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Employment Law

I am a Director of Business Services in a school district in…

Customer Question
I am a Director...

I am a Director of Business Services in a school district in Wisconsin. I supervise 6 staff. One staff member has consistently been remiss in completing her work in a timely and acceptable fashion, and complains that I nitpick about her work and most often her excuse for not completing her work is that she didn't understand, or her head was not working that day. Direction has been very clear both verbally and through email. Regular work sessions to assess status of projects and her learning-which is the major part of her position right now-consistently are "bitch"

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Sorry-"bitch" sessions where she says I am picking on her work and I will never be satisfied and she cries. She has been insubordinate many times, and most discussions regarding her behavior were verbal. 2 weeks ago she went directly against an order and I emailed her that she would be contacted the following Monday and written up and that it was not for doing what she did but for not following my direct order. She proceeded to send me an inappropriate email to which HR did an investigation regarding all the communications and her actions and work to which they stated she would be fired. But-because of a higher up person's insistence-because the employee also does some work for her-she is not being fired and I am still going to be required to work with her when she was insubordinate, walked by me multiple times while this was being investigated and stared me down rudely, and was talking in the office that she loved her job and she hoped she could stay-when it should not have been discussed. I was attacked by her verbally-and as am administrator my opinion in the matter was thrown aside. I don't feel I should have to work with her, and I feel she should still be fired.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

Her employment agreement? at will and full time I am under contract

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I feel that I am being forced to work under conditions that I should not have to work under. While I supposedly no longer am her supervisor on paper-I am still being required to do such-and deal with the issues that the higher up will likely initiate because she is her supervisor-however she cannot supervise her for the work she is doing under my direction. This staff person was playing myself and the higher up against each other and had her believing that I was wrong. I have asked for clear parameters of what my role now is but have not received them.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 1 hour by:
12/18/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 2 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8,438
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Also, thank you for your patience. It's a shame that they are acting in this manner and causing you to have to go through all of that headache. I have been in a similar situation myself which is highly unfortunate. The only problem with this though is that unless you have an agreement stating that would not have to deal with this person, your employer can make you do it. Employers have a lot of latitude in these situations and it doesn't leave you with much recourse other than to complain and hope for the best or terminate your own employment and find someone else to work.

One little known, but very effective tool that lawyers use when there isn’t a law that they can rely on to support their position is called principled negotiation. All this means is that you are looking to get something done on the basis of principles, even if you can’t find a law to support you. It takes the anxiety out of dealing with the other side because you’re focused on the facts, not each other.

Here are some simple steps you can follow:

  1. Figure out what the other side’s interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  2. Think about what your interests are (saving money, saving time, etc.?);

  3. Come up with 2 to 3 reasonable and objective ways to solve the problem;

  4. Present it to the other side;

  5. If the other side rejects, ask them, “Is there a reason why you do not feel it is necessary to negotiate?”

Of course, these are just building blocks to get the other party to help solve the dispute. Believe me when I say that good lawyers use this technique all the time to keep things out of court. You’ll find that it is very effective even with the most stubborn of individuals.

You may want to offer them up some solutions to help out and it may work in your favor. This could be moving to another part of the office or even having a person to whom you can make complaints.

Did you have any other questions for me?

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 2 months ago

Hello, it’s been awhile since we connected so I wanted to check in with you to see if you had any further before you rated. If you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with today. Please reply here and let me know.

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