Terminating a "Crazy Employee"

OK, this may be long, but will try to limit it. We have an employee who was in a freak WC accident (piece of metal flew out of another employee's hand and hit her on arm causing a small cut.) This "injuried employee" was tested positive on another WC incident several years ago and was given our policy one time warning. Anyway, we didn't feel employee needed to see doctor (since not even bleeding) but she wanted to so we took her. She told us (and the dr.) that she was going to test positive. She did and we terminated her according to company policy. This employee has something wrong (maybe a fried brain or ADA) and can't "focus" or sit still. When terminated it was everyone's fault but hers. Then her husband called me late Friday and and made some "hidden" treats and it was everyone but his wife's fault). He also showed up at the office wanting to see the Supv. who accosted his wife. Supv. wasn't there, so husband called him at home. Employee called me on Monday now wanting copies of MSDS sheets for something totally different. (We are getting these for her.) She also called our "wellcare nurse" who earlier had gotten her to go to doctor for her "attention" problem. She also told her if this happened again would be terminated. Now employee has called plant about 6 times Wednesday wanting to speak to different people. I have directed the office staff to say they can't call them off job and would be glad to take a number. (They have caller ID and know it is her, but she thinks she is disquising her voice.) This girl is certifiable. We just want her to go away. However, I am sure if/when she applies for unemployment and is turned down and/or when she gets letter from W/C carrier that they are turning down her claim due to non-negative drug, she will start up again. I am not sure that I feel they are "dangerous" but don't want to take a chance. They are threating to get an attorney and quote OSHA etc.
Any suggestions on how to make her go away. (I have to call her today. We are not able to determine what "board" she is talking about wanting MSDS sheets for.)

E Wart


  • 11 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • You are well within your rights to terminate for violation of policy. The best advice, however, is to notify your attorney immediately about the matter. Be sure to express your concerns regarding the security of the facility and staff. Stop playing with this former employee and her husband. Let your attorney handle.
  • She's not going to go away. Consult your attorney (if available), obviously document everything - including calls with date/time and caller id, and strongly consider a restraining order against she and her husband. It may sound like overreaction, but in this day and age, you need to be proactive in protecting your employees (ie general duty clause). OSHA doesn't take kindly to "non-negative" drug testing.
  • I wouldn't give her a damned thing. Get a restraining order if you have to. Sit back and wait for the subpeona that will never come.
  • I agree with SMace, the more you do for her or say to her just gives her more ammunition to load into her proverbial gun. Cut off all contact with her.
  • Alert your security and make sure they do not let her or her spouse into the building. Also, contact your attorney to get a restraining order against her. Advise switchboard not to put her thru to any employee and advise her not to call the office again.

    We, too, have had crazy employees (they are drawn to health care, unfortunately) and have had to take a hard line with them.
  • She's making this situation very messy and confused. But you're lucky that the most important thing (her terimination) is very simple: She was fired for failing a drug test under your company policy.

    Her termination is completely separate from the issues of her mental health, WC, OSHA, the accident, her husband, her phone calls.... Many employees would roll up all of these issues into a big, muddy ball of inequity. Don't let her blur the issues when you're talking to her or a government agency or responding to a lawsuit. KISS.

    James Sokolowski
  • We have not had one exactly like this but have had to tell a terminated employee, "You don't work here anymore."

    Sometimes they want to linger over packing up their stuff. (You can tell them you will box it up and they will call for it at a given time.) We do not want them going through their work or in the computer. We terminate their access to the security system so they cannot get in the door.

    The answer to your employee is, "You don't work here anymore. Anything you need as far as post employment questions such as COBRA or unemployment can be handled in writing through HR. Send them your questions in writing."

  • I had something similiar recently after we terminated an employee, but luckily not so complicated.

    I received 10 voice mail messages at work at all times of the night ranging from hysterical to angry to calm, but none of them made any sense. I received emails with biblical quotes with threatening overtones. Her former coworkers received constant emails - all blaming me for ruining her career and life and filled with ridiculous lies. (For instance, supposedly, I said she was "mentally retarded" and she said that she got herself checked out and she passed with "flying colors".)

    We only corresponded in writing when necessary, blocked her email from our email system and reported everything to the police. They contacted her and informed to immediately cease all contact with us. So far, it's worked, although, I have got a few hang-ups at home recently.

    I also agree - I would not provide her anything at this point. She and her husband are clearly unstable and unreasonable. Let her get an attorney and deal with it then. It's probably unlikely that it will come to that, anyway.

    Good luck!
  • Thought I would fill you in on the latest events. First, this employee is production in a plant, not office so no computer or emails. I am in Atlanta but this plant is in another very small town where everyone knows everyone.
    The phone calls have quit. I had to call her on Wed. to let her know that her check had been mailed (so she wouldn't appear at the plant.) She was much calmer, but still going off in every direction. (It ended up being about an hour call.) She also asked about getting her $4.90 for bandaids and about her unemployment. Unemployment questions get my standard answer, "We don't make decisions on this, the state does". However, I am sure she won't get it. (May tick her off again.) Also, W/C did deny the claim and any and all bills (since we are Drug Free Workplace certified in this state. (We decided to pay the one doctor's visit since there was no drug screen results at that time. However, we will not pay any more, and I can't believe there will be more.)
    Without my knowledge, the GM of the plant was going by her home on personal errand and was going to leave her $5 in mail box. He decided to go in and talk with her. (Luckily husband there too. I would have really been upset if she had been by herself because she could have said anything and no witnesses.) Anyway, he said they were really hostile at first, but he thinks he "calmed them down and left with a good feeling" and he thinks that this will be the end of it. We will see. I am sure we will hear from her when she doesn't get unemployment, but maybe she will go get a life.

    E Wart
  • WOW! I can't believe the GM actually went to this person's house and went inside. What a liability waiting to happen! He is lucky and so is your company!

  • I would do the following:
    1. Notify your attorney.
    2. Document everything.
    3. Send her a certified letter instructing her to stay off company property and not contact anyone at the company (during work hours) except HR. Tell her if she violates this you will contact the proper authorities.
    4. Send her husband a letter instructing him to stay off company property and not to contact anyone at the company. Tell him if he violates this you will contact the proper authorities.
    5. Don't give her anything unless you would normally provide the same thing to other terminated employees.
    6. Instruct switchboard to send all incoming calls from her to your office. After 3-4 times she'll get the idea.
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