OD Chatter: I Miss Work One Day and HR Writes Me Up! Not Fair!


Dear OD Chatter,

I have been with my company for over a year and have never been told anything other than I do a great job, people like me, all good.

Then, after missing a day of work due to car trouble, I went into work and my manager said ‘glad to have you back’ but my manager only worked a ½ day that day.  As soon as my manager left, my supervisor called me into the HR office and said that he wanted to write me up for missing work, and then the HR person said that she needed to create a paper trail of everything.

I am not happy about this crap because my manager wasn’t upset at all.  Like I’ve said, I’ve been a good employee so why am I being penalized for missing one day of work?  Are they trying to fire me?


Not fair!, Collegeville, PA

Dear Not fair,

I don’t feel like you have shared enough of the details for me to give you a full answer.   There are so many potential details missing from your question that could sway my reply to you so I will keep it very general.

There is no issue with the reply you received from your manager and the actions of your supervisor.  Your supervisor has the responsibility to manage you and your manager has the responsibility to manage your supervisor.  I don’t see anything odd in that portion of your question.

The labor laws are clear about tardiness and absenteeism and these are treated differently for exempt employees (salaried) and non-exempt employees (hourly paid).

Contained within the write-up that was prepared and presented to you, your company would have / should have clearly stated what happened that went against the company policy.  They would have listed the policy that was broken.

If after re-reading the write up carefully and you still need answers then start by referring to your employee handbook.  As you review the sections on working hours, calling off work, and the use of PTO days be sure to also review the details of your actions. You are seeking to find out if you were treated inline with your company’s established policy.

If you feel that you did everything you were expected to do, that you had not used more time-off than what you were granted; and you notified the right person within the lead time required by the employer’s policy still question the actions of your management team, have a respectful conversation with them.  Ask your boss or your HR representative to explain it to you.

When there is a breakdown in communication, opening those lines is the most solid method of resolving the situation.

Thank you for sending us your workplace questions!

OD Chatter


Debra Dee Bradford

OD Chatter is written by Debra Dee Bradford, CHRO of ODL Business Partners, Inc. (www.odlbp.com) an HR consulting firm specializing in organizational development and leadership training. She can be reached at dbradford@odlbp.com. Or, send your workplace related questions to OD Chatter at marlenab@odlbp.com.




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