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As an employer, Do you feel you have the right to ask an employee why he needs to take the day off?
If it's personal and doesn't want to explain, he could say as much.
The other side is that we work under time constraints, and because of such, plan ahead. An employee asking for the day off without much notice can have an undesirable impact.
I have mixed feeling about this so ask for your opinion.
 

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I see nothing wrong with asking.

When I was punching the clock and had to be off work I'd always give a reason why.

That reason may have been "personal business" and that should be good enough.
 

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Project Superintendent
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The way I see it, if it's an hourly guy and he wants to take off without pay, that's his business as long as it doesn't become a habit. If he isn't motivated, then he probably isn't going to last anyway. My guys know when the pressure is on and work the OT when I need them to, if they need to take off when things are running smooth that's o.k. with me.
 

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I can see letting them have off as long as they give a reason and your not swamped in work. Most really good workers wont leave you high and dry. As long as the guy works hard and makes you money, Its a good idea to give him the day off.
 

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Maker of Fine Sawdust
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The way I see it, if it's an hourly guy and he wants to take off without pay, that's his business as long as it doesn't become a habit. If he isn't motivated, then he probably isn't going to last anyway. My guys know when the pressure is on and work the OT when I need them to, if they need to take off when things are running smooth that's o.k. with me.
I don't think the pay is really where he is coming from. I think the inconvenience of losing the guys production for a day (or longer) when you are counting on it is more the question.

Asking the reason why the employee wants time off is not really out of the question if it is a sudden request. If he is making plans ahead of time (couple of weeks or longer ahead) then you really shouldn't need to know why because you can plan around it.
 

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Project Superintendent
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Now a salaried guy is a different matter. They need to do whatever it takes to complete the task at hand in a timely manner. We have several assistant superintendents that are working with their tools during this slowdown. I shouldn't have to tell them every move to make, but I usually do. That bothers me alot worse than an hourly guy asking for a day off every once in a while.
 

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Project Manager
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You have every right to ask him, especially if it is on short notice. It might be something you need to know about i.e. medical, family, court, etc.

If he gives notice in advance, you could ask to be polite, but I usually could care less - as they have done me enough courtesy already by giving me sufficient notice.
 

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Average Joe
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In some ways your relationship with your employee is like your relationship with your wife/gf.

No, not in that way.;)

Ask, and you're mistrusting. Which they can take as disrespect to their judgment.

Don't ask, and they think you don't care and make it a habit.

I say don't ask then divorce them if they make it a habit.

That 2 timin' Suzy!:mad:
 

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I would say theres no problem in asking, especialy if a guy comes up 5 minutes before quit time and is like hey can i have tommorrow off....

When ever i asked for days off i would ask in advance if i knew or if it was not advanced i would always say "hey can i have Wednesday off i have to..."
 

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KemoSabe
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When I had employees, if they missed more than 1 day a month without an explanation, they were excused of their duties permanently. I never asked for the reason because I feel if a guy is on the up and up, he will offer the reason up front. It's a good idea to inform a potential hire of your missed time policy early on in the screening process, it cuts through some BS and some guys don't even bother showing up for an interview. I may have leniency toward good guys who really bust hump for the company.
 

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Project Superintendent
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It's a good idea to inform a potential hire of your missed time policy early on in the screening process, it cuts through some BS and some guys don't even bother showing up for an interview.
Agreed. It's always a good idea to inform of any and all expectations as early in the screening process as possible, It can save you a lot of wasted time. For example. "we expect you to pass a drug test". That one seems to reduce the field of potential new hires substantially.
 

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All my "good" & polite kinda guys would give me at least 1-2 days notice, AND tell me the reason right after (i.e: Can I take Weds off, I need to take wife & kids to the doctor, etc...). Except...

Yep, except for my brother in-law. This was the 4th time, he called me at 10pm, telling me "can I take a ... week off, starting ... tomorrow?" I was like ... *&^%@[email protected]$%^&*$%^&^^#@%^, )(*^%%#%^^#@!. Ha ha, Yeah, that's much fuming, but only in my head.

Anyway, what can you do. He's my "baby brother in-law". Oh, he asked to take a week off to get trained in his previous oil-change business because "they might want me back" he said. How nice. Never heard of a 1 week training in oil-change.

Anyway, I'm a lovable guy. I still love him. :)

Good day.
 

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As an employer, Do you feel you have the right to ask an employee why he needs to take the day off?
If it's personal and doesn't want to explain, he could say as much.
The other side is that we work under time constraints, and because of such, plan ahead. An employee asking for the day off without much notice can have an undesirable impact.
I have mixed feeling about this so ask for your opinion.
Yes you can ask them.

However if you have to, if they aren't offering it up when they ask for the day off and giving you the reason why, or they are asking for it without giving you much notice, then you haven't got your working relationships set up right in my opinion.

In the right envirnoment that you create, with the right guys, the employees should be asking for the time off giving you the reason why and doing it with as much advanced notice as possible. Anybody who makes a habit out of frequent short notice time off isn't really going to be considered a star.
 

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Its OK with me to ask . But they better not ask often. I need a few days notice . If its a emergence its one thing.
I'm running a small crew now to keep our hours up . If i have a no show it hard to stay on schedule. John
 

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"Ask no questions I tell no lies"

I do not ask employees why they need a day off because what they do in their off-time is purely personal. The reason they need the day off is irrelevant. You can say no to the employee but there will be repercussions.

Most employees will offer the reason, but some do not. For those who do not I bite my tongue.

More reasons I do not ask the reason for taking off:

I only want employees to work when they want to work or they will sabotage the job when I force them to come to work.

Everyone loves to take a day or more off when they feel like it. I even allow my children to take a day off from school, a few days a year, without giving me a reason. There are times I leave my shop, go around the block, and take the day off. I think employees should have the same privelege. Of course, we hope the employee does not exercise this privelege too often.

Always have a backup plan and always have someone ready to take an employee's place. People quit, die, start their owne business, and they have accidents. Constantly screen new employees and be prepared. Have more employees than you need.

If an employee takes too many days off the reason does not matter. Hire a new employee and terminate the old one. I have had excellent results hiring employees from Craigs List.

Getting employees to show up is not about bossing employees. If you want maximum production you want employees to do and enjoy what they want. If they need a day off don't ask the reason.

When employees take too many days off give them a warning. Then, terminate employees when they don't meet your expectations.

Never threaten an employee with termination to motivate him. Tell employeeswhat you want and terminate them when they don't meet your expectations.

Almost every one of my employees has been with me from 12 to 30 years. I give them a lot of lattitude.
 

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hurtlocker
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Good employees rarely take days off
So if they ask for a day off I know they need it
(they will usually tell You what they are doing also without asking)

Bad employees always take days off
If I were to ask them why They would most likely lie

In both situations It does me no good to ask
 

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We work what's called a 9/80 work schedule.
9 hour days with one friday at 8 hours the other off.

This cuts down a lot on people needing the day off to take care of business during business hours.

It works out well for the job too. We are able to schedule those days when the subs need the place to themselves, plus it gives the supers time to get their paper work ducks lined up.

I've worked 4/10 before, but productivity drops during the last hour. 9 hrs isn't any different than 8 when you get used to it.

Burn out is less of a factor too, because they get a 3 day weekend every two weeks. Most of the holidays work out to a 4 day weekend.

We also give our guys vacation time that they are allowed to take in the form of personal time as well.

Since they get two fridays off per month to take care of DMV, doctor's visits etc, I feel that I can be more insistent that we maintain our staffing.
 
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