A reader writes: “We had a problem worker who turned the customer against us. Now we lost the worker and may lose the customer. Any thoughts?”

Based on the attitude and performance of the worker that left employment, you are probably better off with them leaving on their own. As I have recommended before, this is an HR (Human Resources) and legal issue since you not only have to protect this person’s rights but also avoid claims of discrimination/favoritism from other staff.

You may need to review your employee guidelines to make sure all employees understand repercussions if a disgruntled employee slanders your company. Although such actions may be necessary, they should be the last resort since many people react to threats of legal action. This is where it can get sticky since EEOC can conduct an investigation of this person’s claims. Be sure to have all your documentation ready for review.

I am not an attorney or HR expect, but it appears that you are going by the legal and HR guidelines that you apply to everyone. You wrote this person up for the same violations as you did anyone else including failing to show for work without notice, excessive tardiness and failing to perform tasks as directed. You offered counseling and additional training which the worker rejected. You clearly documented their behavior and veiled threats toward other staff members, including their supervisor. You seem to have been very careful to protect their privacy and made additional efforts to respond to their needs. I only saw redacted information that protected the person’s identity.

If the customer believes the claims of the disgruntled employee, you can only reach out to them with the facts that you are allowed to share since privacy laws may restrict what you can say. In this era of violence, we all need to be aware of potential risks and do everything in our power to reach out to troubled employees while protect staff and clients.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.