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marc a

We are located in PA. Had a situation where two employees approached the floor supervisor and stated they were leaving in protest of their perception employees on another shift were getting time off and they were not.

Employees plant wide have been given opportunities for time off with out pay as we are facing slowed output needs due to recent economic situation. As we see pick up on the horizon we have been able to have enough people taking time off periodically (at their request) to reduce heads fitting more the production needs. Certain jobs are in situations more than others to have work run out. When that occurs we offer the opprotunity to let people go home without pay. If they can't afford it, we find them something else to do.

The employees that left had plenty of occasions where they took time off durring this period.

When these empoloyees left they basically just told the supervisor they were leaving in protest. They had no vacation or sick time. As it turns out they have critical jobs they perform and thier departure harmed much of our process. It seems to me they walked off the job. In the past this type behavior has been treated by terminating the employee.

What bothers me so much is - both employees are related (husband and wife) and the wife is pregnant.

What do you think?


Senior Member
What your company is doing in response to slow working conditions mine has done quite a number of times. If an area is slow, we ask for volunteers who would like to go home. Many take advantage of it. For those who choose not to, then we do our darndest to find some other work for them to do for the balance of the day or whatever.

Since it is a voluntary situation AND these two were apparently on jobs that were needed, I can't imagine what wild hair they got up their respective behinds. But there's no telling what stupid ideas some people get in their heads.

What I think is that they made a really dumb decision and one for which they knew there would undoubtedly be consequences. The fact that the two are married and have a baby on the way is their concern, not yours. Why they would jeopardize their financial security and health insurance at this time is mystifying but I've seen employees do equally dumb things on plenty of occasions.

The bottom line is that walking off the job is grounds for immediate dismissal. Whether you want to take that step needs to be weighed in view of their overall employment history with the company, attitude, prior discipline, etc., what they have to say about why they did what they did, and how you've handled similar situations in the past. If you elect not to terminate, then you need to give these two a final disciplinary action and put them on notice if they ever walk off the job again, they need to just keep going.

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