Any personnel managers in the crowd? Very long thanks for reading.

<p>I need some good human resources advice -- I am personally too close to this situation and I am very very upset.</p>

<p>I own a small retail shop. It's labor intensive, and I currently run about 110 hours of payroll a week, plus my own labor which is running about 50-60 hrs in a normal week. I've been trying to take some extra days off in the summer, but at the moment I've been missing days off for various reason. Right now, the hours are split between a 20 yo college student who is working 40-45 hrs and a group of part time high schoolers who average 15-20 hours each. I want to staff the store with 2 sales people on the floor (and at the register) when ever the store is open, with 3 on SAturday. One person, usually a newer or part time employee does the cleaning every morning and this rotates among the part time kids this summer.</p>

<p>Friday afternoon, I'm there with the 20 yo, Miss M, (who we are calling an assistant manager on track to be a real manager) along with a part timer when the phone rings. I answer the phone, it's for M. She takes the call, comes to me and says "It's me ma. She's hysterical. Something about grandda. We are so quiet this afternoon. Is it OK if I leave?" I say of course and send her home.</p>

<p>Saturday morning, all working staff is due in at 9 am for a 9:30 opening. Phone rings. Miss M. I get a garbled explanantion about granda and grandma in Yorks and someone needs to go to the UK for a week and deal with the health care situation and she has volunteered and her plane leaves in 4 hours. She'll be back at work on the 15th. She and I are the only ones scheduled for Saturday, leaving me alone, and I think it's going to be busy. I scramble -- get 3 kids to agree to work 2 hr shifts ... and I start the morning cleaning. My husband drops his morning plans and comes in to help. </p>

<p>I'm looking at all the holes to fill in the schedule for the next week. This is not going to be fun. I will miss my day off, and I will also miss our last weekend with our college bound son. We <em>had</em> some great plans ... not to mention reservations.</p>

<p>Cut to the chase ....
Today in the store I go to do an order and pick up a pad of graph paper. On the top sheet is a temperature chart for Miss M's DOG complete with notes -- no puppies yet etc. dated Thursday, but there was a significant temp drop. Hey, I aced Animal Repro a million years ago and I am no dummy. My conclusion: There's no way this girl is flying to the UK when her ***** is in whelp. Gramma is fine ... and Miss M is home with new puppies and I am working every single day without a break until I get in my little car to drive my son to college ... if I even get to go!</p>

<p>So human resource pros -- what do I do? I don't have certain proof that she's lying. I just have my gut feeling that she lied to me big time to get the time off. She did have permission to miss work for a specific family emergency, but one that involved her being thousands of miles away dealing with human issues. She lives 20 minutes from the shop and could have asked for reduced hours. Heck, it's not like she didn't know the ***** was pregnant -- she could have asked for the time off well in advance and we could have planned for it.</p>

<p>I'm exhausted at the moment -- facing a week of working more or less alone without a break -- and mad enough to fire the lot of them* and lock the door and walk away. So -- I need to cool down and think this through. </p>

<p>Your thoughts are appreciated. (the program has replaced with asterisks what it thinks to be a vulgar word but is actually a technical term for a female dog ... )</p>

<p><em>I'm not thrilled with the work ethic of the part timer college bound kids who whine first about needing hours and dollars and then about how they can't work because their boyfiend has the day off. But they are kids ... and this post is about the erstwhile assistant manager who I was *really</em> depending on.</p>

<p>Well, is it possible she wasn't lying; that her grandparents need help AND her dog is having puppies at the same time? </p>

<p>You won't know unless you call her up, tell her what you found and ask for the truth. Even then, she could lie but you would probably be able to hear it in her voice. </p>

<p>I would recommend calling her up and inquiring. Confront her with your "evidence" (in a professional way, not accusatory). If she admits she lied to get time off, then you can either give her a warning or fire her, your choice. If she doesn't admit it then you really have no recourse unless you want to do some sleuthing (i.e. track her down at home). </p>

<p>Either which way, you are stuck this week filling in for her, and that's really too bad. Some young adults just don't think about how their actions affect others around them. (It's generally a maturity issue, lack of a working prefrontal cortex, and all. Sometimes it's a moral question). Just don't take it out on the other kids working for you. If you do find out she lied, you should talk to the other employees about the appropriate way to get time off for personal reasons. Sometimes they just don't know what to do. Turn this bad experience into a lesson in character for them.</p>

<p>I'm sure you don't see this as a humorous situation..... but I am just (as they say) ROFLMAO! She will probably sue you for maternity leave with the help of the ASPCA. Don't doggie babies deserve the same support and care that people babies get?</p>

<p>There's a few issues for me. </p>

<p>One is that (assuming I am right) she lied to get time off. What else is she lying about? It's a huge breach of trust.</p>

<p>The next issue is that she lied because she didn't trust me to understand that this was a very important thing in her life and she was going to need the time off. (Good grief -- it's a PET store. When you come in as customer crying because your bunny died, we are just about the only ones in the whole world who actually understand!) I would have worked with her to set up a schedule that would get me some sleep and some managment time in the back room <em>and</em> get her some time off to nurse puppies <em>and</em> keep the store clean and staffed with helpful and knowledgable staff.</p>

<p>And third ... she didn't plan ahead when she knows full well that the staffing right this minute is very precarious. And she knows that I am exhausted and need a few days just to catch up.</p>

<p>I agree that the most troubling aspect of this story is Miss M's breach of your trust. I don't know if your store is your livelihood (or at least part of your livelihood) or your hobby, but I'm sure it's important to you. And if your business is a pet store, I assume you have some live animals. Miss M was someone you trusted with your financial affairs and your animals, not to mention your business reputation, and she has let you down in a way that suggests she is not very mature. As a small business owner myself, I would be very unhappy.</p>

<p>First, I would make every reasonable effort to find out whether Miss M's story was true.</p>

<p>Second, if she lied to you, I would reconsider her future with your company. At the very least, I would not make her a manager because she is immature, and I would seriously rethink ever making her a manager because she is dishonest. People can mature but dishonest adults don't typically change. Having said that, if you want her to stay then she might be acceptable as store help, and perhaps that's all she wants anyway. It's possible that the added responsibility is not something she really wants.</p>

<p>Third, I would look for a new assistant manager to train as a potential manager.</p>

<p>Fourth, for the upcoming week, and only if you think it is a good idea, I would ask my son to help as assistant manager. Perhaps he could use extra cash to spend at college and you would get to see more of him this week even though you have to work. It might help smooth his departure because you can focus on him as an adult in an employee relationship, and I bet he would be happy to know how much you trust and rely on him.</p>

<p>Fifth, in addition to the above or in the alternative, consider closing your store for a day or two. Post a notice that you need a summer vacation or have your part-time employees take inventory for a couple of days.</p>

<p>Last, don't do anything final until you calm down and are no longer angry and hurt.</p>

<p>DRJ4 --thanks for your response. You are confirming my thoughts -- that she is not going to work out as the store manager if this is her idea of how to negotiate things. </p>

<p>How would you confirm Ms. M's story? I think I want outside corroboration before any confrontation -- in other words i would like to know if I am right, and then go to her and ask her to tell me the truth and go from there.</p>

<p>My new favorite truism is that many employees have very sad stories -- it's too bad they are not actually biographical.</p>

<p>Here's what I would do: I would assume Miss M was telling the truth (and I really mean this - it is certainly possible that she had family health problems and new puppies, so don't assume the worst). I would call Miss M's mom, the person who called your store with the news of her ailing parents/grandparents in the UK. I would explain that I was there when Miss M first received the news about the family health problems and I would sincerely express my concern and inquire as to how things are going, including asking when Miss M will return. I suspect this conversation will help you decide whether or not to make further inquiries. </p>

<p>If the answers are not satisfactory, I would ask Miss M on her return to document her recent travel with a plane ticket, etc. Just as our kids have to provide doctor's excuses when they are sick and miss school, I would ask Miss M to document her excuse. Keep an open mind because it may be that Miss M told you the truth. Remember that she is 20 and may not handle a crisis well due to her age and inexperience, but that doesn't mean she lied. </p>

<p>Overall, your response should be to stay calm and gather facts so you can make an informed decision.</p>

<p>cnp55, you have received lots of excellent input here, but, I would ask - do you have a policies and procedures manual that provides guidance or sets policy for time off, leave for family member illness or death, etc.? If not, you will need to put one into place; if you do have one, then, you have to conform how you address this to whatever the policy says. </p>

<p>Second, I would be very careful asking her for documentation or treating her any differently than you have any other employee in the past. In other words, if you haven't asked other employees for documentation of time off, asking her for it probably isn't the best idea. I would absolutely assume that she is telling the truth. For all you know she really is in UK, and someone else is watching out for those puppies. </p>

<p>If she is dishonest, the evidence is going to be pretty clear in performance-related issues that are benign and easy to spot. If you do find out that she lied to you, on this or any other issue, I'd separate her from payroll immediately. </p>

<p>I am very sorry about your schedule though and I do hope that some solution happens so that you can keep, and enjoy, your plans with your son.</p>

<p>Latetoschool gave you a better answer than I did and I encourage you to follow her advice.</p>

<p>There is no legal reason why you would be required to continue her employment. If she is unable to work and your business is so small that her not working causes an unreasonable hardship, than you can terminate the employment relationship. You don't even need a reason other than it isn't working for you "the employer". You do not need any other legal proof other than it is detrimental to your business. She is not in a protected category and your business does not fall under FMLA regs. You are too small. On the other hand if you want to continue the employment relationship with her, you should sit her down and explain your concerns to her and try to come to a better understanding between the two of you as to what your expectations are. Again you do not need only need to share your concerns with her.</p>