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  • Someone Calling in Sick

    I could use some thoughts on what you do when someone calls in sick. That sounds weird, I know, but I formerly worked as a police officer and it was just flat out expected that you worked what you were told. If someone called in sick, the chief just ordered someone to stay or otherwise worked it out, but it involved someone being unhappy.

    In the situation I am in now, we use on-call (or full-time), but if there are no takers, it's unclear exactly what we can do. We have supervisors who are "on-call," but that apparently doesn't mean they will come in to work an uncovered shift. I called one today who had childcare issues and didn't want to come in. This supervisor is notorious for working extra. I thought if you were on-call that meant, you kept your schedule free.

    The supervisors simply tell us that "someone" has to stay and we can split the shift (one stays late, the other comes in early), but that means a 12-hour shift (with overtime) and potentially a 16-hour shift if someone on the other end refuses to come to work early.

    It is unclear whether we can be forced to stay late. We are non-union, but I'm sure the state has rules about forced overtime. I think we can be forced in an "emergency," but that is open for interpretation. Is it an emergency when someone calls in sick? If a supervisor refuses to cover the shift is that ane emergency?

    I guess bottom-line is my feeling is that the supervisor needs to step-up and make the rules of engagement clear or needs to come in as needed since it's a matter of responsibility.

    I guess this is more of a rant, than wanting advice, but it just has me pulling my hair out because I've never seen a situation where someone makes more money and has a title, but refuses to wield their authority and make things clear.
    Those who are successful at what they do don't give a rip about what others think about them.

    We don't rent pigs.

  • #2
    Here someone calling in sick is a big deal. We usually don't have coverage to run a man down, especially on graves.

    Here, for emergencies of various sorts, the members of a shift can be held over indefinitely. Policy is that, for example, during severe weather when the new shift can't get in the old shift stays... for however long it takes. Also,mandatory overtime is just that: mandatory. During fire season we've had the jail running 5-on, 1-off... for months... and we run 12 hour shifts.

    The off-going shift doesn't leave until the on-coming shift is on site and briefed in. If somebody is late, somebody has to stay over until minimum manning is met. Usually it's a supervisor, but it doesn't have to be.

    I thought if you were on-call that meant, you kept your schedule free.
    The on-call supervisor here, often we run weekends with no supervisor in-site, is there for when the shiite hits the fan, not to work for you because you have the sniffles. If you're in the hospital they'll find coverage for you. If not, you need to find it for yourself... or be at work.

    This job is about personal responsibility and a voluntarily assumed duty, not about the Corporal carrying your slack.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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    • #3
      I don't know what it is like to work on a 12hr shift. my agency works an 8 hr shift and has a very liberal take on sick leave. My Lt has even told my squad on several occasions that if you begin to feel like crap bang out its not worth the chance of some bug spreading around the department. even the occasional "mental health day" is allowed and there really isn't an abuse issue, I guess since we earn the sick leave hours we can spend them how we want.

      Sometimes this create vacancies on shifts but there are lots of people on the OT sheet so someone is always available to maintain minimum staffing. If not they offer the extra shift to the squad that's currently working if no takers our contract states that the least senior officer has to work the extra hours. This can suck as one can imagine but an officer can only get mando'd 3 times a week, not on their friday, the night before a court day, or if they have already worked 16 hours.

      but we also have a union contract....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by barkalot View Post
        I could use some thoughts on what you do when someone calls in sick. That sounds weird, I know, but I formerly worked as a police officer and it was just flat out expected that you worked what you were told. If someone called in sick, the chief just ordered someone to stay or otherwise worked it out, but it involved someone being unhappy.

        In the situation I am in now, we use on-call (or full-time), but if there are no takers, it's unclear exactly what we can do. We have supervisors who are "on-call," but that apparently doesn't mean they will come in to work an uncovered shift. I called one today who had childcare issues and didn't want to come in. This supervisor is notorious for working extra. I thought if you were on-call that meant, you kept your schedule free.

        The supervisors simply tell us that "someone" has to stay and we can split the shift (one stays late, the other comes in early), but that means a 12-hour shift (with overtime) and potentially a 16-hour shift if someone on the other end refuses to come to work early.

        It is unclear whether we can be forced to stay late. We are non-union, but I'm sure the state has rules about forced overtime. I think we can be forced in an "emergency," but that is open for interpretation. Is it an emergency when someone calls in sick? If a supervisor refuses to cover the shift is that ane emergency?

        I guess bottom-line is my feeling is that the supervisor needs to step-up and make the rules of engagement clear or needs to come in as needed since it's a matter of responsibility.

        I guess this is more of a rant, than wanting advice, but it just has me pulling my hair out because I've never seen a situation where someone makes more money and has a title, but refuses to wield their authority and make things clear.
        The fact of the matter is-------------if you are a non contract agency, your boss can make whatever rules they wish and you will follow them ---or find another job

        The term "on call" means different things at different places.

        Originally posted by barkalot View Post
        because I've never seen a situation where someone makes more money and has a title, but refuses to wield their authority and make things clear.
        You will probably find that in a lot of places "titles" are given based on different criteria than what you might have been used to ----------------and that "titles" don't always mean the same

        Personally I can't fathom a place where a supervisor is not making these decisions and making the phone calls for coverage
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          If the vacancy makes the shift fall below minimum staffing levels, someone from the off going shift will be held over and someone from the incoming shift will be ordered in early.

          I don't find your supervisor's ability to order OT at all unclear and, I venture to guess that your state law says (if it even mentions it at all) you will work what you are told or you will be disciplined.

          I am an on-call supervisor as well, but that does not mean I am sitting around waiting to come in to work. You call me and I tell you how to fill the vacancy; it does not mean that I am coming in to fill the vacancy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by barkalot View Post
            I could use some thoughts on what you do when someone calls in sick. That sounds weird, I know, but I formerly worked as a police officer and it was just flat out expected that you worked what you were told. If someone called in sick, the chief just ordered someone to stay or otherwise worked it out, but it involved someone being unhappy.

            In the situation I am in now, we use on-call (or full-time), but if there are no takers, it's unclear exactly what we can do. We have supervisors who are "on-call," but that apparently doesn't mean they will come in to work an uncovered shift. I called one today who had childcare issues and didn't want to come in. This supervisor is notorious for working extra. I thought if you were on-call that meant, you kept your schedule free.

            The supervisors simply tell us that "someone" has to stay and we can split the shift (one stays late, the other comes in early), but that means a 12-hour shift (with overtime) and potentially a 16-hour shift if someone on the other end refuses to come to work early.

            It is unclear whether we can be forced to stay late. We are non-union, but I'm sure the state has rules about forced overtime. I think we can be forced in an "emergency," but that is open for interpretation. Is it an emergency when someone calls in sick? If a supervisor refuses to cover the shift is that ane emergency?

            I guess bottom-line is my feeling is that the supervisor needs to step-up and make the rules of engagement clear or needs to come in as needed since it's a matter of responsibility.

            I guess this is more of a rant, than wanting advice, but it just has me pulling my hair out because I've never seen a situation where someone makes more money and has a title, but refuses to wield their authority and make things clear.
            As long as I was getting O/T I would suck it up. Sounds like you work for an agency where if you complain you might be out of a job.

            Comment


            • #7
              I worked for an agency with a union and there was plenty of ordered O/T. Especially on summer weekends and holidays. You couldn't refuse. I worked every 4th of july for the first 15 years on the job. I never had enough time to get it as a vacation pick(my partner was senior to me) so if I was scheduled to work I was denied my request to have off and if it fell on my regular day off I was ordered in on O/T.

              Comment


              • #8
                In regards to "laws against forced overtime." A lot of states have the contrary when it comes to Law Enforcement work, as the needs of the people outweighs the needs of the officer. Usually it only applies to exigent situations; such as shift coverage, large incidents, disasters, etc. Just one of those things you have to deal with in L.E. In New Mexico for example, police are able to unionize, but we are prohibited by statute to strike(so that there's coverage on the streets for the people.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  The supervisors simply tell us that "someone" has to stay and we can split the shift (one stays late, the other comes in early), but that means a 12-hour shift (with overtime) and potentially a 16-hour shift if someone on the other end refuses to come to work early.
                  After re-reading this is SOUNDS like they're letting you work out amongst yourselves what works best for you. Would you really rather have a sergeant order somebody to stay, or let you all decide who it's easiest on to stay late or come in early?

                  We've had someone on the in-coming shift call in saying they'll be late and usually somebody on out-going steps up and takes the extra time before the Corporal or Sergeant can even open their mouth. If not it's usually the junior guy anyway.

                  Somebody out a whole shift at the last minute can be tricky, usually it's combination of somebody stays late an hour or two, somebody off shift come in for the middle and somebody on the in-coming shift comes in a few hours early. As I mentioned above, unless you're totally out of the loop for some reason it's the "sick" person's responsibility to set that up.
                  "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                  "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Forced overtime, WTF is that? I havent seen any overtime in months!
                    I make my living on Irish welfare.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Junior guy is forced to stay of it's not covered by OT or a senior officer doesn't volunteer to stay. Sick leave is entered into the guardian tracking system and after 3 call outs in a 6month period, a red flag pops up and we need to investigate for patterns. We can bank unlimited sick time and have terminal leave ( can use accumulated time for up to a year before actually retiring) or get paid for 75% of your unused time over a 3 year period after retiring.

                      I don't use sick time unless I'm nearly dead for the above reason.
                      Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        when i was hired it was said upfront,this is a 24/7 job. If your needed you need to come in.Thats why some of us have a issued phone also tho.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If we fall below minimums someone has to stay. Usually it gets worked out by people wanting OT. For supervisors it is a little different. Right now we are down on sergeant to begin with and we have another on medical leave so all of us are picking up some of the slack. Everyone is working some hours in patrol.
                          In God We Trust
                          Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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                          • #14
                            Sick leave is taken very frequently in my agency. There is no 'minimum strength' so people calling in sick usually means no unit on the road and the neighbouring stations cover. We get something like five sick days per year without a medical certificate and a large minority of people use it to
                            skip shifts they don't like.

                            Very few stations put more than one unit on the road per shift so one person sick will often mean that unit won't be going out. It's almost unheard of to make one shift stay back and the next start early.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              At my two previous PD's, they would call the reserves to come in and cover. Usually that was me. If there was noone, you go 10-42 at your end time and you're on call.

                              On the calling in sick. I've been dying to post this for you guys to get a laugh. This is from the local sports radio station here in Dallas. One of the afternoon guys used to call in alot, unfortunately for drug issues. The other guys, who all give each other crap, imitated the personality and recorded this fake, but hilarous phone call to call in sick

                              I yell "PIKACHU" before I tase someone.

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