Can an employee be written up during a non-paid lunch break?

This employee has always received superior evaluations, helpful, goes above and beyond to complete assigned tasks. It was said to his supervisor that he was sleeping in the shed. Employee was at lunch and rested his head on the back of his chair to wait for his lunch time to be up. However he is still being written based on another supervisor reporting him. Supervisor that reported him did nothing to one of her staff while sleeping in a paid training. Please advise what I can present to prevent this honest employee from being written up.

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

R.C., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Is there a company rule against sleeping during break or lunch time?  If there is, the employee has broken it and there is nothing to be done about his write-up.  If there is no rule, on the other hand, a write up is inappropriate and unfair.

What can you do?  If you think your employee is in the right, approach human resources and talk to them about the write-up and why you find it unfair.  If you get no satisfaction, you can go higher, if you think it may help.   You can mention the other supervisor's sleeping employee if you wish, but that doesn't really mean much in terms of your employee's case. 

Also, why did a supervisor, not his I assume, report him.  Is it her place or responsibility to do so?  Is she trying to get back at you for some reason?  If you and the other supervisor are on the outs, see if you can repair this.  It may have benefits in terms of you, and your staff.

R.C., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Is there a company rule against sleeping during break or lunch time?  If there is, the employee has broken it and there is nothing to be done about his write-up.  If there is no rule, on the other hand, a write up is inappropriate and unfair.

What can you do?  If you think your employee is in the right, approach human resources and talk to them about the write-up and why you find it unfair.  If you get no satisfaction, you can go higher, if you think it may help.   You can mention the other supervisor's sleeping employee if you wish, but that doesn't really mean much in terms of your employee's case. 

Also, why did a supervisor, not his I assume, report him.  Is it her place or responsibility to do so?  Is she trying to get back at you for some reason?  If you and the other supervisor are on the outs, see if you can repair this.  It may have benefits in terms of you, and your staff.


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