You're The Boss (What Would You Do?)

Just curious what you guys would do if you were the Boss of a company that ran into this little situation.

So, one of your employees (Employee A) asks for a significant amount of time off over the next month and a half to go out of town for a internship. You’re all for your employees continuing their educations so you agree.

Since your business is expanding, you are training someone (Employee B) to do the same job as Employee A. Employee B is currently working for you on a PRN basis for a lower skilled job. So since this is the perfect opportunity to train Employee B, you tell her about the situation and she rearranges her schedule to work for you temporarily in that position (although it is pretty much implied that she will eventually get a full time gig there).

Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen circumstance, Employee A temporarily cancels the internship and wants to come back to work. I’m not sure whether or not the reason Employee A comes back matters so I’ll just put it in spoilers below.

A family member went to the hospital for some reason I don’t know about

So since Employee A is a full time employee, do you let her come back and continue her usual schedule? Do you tell her she’ll have to stay home the days she’s requested off while we train Employee B? Or do you do something completely different?

The first thing you do is contact your company lawyer and make sure what your legal actions can be.

Why could you not have Employee A train Emp. B?

I realize I worded the OP a little poorly. I don’t make the decisions or even have more than maybe a .5% say in them. Just wondering how you guys would have handled the problem.

Kinda tricky. My inclination would be to rule that the time off was requested, approved, and alternate arrangements were made to cover to the work. What the person does with the time off is not a company problem. Also, the person does not get to screw over the new guy because plans changed. Proceed as scheduled.

I’m a little confused. Why is Employee A taking a leave of absense to work as an intern in some other company?

I don’t see what the issue is. Bring Employee A back into her old role, have her train Employee B to do the same job.

Wait…is this company NBC and Employee A is Jay Leno!?:eek:

I’m not seeing the issue here. To me, it seems that Employee A can come back and it should be no problem. Continue to train Employee B as you can. The point of training Employee B wasn’t because he or she was promised a job in the role of Employee A. It’s also not as if you hired Employee B specifically to fill Employee A’s place.
There was a 1.5 month gap where no one was doing any work and you needed that work done. Now there’s no need.

But training Employee B to do A’s job would be a preferable solution because if A’s going to be spending time caring for sick relatives, there still won’t be someone doing A’s job unless B fills in.

People cancel vacation plans all the time, and I’ve never heard of a workplace demanding that those people can’t work those days if circumstances change. You didn’t tell Employee A that her job status would be in any way affected by the vacation time, you were just taking advantage of her absence. What you want to do with Employee B is not her issue. If I were the boss, I’d let Employee A return to work as usual and find some alternate way of fulfilling my plans for Employee B.

Did Employee A leave with the expectation of getting the same job back when she returned? If so, then she goes back to doing her regular job and Employee B goes back to her job. There is no reason you have to stop training Employee B either.

I don’t see any need for lawyers unless written promises (contracts) are involved.

Yes she left with that expectation.

Was this paid time off? or unpaid leave?

I agree have A train B.