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Dear Workforce How Do We Handle A Chronically Problematic Employee

Require the employee to attend counseling sessions or risk dismissal.
June 24, 2001
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QDear Workforce:

We have a longtime employee that was here before the business relocatedduring a change of ownership several years ago. During the past two years, thisemployee has shown signs of instability and appears to be testing to see howmuch he can get away with.

Despite written and verbal warnings, the problem persists. I feel it is timeto release him, but his supervisor wants to give him another chance. What shouldwe do?

- President, transportation company, Oil City, Pennsylvania.

A Dear Pennsylvania President:

Basically, the business owner or chief operating officer and the supervisorneed to reach consensus. Because of the nature of this employee's longstandingproblematic behavior patterns (some that may be intimidating to others in theworkplace), I would mandate he go for Employee Assistance Program counseling (ifthe company has an EAP).

If not, the company should establish a consulting relationship with alicensed social worker or psychologist who has experience with workstress/performance and personnel-related issues. If this person wants tocontinue to have a job he should be required to attend counseling sessions. Andhe must improve his performance to satisfactory levels even if in counseling.

This individual may even need to have a fitness-for-duty evaluation with apsychiatrist. He may have an anxiety condition, depressed mood or a personalitydisorder that might respond to counseling and medication. This employee seemsnot to have adjusted well to, and has been regressing, since the majortransition of selling the business five years ago.

SOURCE: Mark Gorkin, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" and American Online's"Online Psychohumorist," Washington, D.C., March 19, 2001.

LEARN MORE: See "Workplace Negativity" foradditional insight into dealing with problematic situations.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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