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  • California Time Off Request

    Hello All,

    I have been having many time off requests come in lately and can't accommodate them all.

    I would like to post a notice for all employees to read and understand the laws on time off request.

    Please let me know if I should post this or not and/or what I may be misunderstanding myself.

    "Time Off Requests

    Requests for days off are just that, a request.
    They will always be taken into consideration but canít always be approved.
    If you are not approved for a time off request and fail to show up for your shift, you will be written up for failing to show up to work/insubordination and promptly fired.
    Anyone who has an issue with this can take a look at California labor laws."

    Also, do I need to formally deny a request in writing/verbally or do I post the schedule and see if they show up or not?

  • #2
    Originally posted by bosh View Post
    If you are not approved for a time off request and fail to show up for your shift, you will be written up for failing to show up to work/insubordination and promptly fired.
    If your president/CEO fails to show up for a scheduled shift, are they fired? Will this policy be applied uniformly to everyone? Or just those folks that you do not like?

    I have no problem with the general tone of what you are trying to do, but I am uncomfortable with the "everyone who fails to follow the rules without exception will be fired" wording. If that is what you really are going to do, fine and dandy. But if Bob and Jill both fail to follow the rules, and you fire Bob and not Jill (or visa versa), you maybe just opened yourself up to a legal response. I am uncomfortable with any policy for which the employer is not prepared to follow AS WORDED. Most attendance policies have wording more along the lines of "violations will be subject to adverse job actions including possible termination". If you really are going to apply some discretion about showing employees the door, the written policy should reflect this.

    Regarding formal written approval, it is not legally required, but might be a good idea in your situation. Employers can legally fire perfectly good employees if they want as long as they do not violate Title VII, or some other actual law. I was at a manufacturing company in the 1980s where the supervisors were ignoring certain company policies. Very Senior Management asked HR who the worst offender was. HR (as usual) did not have a clue and said so. VSM said to pick a supervisor at random and fire them. VSM hinted that the HR manager might be the next to go. The randomly selected supervisor was indeed fired, and the problem magically cleared itself up, because VSM was a serious a****** who was dead serious about firing one more supervisor each week until the problem was fixed.

    Whatever you do, publize the policy and follow it to the letter with no exceptions. Say what you mean and mean what you say. You may have to fire some people but the survivors will take you seriously. But if you publish policies that you cannot or will not enforce, employees will not take you seriously.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

    Comment


    • #3
      The other thing I'd like to address is that the law does not specifically address time off requests for the most part, and on those very rare occasions when it is addressed, it tends to be protecting the employee's right to take certain types of medical leave leave. Like DAW, I do not have a problem with what you are trying to do, but I don't think you've got the wording quite right yet. If your reference to labor laws is intended to refer to at-will employment and your right to fire employees, that's okay, but the implication as currently worded is that there are specific laws about time off requests, and there are not.

      While the law does not require that you formally deny a request for time off in writing, it would be better for you to have done so if you do end up firing someone and if they later file for unemployment.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

      Comment


      • #4
        I see, I have reworked the wording a bit.

        Not looking to fire anyone just want to get the message across that having 5 people request a day off means more than likely a few will not be able to get those days off.

        In the past people would not show up to work or refuse and tell me "Well I wrote it on the time request off XXX days ago!"

        "Time Off Requests

        Requests for days off are just that, a request.
        They will always be taken into consideration but canít always be approved.
        If you are not approved for a time off request and fail to show up for your shift, you will be written up and/or fired.
        Anyone who has an issue with this can take a look at California labor laws."

        I reworded it to seem less harsh but at the same time firm.

        I was wondering whether to write a line in about special circumstances in which the law protects (emergency/family/hospital) kind of issues but didn't want to put too much information either.

        Should I add that in or leave that to a per case matter.


        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd leave out the reference to labor laws, I really would. The last thing you want is someone coming back (and they will) saying, "I looked at the laws and there's no law that says that".

          What is your usual procedure for requesting time off? I may have a suggestion.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok, will delete that part.

            Under the weekly schedule there is the following 2 weeks calender where employees can write in their time off request.

            I take the old schedule and look at it when I'm doing the new schedule for time off's and such.

            What is your suggestion?

            Comment


            • #7
              I would move to a written request - an actual piece of paper.

              Employee: ___________________________

              Dates Requested: _____________________

              Type of Time Requested: ___________________

              Employee Signature: _______________________

              And then underneath:

              Approved Denied

              And a place for your signature.

              Keep a copy when you give it back as approved or denied.

              For your announcement, what about something like this:

              "Time Off Requests

              Requests for days off are just that, a request.
              They will always be taken into consideration but canít always be approved.
              Effective immediately, all requests for time off must be made in writing a minimum of two weeks in advance. A copy of the form is attached (available on the intranet, can be provided by your supervisor, whatever is appropriate.) If the circumstances are such that two weeks is not possible, the request must be made, again on the proper form, with as much notice as possible.
              If you are not approved for a time off request and fail to show up for your shift, you will receive appropriate disciplinary action for the specific situation which can include but is not limited to write ups, suspension or termination.
              Leave that falls under state or Federal law will be treated appropriately."

              Only do this if you have the backing of the higher ups to actually take the disciplinary actions. The worst thing you can possibly do is threaten discipline and then not follow through. In that case, what you've taught the employees is that they can do anything they want and there are no consequences.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                CBG's last answer was better then the one I was thinking of, so stay with that. I can say that generally we included the following boilerplate paragraph on all policies:

                "The company will comply with all federal and state rules. Past that, it is the intent of the company to exactly comply with all policies. Any and all exceptions to the policy must be approved by the VP Human Resources in writting ahead of time".

                Past that, we were slow to write large numbers of policies or detailed policies. We wanted the minimum number of formal written policies possible, we wanted those policies to be as short and clearly worded as functionally possible, and we did not want any policies that we were not prepared to enforce as is with no exceptions. We felt that policies that were not enforced or were poorly understood were much worse the having no policy at all. There is generally no laws requiring written policies at all (a few exceptions exist, mostly benefit related), and a formal written policy should be solving problems, not creating them.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                Comment

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