Union Represenatives’ Column

Protect your job
Avoid mistakes at work

All too often we take common sense for granted and forget about the simple things. We remind and encourage the membership to keep the following in mind every day to protect your job.

Don’t chase shoplifters

The companies have strict rules on shoplifting. They don’t want you to approach, confront or detain a suspected shoplifter either inside or outside the store. You are not Loss Prevention. These suspected shoplifters could become unpredictable and extremely dangerous. Your union wants you to be safe, so don’t go after shoplifters, period.

Avoid grazing

Eating, drinking or using product before it’s paid for. They call this “grazing,” and it has cost many jobs. Don’t be tempted, even if you are standing in the checkout line. Wait until you have paid for the item and have your receipt in hand.

Avoid time clock violations

Maintenance forms/whiteslips: If you fill out a maintenance form or whiteslip, be sure it is correct to the minute.
It is your responsibility to log your time correctly. Don’t fill it out ahead of time. Do it at the proper times, when you start and when you leave. Filling it out ahead of time and then leaving earlier than the time you wrote on the form could lead to termination. Make sure that you keep a copy or take a picture in case the original gets lost.
Free time: Clocking out and then staying a “few extra minutes” to finish that job, or clocking out for lunch and continuing to work, are habits that can get you terminated. You deserve to be paid for all time worked, so don’t work “off the clock.”

Excessive tardies and absenteeism

“Excessive” means more than a normal amount. So if you’re calling in often, it could be considered excessive. The same goes for being tardy. If you’re scheduled at 1:00 p.m. and you clock in at 1:02 p.m., you’re tardy. There is no “window” nor a “grace period” allowed for tardiness, and too many tardies or absences could put your job on the line. Don’t let it happen to you!

Avoid insubordination

Refusing to do as you are told by a manager or person in charge could be considered insubordination. Don’t argue! If you have a problem with an order, do what you’re told and then call your union representative. The problem can be addressed at that time.

Avoid sexual harassment

Unwanted touching (hands on another person in any form), telling off-color jokes, comments about other people, giving unwanted hugs, showing inappropriate pictures or texts, etc., can be considered sexual harassment and reported as such. What you may consider as “innocent, playful or funny,” others could consider as sexual harassment.