HR Home Forums Answer for Staff and others are making an observation that one employee is having periods of memory lapse & also on occasion displaying some moodiness or rudeness with customers that they do not recall. As an employer and using HR best practices what wisdom would you have in how to approach this situation and possibly even looking at whether she is able to continue functioning in her role?

Conner Lantz
Post count: 4836

Very carefully. You got a bunch of legal landmines here, including risk of liability under privacy and discrimination laws. Suggest approaching her in a non-disciplinary, non-confrontational way. Say you’ve noticed that she’s been behaving a bit differently and ask if everything’s okay and if there’s anything you can do to help. Remind her about your EAP (if you have one) or any other support resources you offer employees. Refer her to specialists or other appropriate providers who may be able to help. Tell her your door is always open and she can come to you any time. Ask her if there are any accommodations you can make to help. DON’T say anything about her age, mental or physical health, e.g., “it’s not unusual for people of your age to have memory lapse.”
If that doesn’t work and problems continue, I’d try again but this time provide a warning to the extent the problems are affecting her job performance or violating company rules. At that point, you’ll need to bring in a lawyer–if u haven’t already. This is very sensitive stuff and you need to move gently. Hope these suggestions are helpful. Glenn