Employee Call Off Line Mitigates Employee Disputes and Lawsuits
While the obvious reason to have an employee call off line is to document employee absences and tardies, having accurate information can also help mitigate employee disputes and lawsuits. This can save tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours of work. Here’s how:
Third Party Neutrality:
While the company pays for the absentee line provided by the answering service, the practical reality is that the answering service employees taking the calls have one thing in mind: to accurately document what the caller says. They strive to note the reason for the absence or late arrival as efficiently and effectively as possible. They possess no pre-conceived bias toward or against the employee and simply desire to gather the needed information.
This perspective gives employees assurance that their call off will receive consistent treatment and that no one enjoys preferential or detrimental treatment. From the company’s perspective they likewise have the confident assurance that all callers are treated in a uniform manner and that any bias – unintended or otherwise – from their shift managers or supervisors is completely removed from the answering service’s absentee documentation. As such, both employees and management can have complete confidence in the integrity of the answering service’s absence reporting line. Everyone wins.
Appropriate Disciplinary Action:
For employees whose absenteeism approaches maximum thresholds, disciplinary steps can result. This may hinge on whether or not the employees followed the proper procedure when calling to report their absences or even if they did so in a timely manner. Sometimes the amount of advanced warning is an issue, such as a requirement to report all absences so many minutes or hours before the start of a shift.
With the consistent processes an answering service follows in documenting call offs, noting the precise time, and recording the conversation as a means of back up support, there is little question as to whether or not the employee met the reporting expectations of their employment. Having this solid record gives managers and human resources confidence of the facts if they need to administer disciplinary steps to employees with deficient attendance records. Furthermore employees, though unhappy with the proceedings, will know the action was warranted, even if they find it hard to accept.
The extreme recourse in repeated attendance violations or noncompliance with absentee reporting requirements is termination. Letting an employee go is a step employers take with great care and under much trepidation. Quite simply they know they can be sued for wrongful termination so they want to have ironclad proof if their decisions are questioned, be it informally or legally. While preventing lawsuits is never possible, being able to successfully defend against them is quite possible. The documentation provided by the answering service from their absentee line gives nervous employers the defensible support they need.
A professionally handled employee call off line from an answering service can help companies mitigate employee disputes, the threat of lawsuits, and actual litigation. Not having an employee call off line is a risky step to take.
Peter DeHaan, PhD, is a freelance writer, call center authority, and publisher of Connections Magazine, which covers the call center industry.
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