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Net Surfing Employee Gets Off Easy

J. Craig Williams wonders whether an administrative law judge in New York  wasn't just a little too lax  in letting an employee off the hook who was warned, repeatedly, to stop goofing off on the job.   Williams elaborates:

"Here you've got an employee surfing the internet and the employer warning the employee to stop goofing off and start working.  The employee disregards the warnings.  The employer then disciplines the employee, and the employee appeals the discipline in an administrative hearing.  As if the surfing itself weren't enough, and just to top it off, the employee admitted in the hearing that he disobeyed the employer's orders to stop using the internet for personal reasons [...] But the New York Administrative Law Judge (in this link, the third one down on the right) let the employee get away with it, and ruled that the employer can only reprimand him for surfing the internet. ...

"To add insult to injury, let's add these facts into the mix.  Over the course of a year and a half, the employee was AWOL from work for 33 days, arrived late to work 49 times and left work early 23 times. Given those absences, and the allegations of internet surfing, I'm betting the only thing he had time to do at work was surf the internet. 

"Apart from his absences, the employee took his allowed vacation. But not only did he take his vacation, here's a guy who also bought his vacation tickets before he put in a request to approve that particular time off, apparently assuming that it would be approved without question.  To put the icing on the cake, the ALJ ruled that the employee's absences weren't excessive.  If that's true, I'd love to have the ALJ's work schedule -- he probably thinks working one day a week is too much."

Now often employers are, in my view, a little too strict in ensuring that workers avoid taking any personal time from the job.  But I've got to agree with Craig here -- the ALJ's decisions goes overboard to favor the employee.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on April 26, 2006 at 01:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


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