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coworker needs to withhold PTO as punishment, non secular presents for colleagues, and extra — Ask a Supervisor


It’s 5 solutions to 5 questions. Right here we go…

1. Coworker needs to withhold PTO as punishment

Now we have a collection of instructional seminars by coworkers each month. I’m anticipated to attend 80% of those seminars, on-line or in individual (most popular). Attendance is monitored by means of completion of an nameless survey with a follow-up web page the place you submit a day by day code to get credit score. The code shouldn’t be at all times offered throughout the session, so typically we now have to trouble the presenter to offer it. Typically my position works off-site or has different expectations across the time of day that these classes are held. Once we are off-site, there isn’t a expectation to attend and we’re excused from the attendance requirement.

My coworker, who’s concerned in a committee that acts as a liaison with administration, has been advocating for withholding PTO as punishment for failing to attend a ample quantity of instructional seminars. Our PTO is listed as a profit in our contract so I don’t suppose it’s authorized to withhold PTO. My coworker disagrees and factors to a time once we have been severely understaffed as a result of Covid and PTO was denied robotically for all staff as a result of low staffing. Would withholding PTO like this be allowed?

Do you could have precise contracts? In case you’re within the U.S., that will be uncommon — however in case you do, then the reply depends upon the particular wording in your contract. In case you don’t, the legality depends upon the wording of different firm paperwork.

Nevertheless it doesn’t actually matter, as a result of this might be a horribly ill-advised factor to do anyway. First, it’s ridiculously punitive and a far bigger punishment than the offense warrants.

Second, PTO isn’t one thing an employer offers out of the goodness of their coronary heart and which might/ought to be yanked again to show a lesson; it’s a part of staff’ compensation bundle, and it’s in your employer’s curiosity to have individuals use their PTO so that they have rested, recharged staff. Revoking it to punish individuals could be very more likely to price you good staff, who will depart over this.

Third, you don’t handle individuals by way of punishment. If somebody isn’t attending sufficient seminars, then their supervisor ought to speak with them, work out what’s occurring, make the expectation clear, after which maintain them to it like they’d some other requirement of their job. If it’s occurring with plenty of individuals, then you definitely have a look at root causes: are the seminars not useful? Do individuals not have sufficient time for them? Are there respectable causes individuals aren’t prioritizing them? You don’t simply bludgeon them by yanking their PTO.

Your coworker is being ridiculous, and I hope she doesn’t handle anybody along with her instincts this off. And in case you work at a fair barely well-managed firm, your administration ought to shut this concept down exhausting if she proposes it.

2. Are non secular presents ever acceptable for colleagues?

Is it ever acceptable to get a coworker a religious-themed present (her faith, not mine)?

Our group’s administrative assistant goes by means of a very tough time with most cancers remedy, and I’d prefer to get her one thing to let her know I’m pondering of her. Our group has some bizarre dynamics, and we work in academia, so there received’t be one thing central organized for her. I’m not certain her schedule for being residence or in hospital, or what she’s in a position to eat, and many others. so don’t need to do any of the usual perishable presents of meals or flowers.

She has been fairly open about her dedication to Islam (e.g., she was actually excited to share when she lately made her first pilgrimage to Mecca). I’ve a powerful sense she may recognize one thing like a framed calligraphed part of the Qur’an that talks about therapeutic, or a small bracelet with a prayer on it, and even the sort of factor.

I actually am not Muslim, and don’t personally consider within the energy of prayer (aside from the therapeutic impact of feeling completely happy and calm that prayer can result in for individuals who consider in it), and usually am an enormous proponent of not mixing of labor and faith, so I’m shocked to be discovering myself asking this. Is it completely whacky to get my coworker a spiritual present? If it issues, I’m larger than her within the hierarchy however she doesn’t report back to me.

I wouldn’t. There are certainly individuals who can be moved by a present like this, and it’s doable your coworker is certainly one of them. Nevertheless it’s additionally doable it will really feel like overstepping, or that you just’ll miss the mark indirectly since you don’t know the nuances of the faith or of her relationship with it.

What you’re proposing is a very private and intimate present, within the context of a piece relationship. Once more, it’s solely doable she’d adore it; I can’t say. However with some individuals it will be an overstep or a misfire, and there’s no solution to know (particularly as somebody outdoors of her faith and who lacks nuanced perception into the methods she connects with it). There are such a lot of different considerate presents you might select that aren’t non secular. Go for a kind of.

3. I’ve to do math for a venture and I’m horrible at math

I’m an workplace administrator at a mid-sized firm and have been within the position for about 5 years. Based mostly on my promotions and wonderful efficiency opinions, I believe it’s protected to say I’m good at my job. Nonetheless, I’ve managed to go this whole time with out doing greater than probably the most fundamental math.

Our workplace is internet hosting a big convention this 12 months that includes organising a number of of our assembly rooms in a classroom type. I’ve been tasked with calculating what number of tables and chairs can slot in every room whereas nonetheless permitting every attendee ample area to maneuver round. Comparatively fundamental floor space stuff, proper?

I’m horrible at math. I’ve fairly critical ADHD (and my boss is conscious) however frankly, I appear to have been born with out the mathematics gene. The quantity of psychological math and spatial reasoning concerned on this venture, nevertheless easy in concept, has me spiraling.

That is going to sound ridiculous however I’ve quite a lot of low-key traumatic associations with math (mother and father yelling, academics upset, plenty of crying, elementary college homework taking numerous hours to finish.) Being “academically gifted” in each different space solely appeared to make adults angrier at me once I struggled with one thing. I don’t come from a household background the place dyscalculia would have been taken critically and I’m truthfully undecided whether or not or not it applies to me. However sure. Horrible at math, zero spatial reasoning, can’t comply with a map, and many others…

I don’t need to admit defeat as a result of it will be embarrassing to inform my boss that I’m primarily too dumb to do that. The venture must get executed. How do I get by means of it with out authority figures getting upset, me crying, and a simple job taking numerous hours to finish?

This isn’t about defeat or being dumb; it’s about being assigned a job that occurs to play to a historic weak point of yours (and perhaps a incapacity too). You’re recognized to be good at your job; no midway respectable boss will likely be outraged that you just’re not good at math too. You clearly don’t usually must depend on it in your job, so it’s not such as you’re revealing one thing that makes you essentially unsuited in your work; you’re simply explaining one thing that makes you unsuited to 1 minor job.

Your boss virtually actually doesn’t need you to spend hours on this or undergo main angst from it! Proper now, although, she doesn’t know that’s occurring, so she simply wants you to let her know this isn’t an excellent plan.

So, personal it! Which means: “I’m horrible at math and spatial reasoning, and the quantity of each of those wanted to determine this out, nevertheless easy in concept, has me spiraling. I’m apprehensive it would take hours and will nonetheless be fallacious, and I don’t need that end result. Is there somebody who might assist me with this?”

4. Taking an exterior provide when my supervisor has been preventing to advertise me

I’m in what I contemplate to be a troublesome state of affairs. My firm has been going by means of a tough patch these days with a big portion of the corporate being impacted by a layoff and rumors of extra layoffs coming within the close to future. Consequently, I felt it accountable to discover different alternatives, simply in case. I’ve been approached for an thrilling position and am now confronted with having to decide of staying or leaving. In the meantime, my supervisor is petrified of me leaving my present firm (he ought to be!) and has put me up for a promotion that’s within the last levels now. I’ve been pushing for this promotion for fairly a while and dealing my tail off to show that I’m worthy, so the popularity is appreciated.

Usually, I’d say that this isn’t a troublesome resolution. Nonetheless, our promotions this 12 months had a VERY low quota and have been closely scrutinized. My supervisor needed to combat very exhausting to get me into one of many few slots obtainable and others in my group have been reduce from the record regardless that lots of them deserve a promotion as properly. If I settle for an exterior provide, I’ve mainly taken one of many only a few promotion spots and made no use of all of it. It’s too late within the promo cycle for them to substitute my spot as the choices have been made and the cycle is now closed.

Would I be within the fallacious to just accept an exterior provide that I’m enthusiastic about after taking one of many promotion spots? On the one hand, it’s not my fault that my firm has locked down promotion quotas a lot this 12 months. However, I additionally really feel a bit responsible about going by means of with the promotion course of understanding there was an excellent probability I’d be leaving.

If you’d like the opposite job, take it. Sure, the timing is just too unhealthy, however you don’t owe it to your supervisor to show down a greater provide. And needless to say your employer isn’t selling you as a favor or a present; in the event that they promote you, it’s as a result of it makes enterprise sense for them. That doesn’t imply that your supervisor won’t really feel disenchanted that he used capital (and a restricted promotion slot) just for it to not repay, however that’s how these things goes typically. It’s completely not one thing you need to sacrifice your personal profession development for! Act in your personal pursuits, and simply let your boss know that you just appreciated he fought for you.

5. Can my boss make me use AI?

Can our administration group drive us to make use of AI transcription providers? Our workers (all 9 of us) share one multi-user Zoom account, and our government director has turned on the “AI transcription” possibility for all our accounts, and locked it so we will’t flip it off on our particular person accounts. I discover the AI transcription piece unnerving and pointless (somebody at all times takes assembly notes), particularly given our line of labor (much like 12-step/restoration sharing, quite a lot of what we focus on in conferences we and our patrons don’t want revealed, ever!). To date the one “dialogue” has been an FYI that it was occurring.

If it issues, we work in Illinois, which has new laws round AI use throughout video interview evaluate, however most of my colleagues are distant and work throughout the U.S.

Sure, they will do this. Your employer can select what instruments it does and doesn’t need to use in the middle of its enterprise. (The Illinois legislation you talked about solely applies to job interviews.) You’ll be able to actually increase it for dialogue and clarify your issues, and you’ll try to rally coworkers to push again with you, however in the end it’s your employer’s name.

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