difficult employee

I have an employee who not only has been coming to work late but 10 minutes after he arrives he goes and gets breakfast. My boss feels a person shouldn't even eat breakfast at work and this should be taken care of before the person arrives. How do I correct this problem?


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I think that first of all this employee definetly should not be paid for this time, as long as he is non-exempt. Next I would start progressive discipline according to your policy. If nothing is done about the problem, it may cause employee morale issues with your other employees.

  • I would agree with Michelle (from GA), you should be addressing both the tardiness issue and the appropriate use of work time (getting breakfast while on the clock). I'd make sure that you aren't allowing others to get breakfast while on the clock. I'd check your policies and start the discipline process. Good luck.

  • Jo and Michelle both make have good points. However, I would not deduct money from the employee's paycheck. I agree that he shouldn't get paid for this time, but under the fair labor standards act, short breaks are paid (I believe the break should exceed 15 or 20 minutes to be unpaid but I haven't looked it up recently). If you try to deduct time from his paycheck you may run into more difficulty (for example, this employee filing a charge with the DOL, then becoming protected by the anti retaliation laws).

    I would go with progressive discipline. Probably start with an oral warning, then if it doesn't fix the problem, move to written warning, etc.

    Good Luck.
  • I just decided to look up the information on the dol website, [url]www.dol.gov[/url]. Breaks of under 20 minutes must be counted as hours worked, however meal periods are not. So again, there could be some risk from wage and hour laws for not paying the person for the time.

  • Do you have in your handbook that they must start at certain time? If they are not able to be there at that time do you say that they must report to someone by a certain time? If you have this then they seem to be breaking this each and every time. I would do a write up and have them sign it for your folder. After three write-ups I don't think I would have them working for me any longer. Remember to have them sign each and every write-up. I have found the more documentation I have the better. I have let people go for that reason and one of them brought me to the Labor Board, I won hands down because of my documentation and the handbook. Good luck!

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