OT: Production manager problems

I'm wondering the legal implication. My Production manager, a 51 yo widowed female had moved in one of the guys reporting to her. To make maters more
interesting, she has taken to drinking a quart of 40 proof Vodka per day...again. It seems she goes on and off for months at a time. This is hard to prove legally. She is also shop union steward. (don't say it!) Oh, and her mother died Friday after working for us for 68 years, she was just into work last week to answer the phones for a few hours, but she was failing and it wasn't totally unexpected. Oh, and union negotiations are supposed to be going on now for a new three year contract to be in place by Aug. 11.
Now, I have to get lawyers involved and find out the depths of MY liability. My crew is understanding but resentful of the relationship vs. work assignments and her um, ah, err...lack of focus.
In the mean time, we recognized the need to step-up production management and hired a consultant. Boy, will he have his hands full! I'll report on that situation in a few months.
(suckstobeme)
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The only advice I can give based on actual experience is "DOCUMENT EVERYTHING JOB RELATED". Keep a factual record of all conversations and specific observations which have a bearing on job performance, including the job performance of other emloyees. It helps you to keep focused and has some legal standing, as opposed to having to relate things from memory or being vague about the situation.
Good Luck, Don Young
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Wow you need some expert legal advice, hire the best labor attorney you can find and follow thier instructions.
Best Regards Tom.
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This part is real clean and simple. It's basically illegal for you to allow this. One or the other employee needs to be moved so that they are not in the same reporting chain.
If the company is big enough to have parallel reporting chains, then changing companies isn't required. Otherwise, at least one of them needs to find new employment.

The issue is job performance, which can be documented and proven.

Cute.
No doubt this is the reason for the return to the bottle? By the time the other issues have been worked through, this will be old news.

The union will have a hard time justifying the reporting-chain issue for sure.

The rank-and-file are unhappy too? This has to help with the union as well.

Yep. And a phalanx of lawyers.
Joe Gwinn
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Tom Gardner wrote:

Does she actually DO anything, or just manage? I can't imagine what could happen if somebody who is seriously tanked were running machine tools! I can barely do it safely when totally sober and well-rested.
If she doesn't actually handle sharp stuff or dangerous machinery, then the implications of the drinking are a bit less serious, but still none of this is good!
Jon
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Tom Gardner nospam wrote:

Hopefully, legal stuff will be a last resort. Tom, from your postings here, your a decent sort of person to have as a boss. Have you tried to talk to her? - if that doesn't work, have a group of people who have observed the problem talk to her with you?.
Start the legal stuff, everyone gets backed into a corner and eventually NO ONE "wins" - this is a health problem that is affecting you, at least. Is it affecting the safe running of your business - in that case, there should be some "blow in the bag " mechanism open to you under state/federal (don't know with your system) health and safety laws. This would apply even if she is not a machine operator but even just walks through the factory floor sometimes....or drives off out of the carpark at night....
And, as someone here has said, keep a diary of EVERYTHING you do about this matter, if it comes to a fight, it will help.....
Andrew VK3BFA.
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Tom,
You will need to keep notes on ALL your managers, otherwise her lawyer will argue "discrimination".
How can a management type be union steward?
Wolfgang
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You think you got problems. Just finished four weeks of strawberry pickin' with a 20 person teenage crew. This was the finest group of kids we've ever assembled. No unions here. We hired by pedigree. That means if your parents aren't any good, you don't get a job here.
After 25 years of hearing excuses for missing your shift, I had a new one: Andrea was kidnapped - seems the local beauty queen candidates are taken out of bed early one morning to be initiated.
Now, I am sick of the public. 99% of the people are great. Then you get a bitchy one that won't be happy no matter what. (I am glad I'm not that person - having to go through life where all the small stuff gets to you would be tuff)
Hum. Maybe I should stick to strawberry farmin'
Karl
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First, I'm not sure that putting this info on a public forum is wise. A google search by an angry employee (her) may turn up this posting. How that could be twisted into a lawsuit is up to whatever lawyer she hires.
I would see an attorney asap.
As far as suggestions, if you don't have a written drug and alcohol policy you should get one with said attorneys advice. I believe you would have to notify all workers for at least 30 days prior to enforcement and to protect you, you should hire a firm that will pick a random no-notice date. You might not catch her but she has been fairly warned.
Most companies also have a written policy that the employee is tested if there is an accident. If you don't have one, you need one.
I wish you well,
Wes
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Let me see if I understand this. Her mother had worked for the company for 68 years and since she is a production manager, I assume that she is competent in her job.
Perhaps rather than panic, why not take her to lunch and talk things over with her, explaining that the circumstances have placed you and the company in a very difficult position.
Now listen to what she has to say. In my experience, when a boss shows that he is concerned, and is willing to listen, quite often problems can be resolved and future problems avoided.
If you go the lawyer route, you are setting up conflict that someone will win and some one will loose, at least on the surface anyway. In actuality everybody looses. Seems to me it is better to see if cool heads can prevail.
--
Roger Shoaf
If you are not part of the solution, you are not dissolved in the solvent.
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