About a month ago, my family had to quarantine due to possible COVID exposure. (All negative tests, thankfully!) My husband’s job required the quarantine, telling him that he needed to stay home even though the possible exposure was a couple of degrees removed. Then, without notice or conversation about it, they refused to pay him for the days off work. His paycheck was less than half of what it should have been.
The company’s policies regarding COVID had been shaky at best. They required some people to go home due to exposure, while telling others who were symptomatic to work. The policy originally said that they would pay for any time missed due to COVID exposure, yet refused to pay people for time off despite that. The biggest issue regarding the situation is that the company policy for time missed is to first apply any vacation time. My husband had plenty of days of vacation that were not used for that paycheck.
I previously wrote a blog post about overworking your employees and how “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” I suppose that applies to HR, too. The purpose of company policies is to allow everyone to be on the same page. Employees know what to expect and supervisors have a standard procedure on how to handle certain situations. This is important in order to make sure that everyone is treated fairly.
When companies don’t follow their own policies, it could land them in hot water. Corporate will often be contacted, which could result in personnel being fired. Employees can sue for wrongful termination, discrimination, or any other number of policies that were not upheld. This can cost businesses significant amounts of money, or even their livelihood.
Running a business is not easy. But spelling out procedures is a simple way to make sure that i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Once you put them into place, though, it’s important to stick to them. Failing to do so may be the last mistake that your company makes.