Nobody looks forward to terminating a worker’s employment, but sometimes, there’s no other option. Workers who fail to abide by the policies outlined in your employee handbook can be an enormous liability, which is why some employers opt to cut and run before a serious violation results in lost profits, an injury, or death.
Workers that don’t fit into your company culture will inevitably cause disruptions in productivity. This can manifest in the form of discriminatory language, a lack of accountability, and instigating conflict. Eventually, you’ll decide that enough is enough, and when you do, you’ll want to consult our Jacksonville construction lawyers to ensure that the employee’s termination is both justified and handled by the book.
In this two-part series, we will discuss six fireable offenses that all construction business owners should be aware of. If an employee’s misconduct is brought to your attention, you need to consider whether or not the positives outweigh the negatives. If they don’t, you can’t be afraid to say goodbye. Supporting your team is essential to project success, but it’s always worth keeping in mind that you workforce is only as strong as its weakest link.
1. Extreme Absenteeism
Every construction project is a concerted team effort. When one or more workers fail to show up when they are supposed to, it can throw a wrench in your plans. This can limit your ability to perform certain tasks and slow down the progress of your project. Ideally, you have clear workplace policies dealing with absenteeism, including how many days can be missed, permissible reasons for missing work, and how many days of advance notice are required to miss work without fear of termination.
2. Recreational Drug Use
There’s no place for substance abuse on the project site. Construction work is complex and requires a high-degree of focus to get the job done safely. If a worker isn’t alert and prepared to work because they have been using recreational drugs, their ineptitude could lead to the death of a fellow worker. On the macro level, drug abuse costs our nation approximately $120 billion each year in lost productivity. On the micro level, it leads to untimely deaths and an increase in healthcare costs for employers. Drug abuse can also lead to hostile situations as those on drugs don’t always have full control of their faculties. And although drug abuse is considered a sickness, and you want to be compassionate, your compassion can’t permit drug use to run rampant on your project sites. Recreational drug use is a fireable offense in every state.
3. Sexual Harassment
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but you have to institute a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment. You can’t have reservations about this. It’s a scandal waiting to happen. Sexual harassment comes in many forms, including uninvited comments, conduct, or behavior dealing with sex, gender, or orientation. Teasing someone about their sexuality is one form of sexual harassment. Touching someone inappropriately is also sexual harassment. Regardless of what transpires, sexual harassment is a fireable offense in all workplaces across the United States.
To learn more about fireable offenses in the construction industry, read part two.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.