answer offered MnlyTechnlgy -- if this has been going on for over a year, everybody there already knows something about the situation. As an owner/manager who wants to do what is right for both the individual and your business, I think the key step now is to get everything out in the open as much as possible (with sensitivity, of course, in a one-to-one meeting with him first, and then perhaps in a meeting with the workforce in general).

              In both cases, clearly state your goal -- to find a solution that's good for him, good for other employees, and good for your clients/customers. You certainly want the individual's family and co-workers to feel he is being treated kindly and fairly. At the same time, you don't want your action (or inaction) to penalize the workers who are continuing to take up the slack, nor do you want to risk losing customers who don't get the quality of product or service they deserve because you are short-staffed.

              It's a difficult issue, but you have my respect for being willing to seek input and try to find a solution rather than letting it go. I wish you the best!

              • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
                BizBud Newbie
                We have about 400 empolyees. We in many states, one of the issues is the person works out of their house, so it hard for people to know he not really working. He is a trainer and as only been able to do about 45 days of trian in the last year, and we see no likelyhood this will change.

                I think the disablity idea has merit, I wonder if he could do half or three quarter disablity and still work a little, I will ask our HR department.

                Thanks for the feedback
                • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
                  MagPublisher Wayfarer
                  Talk to a lawyer first and then talk to him. At the end of the day you have to cut his salary or let him go. Your business can't afford to pay him 100% of his salary for 50% of his work. That math is simple. Your job at this point, isn't whether you'll cut his salary or let him go, you have to do that. Your job now is to figure out how to do it and that is why you need to consult with an attorney.
                    • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
                      MnlyTechnlgy Adventurer
                      Why would contacting a lawyer be an essential part of this process? Isn't this HR Management 101 - How to manage people effectively? I agree that the task at hand is not what needs to get done, but rather how to do it tactfully. From what I can see, there really isn't any underlying legal issue being presented, unless the employee is under a mandated work reduction through Workers Comp or another mandated work reduction which would secure his employment indefinitely, then there should be no need to contact an attorney, in my opinion.

                      I think the main thing that needs to happen is communication and discussions on a professional level and put an end to wondering if this employee will sabotage the company once the decision has been made. I think THEN would be the time to consult an employee, to protect your rights against a possble disgruntled employee situation.
                        • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
                          MagPublisher Wayfarer
                          There is a huge legal aspect to this. Read the original post. This long term employee is a key employee. My suggestion to contact a lawyer is like getting insurance should something happen. What if he bad mouths the company to clients that he has the relationship with? What if this guy tries to create his own thing and take clients or employees.

                          Hiring a lawyer is a step to get basic advice. You are absolutely right, hopefully HR 101 solves the problem, but when the guy can't afford to have his salary cut, but is basically a big part of the engine that runs your company, terminating him or cutting his salary could case big issues.
                      • Re: I got a long term empolyee problem, help wanted
                        TheBigEasy Newbie

                        Hello

                        This can be handled in several ways, one of which my be restructuring the cost of all employees by reviewing payroll, benefits, insurance etc. Get back with me and I can share with you how you can save all employees their jobs and cut cost.

                         


                        Emanuel