HR Home Forums Community What to do when supervisor refuses to conduct their duties.

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  • Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    Good afternoon Glenn, require direction:
    I have a supervisor:
    States in his offer letter:
    Hired October 17, 2018.
    Salary employee.
    States in job description:
    Oversee day-to-day operations for various yards and for a team of employees-ensure running smoothly, cover for employees if sick/late, resolve and/all issues.
    Be on-call as required.
    Build, motivate, coach and develop employees.
    Assisting on Salt during Winter months.

    The supervisor’s main duties is for the product – Soil (Spring, Summer and Fall) and Salt (Winter).
    The supervisor is refusing to “assist” with the Salt season commencing now until snow events end (approximate end of March beginning April) – we have asked he take every other weekend night shift Fridays and Saturdays. He was a filler “here & there” during the past two winters.
    Please advise if the company has options.
    Thank you.
    Mirella Bennati

    Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    The basic question is this: What are the supervisor’s contractual job responsibilities? If you can establish that those job duties included “assisting during Salt season,” you have grounds to discipline the supervisor for not performing the duties of the job, which could include termination, depending on the circumstances. OK, so how do you show that the supervisor did, in fact, have such a contractual duty. Here are the basic theories to use, in order of preference:
    First place to look is in the written employment agreement, assuming you have one. What to look for, in order: A. The contract expressly lists “assisting during Salt season” as one of the supervisor’s job duties. If that doesn’t work, go to B: The contract doesn’t spell out the specific job duties but incorporates them from the job description attached to the contract, and that job description lists “assisting during Salt season”; C. The contract or attached job description doesn’t list “assisting” but does imply it.
    Theory 2: If the contract or attachment doesn’t spell out or imply “assisting,” you may be able to claim that the job description is an implied part of the contract. But you’ll need evidence that the supervisor saw and agreed to the job description before accepting the job offer. Best case scenario: He/She signed and dated the job description before starting the job.
    Theory 3: You may be able to argue that you had an oral agreement on job duties, including “assisting.” Again, you’ll need evidence of this, which would likely include correspondence before and during hiring.
    Theory 4: You may be able to argue that there was a mutual understanding that “assisting” would be part of the job, e.g., the supervisor knew that all of your supervisors are expected to “assist.”
    Caveat: Even if you can use one of these theories to show the supervisor had a duty to “assist,” consider past practices. Has the supervisor worked for you during previous winters? If so, did you require him/her to “assist”? If you didn’t, the supervisor may be able to claim you waived your right to require him/her to “assist.”
    Hope that helps. Glenn

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