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I Believe We Call This “Taking Advantage”

, , , | Working | October 1, 2022

At an old job of mine, a coworker was out for six months on FMLA. (FMLA is the Family and Medical Leave Act, a labor law that requires companies to provide employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for accepted medical and family issues.) When [Coworker] got back and went through retraining, it was understandable that their call times and after-call time would be high.

A year and a few shift changes later, they still had horrendous call times and after-call times. I was sitting next to them because management thought my low call and after-call work times would rub off. (I was a top performer.) I happened to notice that they often put the customer on hold a lot to play games on their phone for ten-plus minutes, and then they’d surf the Internet after the call for fifteen-plus minutes.

I asked them about it between my calls and they blew me off.

Coworker: “Management doesn’t care; I’m still recovering.”

Apparently, [Coworker]’s supervisor had temporarily relocated their desk just around the corner from us and heard this interaction. The supervisor came around, made the coworker sign out and pack up their desk, and walked them out, saying that expected recovery times for the FMLA reason didn’t take nearly as long as the coworker was claiming if people didn’t waste company time playing on their phones when they were supposed to be working.

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