Employees taking sick days and not providing a doctor’s excuse was questioned by a councilman during a recent Lynch City Council meeting.
Lynch Councilman Winston Yeary raised the questioned, saying he would like to see the issue added to the employee handbook that a doctor’s excuse for that type of leave be required.
As an example, Years asked what type leave an employee took recently when the city’s garbage wasn’t picked up.
Mayor Johnny Adams said, “It was a vacation day.”
Councilman Bennie Massey said employees should not be allowed to take off scheduled garbage pickup days unless they are sick and unable to work.
“If you don’t stop it, they’ll start taking off the days when they are supposed to pick the garbage up,” said Massey. “You don’t want to force them, but you may have to require them to be there on those days. Just taking days off to keep from working ain’t right. They are going to have to straighten up on those days. We have a lot of garbage and it has to be picked up.”
Yeary suggested if employees don’t want to work, they should be placed on part-time status.
“If they want to just work part-time, then put them on part-time,” said Yeary. “If they don’t have a sick day, then they need a doctor’s excuse. Calling in the morning of the day you are taking off — that’s not going to work. People call and complain about sitting their garbage out and it not being picked up, and then the bears get into it. A lot of people won’t pick this garbage back up.”
Yeary suggested amending the employee handbook to include the suggestions made during the meeting.
“One employee had a health issue and he took off two or three sick days, but he ran out of sick days so he took a vacation day. It wasn’t he just took off on a garbage day,” said Adams. “I told the maintenance supervisor, Chris Adams, if just one man shows up and it’s garbage day, and the employee has his CDL license he needs to hop on that truck and pick up garbage. He can’t holler I don’t have any help and go home and not pick up garbage. There are plenty of people in this county who get on a garbage truck and pick up garbage by themselves. You don’t need two people to do this. This has come up before and if it happens again, someone might get suspended.”
Councilman Betty Hudack agreed saying Waste Management, which provides garbage service to the county, uses only one man per truck to pick up garbage throughout the county.
“Do we have a policy on when an employee can take a day off,” asked Hudack. “If not, we need to look at that. I’d like to add if there are two people working on the garbage truck, I don’t see any reason why the driver can’t get out of the truck and help pick up garbage. That one man shouldn’t have to pick all the garbage up himself. It’s hard work.”
Adams said he will make sure the situation doesn’t occur in the future, garbage will be picked up on scheduled days, and necessary changes will be made to make sure this happens.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, email@example.com