In today’s society, if a person is not doing their job properly or they have a problem attending work, you can’t just fire them.  The burden is on the employer to prove that they were a worthless employee and needed firing.  Documentation is the key word.  You give verbal warnings and then document it.  You give written warnings as to why the employee is late again and his work sucks and then have the employee sign it and date it.  You utilize the time clock to show that from Jan. 1 to April 4, said employee was late or didn’t show up at all 43 different days.  Once you have proper documentation and you feel like you have your proverbial “ass” covered, you let them go and bid them farewell.  

     Then they file for unemployment.  So, now you provide documentation that proves that you were in the right to let them go.  The unemployment commission reviews both sides documents and then make a ruling.  They ruled on behalf of the employer.  But, NO, wait, hold on…the lazy SOB now gets a chance to appeal and brings new info to light that the reason he was always clocked in late was that the computer to clock in didn’t work very often or their was a line to clock in.  So, now he gets an appeal hearing which consists of a conference call between somebody on the companies behalf, a judge and the former employee.  Our company has HR people to handle this kind of crap, but one was on vacation and the other was tied up, so I took it on.  This was a good thing, as I was personally involved and I knew when he was lying to the judge.  My problem with this procedure, he didn’t have to provide proof, all he had to do was make accusations.  I had to have proof and admit it into evidence.

      At the end of the hearing, I didn’t feel very good about the outcome.  One, I was warned several times by the judge, to keep from being “overly aggressive”, please be more “passive” in my tone of questioning and “Please refrain from making noises while the other party is speaking.”   Beings how I am a little bit opinionated and quite argumenative, I would have preferred a face to face meeting instead of a conference call with all parties.  We were told that he would rule within 14 days of the hearing.  

     In the end, we did win the case as I pointed at that he was an employee paid by the hour.  If he was having problems clocking in, how come he never complained about not getting paid for all of those late days if he was actually at work earlier than when it showed he was clocked in.  I had evidence of times worked, pay stubs, written warnings from myself and the service manager.  He argued that I fired him because he wasn’t a productive mechanic, not because of his attendance.  No shit!!  If you don’t come to work, it’s hard to be productive.  

     No matter.  We won.  However, I lost hours of my life taking care of this hearing, not to mention the piles of paperwork and the proper documentation that was done before I canned him.  Due to the oilfield, this part of the world has a sign hung up on almost every business, “Help Wanted” but he can’t find a job.  Amazing.  I wonder who he voted for in the last election?  Or if he even voted at all?