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Little help with employee situation

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by NoFearDeere, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Ok, here's the story. I hired a full-time guy about a month ago mainly for mowing, but wherever else I need to put him. He's been doing alright, few little problems; showing up late a few times, taking a long lunch break, etc. He use to work for a local construction company where he quit and came over to me. He put in his two weeks and the owner told him to grab his stuff and go then. So he did. I dont know the whole story, but he owes the constr. co. owner $950 for something. The owner didnt give him his last week's paycheck being around $500. (Ok, in my eyes you still owe him $450) The owner had started calling him leaving him messages on his phone saying he was going to find him and get his money one way or another, etc. You all know the deal. Well, my employees leave one morning from the shop and head to grab something to drink at the gas station and then go out and cut. This constr. co. owner comes to MY shop and asks me if this guy works for me and says he owes him money. I know the owner and I talked to him about and just told him that it's between him and the other guy and it will NOT interupt my business. Well, he leaves and finds them at the gas station. Well the owner goes in to gas station, drags this guy into the parking lot and beat the piss outa him. My other employee gets in the middle and trys to separate them and he gets hit by the constr. co. owner. Then the guy hears the sirens from the squad cars since the gas station worker called 911 and he leaves hitting the gas station worker with his van. My employee is taken by ambulance to the hospital and hasnt worked in 1.5 weeks now due to the doctors saying he cant. (Concussion) Anyways, the owner is caught a couple blocks away and arrested for 3 counts of Aggravated Battery, a felony in Illinois. Just so happens the arresting officer is a guy I use to work for in high school part time and we are just finishing a $10K landscape install at his house. HAHA My question is that I dont need this type of publicity for my business, the headache, lost time and resources, etc. My employee should have taken care of this outside of work so it didnt interfere with work. I told him that. I know he couldnt do anything about the events of that day but taking care of his personal issues outside of work would have. Especially people in Illinois, what can I do about this with my employee? I would like to fire him but want to make sure it's cool first. Any help is appreciated!:dizzy::dizzy:
  2. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    Wow sound owner is big than I thought. Do you have pic of his? How tall or weight.

    That stuff I would tell owner I won't have you mess my worker or business. i will call police on you.

    I don't know but it your decision.

    This remember me of ******* Detroit's mayor best friend Ferguson who did same thing.
  3. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    With your employee showing up late & the extended lunch breaks he takes is YOUR call for setting the rules right! If hes told, im sure he'll listen. As for the unfortunate incident that happened, Your right, it should have been between him & the other contractor outside of work. However, that contractor cause you headache & loss of one employee that most likely was a productive person. Stick up for your employee. As for the reason behind this ordeal, I hope it's not Drug related between him & the contractor. If it were, then I would re-think about keeping this particular employee.
  4. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    It's not drug related I know that. He wouldnt work for me if he was using. All of my part time employees are actually police officers so...and i'm a reserve deputy for the sheriffs office. I'm just looking at it from a legal standpoint.
  5. 06HD BOSS

    06HD BOSS 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,611

    thats why i dont give lunch or coffee breaks lol :D But in all honestly if you have a legit reason for termination and can afford to be 1 guy down (you have been for 1.5 weeks) then do it. Its tough firing someone who now has a medical "problem". Off the top of my head i cant think of any reason to offer, other then un-needed drama and bs.
  6. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Well thats my problem....he is all over town, paintballing, swimming, etc. nothing seems to be disrupted except work and he claims he wants to work but his doctor wont let him, which I do believe. But I dont think he should be out doing what he is doing.
  7. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76

    Getting rid of someone that has an honest medical reason, even if the guy is all over town paintballing or whatever else, is illegal. Your state has a statue of limitations though. And you might want to look into that, you can hold the job for the guy for whatever reason until that statue is up.

    First, you need to see proof the guy is off of work because his doctor says so, legal documentation of this should be available and you should keep copies.

    If you fire the guy because he can't work, because he was at work, and got beat up, you're gonna get sued.

    Yes the guy should handle his personal problems on his own time, and not involved your business, but it happened, and it happened while he was on the clock. I'd review your insurance policy too. Because even though someone else injured him, he might be able to go after your insurance company.
  8. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    I wouldnt fire him personally if he works hard and is reliable. I too hate it when people bring all there personal BS into work it happens everywhere though.
  9. gkm

    gkm Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    I would run it pass your attorney first to get his feed back on it You don't want any thing to pop up later! good luck
  10. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Run it by an attorney, or dept of labor & insurance co. It can get complicated as to due with how many employees you have, etc Cover your butt, it is better to spend $ 200 for an hour of an attorneys time than god know how much + your time later.
  11. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Unfortunate situation. You shouldn't fire him yet based on your info. Do you have an employee manual spelling out his responsibilities? If not get to work on creating one. Your manual can create measurables and expectations that can and will protect you and your business from this type of nonsense.

    This situation appears to be unavoidable, but you can most certainly terminate his employment for fighting if it's company policy not to do so, no matter the circumstances.

    Being tardy can end his employment if it's detailed firmly enough in your manual.

    Do not let him come back to work without a full release (with no restrictions) from the treating doctor.
  12. gkm

    gkm Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    that's a good point the more documents you have the better you will be able to protect yourself
  13. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Employee manual is already done, he has one. I already advised him that if he is late one other time, he will be terminated.
  14. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    Advised schlemised.............if you didn't write him up and have him sign it along with what your intentions will be the next time he does it, you have what equates to squat.

    Did you make him sign a sheet that is in his employee file that acknowledges he "read, understood and agreed" with the terms and expectations of the company policy?

    If not, you have more squat.

    If he gets upset with his firing, there are plenty of a-hole attorneys that are motivated to go after employers for what they will consider an unjust termination. With you being in law enforcement, it's safe for me to say that you have more court time than I.............this burden will be on your shoulders should it go to this length. You will want (and need) all the written documentation you can get your hands on.
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,251

    While this is true, it also depends on whether IL is an at-will state. Meaning they are employed by you at your will, and you can fire for any reason or none. As long as he isn't a protected class-minority, handicapped, etc, you shouldn't have any issues.

    But I would also run it by your attorney.
  16. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    The judge will determine if you have issues. As you know Mark we are an "at will" state here, and we can fire for cause............in theory. I suppose I could fire you "cause" your lazy, slow, smelly, etc. but it doesn't mean it was justified. If you can't show a history of behavior and warnings with expectations to change the behavior, you won't have much of a leg to stand on. I would make sure you have plenty of ammunition with you should this go to court.

    I will ditto the running it by your attorney (even though I don't like them). :salute:
  17. Zodiac

    Zodiac Member
    Messages: 76

    I don't believe Illinois is an "at-will" state, Illinois residents correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they have to have a reason to get rid of you.

    Wisconsin is an at will state, they don't need a reason.
  18. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

    for a small fee a travel expenses this can be takin care of :rolleyes:

  19. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    IL is an At-will state. However, he described a very complicated situation. Although he can terminate or end his working obligations there are other angles. IL is one of the very top 3 in lawsuits too. He needs to consider this employee will sue the guys who beat him up, the previous employer for coming to his new employment and saying bad stuff, the unemployment office, his current employer, etc. He needs to be concerned about workers comp and a lawsuit from that too.

    Best bet ... talk to no one else but, a lawyer.
  20. Dodge Plow Pwr

    Dodge Plow Pwr Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Yes Illinois is an at will state. You can terminate for any reason you feel is right. If the business slows down for a week or if he violates ANY portion of the hand book for any reason not given permission to do. Also, if you go the route to write him up do make sure you make him sign something that says what was done wronge. Verble warnings mean nothing to unemployment office, trust me. I have fought 3 people in the last 10 years on unemployment, the only one that got it was never written up only verble warnings. I always do all diciplines in writting.
    Just my $.02.