Ask Shawn: How can we stop bathroom break abuse in our veterinary clinic?
I would approach the employee immediately and keep the conversation focused on behavior. The fact that she's in the bathroom is irrelevant. If she's using the cell phone in the bathroom you can't prove that, but you can prove that she is away from her post. The truth is that she is away from her assigned position, not present on her job, and most likely not completing all of her duties. These behaviors alone should be enough to take corrective action.When you confront the employee, be prepared for the use of the restroom as a defense and use that opening to require her to get a doctor's note that would justify the amount of time she takes for medical breaks. If this is a real medical issue, you may consider reassigning job duties to match her new needs. —SHAWN
Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics editorial advisory boards and is CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Chicago. For videos and articles containing more of McVey's tips and tricks on issues relating to veterinary personnel management, conflict, and communication, visit http://dvm360.com/mcvey.