Is it fair to suspend an employee caught sleeping during working hours?

Philippines
April 10, 2009 8:50am CST
I am a former supervisor in a manufacturing plant, and I sometimes caught workers sleeping during working hours especially during night shift. My job is to make a report to HRD, but sometimes I don't. This is because I understand their situation, especially if they fall asleep unintentionally. Besides, the minimum penalty is to be suspended to work for three days for the first offense. Of course, they will have no pay for those days. What's your opinion?
11 people like this
38 responses
• United States
11 Apr 09
At my current job I started out and worked Graveyard for 8 and half years. I have been in management for over 6 years so most of those were obviously on graveyard. When I found an employee sleeping (and it was intentional) at first I was terminating on the spot, but then my boss stopped me and that told me to suspend the employee first then when they got back from suspension they were terminated. If they had just nodded off and I could tell that they were not meaning to fall asleep then I would just wake them up and tell them they need to do something to stay awake. Or if they were really tired and it was not busy I would let them just go home if they wanted to. I have been on swing shift for the most part the last 6 months and I dont have the same problem. Not to say no-ones is sleeping on graveyard fortunately for the employees I'm not there to catch them. So I guess what I am tring to say is yes I agree with suspending an employee and even terminating the employee. I feel that if they are purposely falling alseep then they are not ment to be with the company. The company can find a more reliable person to pay that will appreciate the job then the one sleeping.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Apr 09
Oh and not to mention during these hard times of even being able to find a job. Why risk losing a job over sleeping! There are plenty of unemployed people that would kill to have a job right now and yet some take their job for granted and sleep on the clock! Now someone try to convice me that suspension and or termination is too harsh a punishment.
1 person likes this
@onlydia (2808)
• United States
11 Apr 09
Ok here is my take on it. You have to make a report to HRD Well, first give them a verble waring then a written and then yes a three day suspendion with out pay. That is what I would do and what my company does do. As if it is done that way there is no room for failure on anyone's part. Then after that your fired. Got it yeah got it. That is what did happen at my job. They did scream unfair but how they pulled there file and there was the write ups and the three day supendion. You have a great day. I would hate to be a boss.
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
11 Apr 09
i understand u letting them slide but what if u get caught doing that, then ur job's on the line. if it was my buisness i would n't want to be paying someone to sleep.
1 person likes this
@Reyah23 (641)
• Philippines
11 Apr 09
I believe that it is fair to suspend an employee if caught sleeping during working hours. Our company is paying us to work so we have to be fair with the company. And beside our company assign us a break time wherein we can also use it not only to eat but to take a little nap.
1 person likes this
@se7enthbird (8328)
• Philippines
10 Apr 09
i am in a band and during our breaks it is okay if we fall asleep or not. but during the time when i worked as a sucurity guard i dont sleep during working hours. i make sure i am awake specially at night shifts for whatever happens to the building or the place i am guarding will be blamed on me. it is okay that you understand them but that is work. if someone can sleep on the night shift is it okay also to sleep on the day shift? providing he/she has a valid reason?
1 person likes this
@Lee_Rites (845)
• United States
10 Apr 09
I think it would depend on the person. If it was a one time thing and it was unintentional, I could see overlooking it. If it is someone who has made a habbit of it or has other performance issues, HR might need to be notified.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
10 Apr 09
Well that really depends now if tehy fall asleep running a machine and putting people in to dqanger I would say yes fire them. BUt then on the other hand if ya find them sleeping like in the bathroom might make a diff.
1 person likes this
@nurseia (40)
• United States
14 Apr 09
I worked the grave yard shift for 5 years. It is a very hard shift. I worked 40 hours. I would nap on my lunch hour. I had a small child and it was hard to get off work and go to sleep. I know and understand that a supervisor has to do their job also.
• Philippines
14 Apr 09
Grave yard shift for 5 years? Wow! That's really a hard one to survive without taking a nap. I suppose the longest night shift that I ever had is two months straight. I think you should be awarded for being that strong.
@deedeehall (1144)
• United States
10 Apr 09
hi father blogger first of all i have to say you have a hard job. i have done night shifts in nursing just because i have liitle kids to feed and can not aford day care. i would have to say if this is the situation where a mother or father can not sleep during the day but still has to feed ther children well ... if there is other wide awake employees and no one is in harm maybe every one can take a 20 min shift taking a nap while the others stay awake and still be able to feed there kids.some times 20 min is enough to get you thru rest of the shift . it is about team work and safety. do you understand what i am saying?
• Philippines
11 Apr 09
Yes, I clearly understand your point. Actually, I think we share the same views.
• India
10 Apr 09
Well i think its fair on the employers part but suspending need not be the solution. If a employee isn't fit for a night shift, he should be moved to a morning one or given a warning .. Emps are humans too n its natural if someone tends to sleep at night.. Maybe they aren the kind who can stay late. N if its a rare case of someone he sure must be forgiven wit a warning .. Only wen its intentional tat someone needs to be punished .. I don find any point in suspending a employee.. Here my bottom line.. A SLEEPING WORKER IS BETTER THAN NOONE AROUND! Atlest there are chances f him wakin up n workin.. Lolz.. U did a noble job thou.
@clickicy (571)
• Indonesia
11 Apr 09
i agree with you, sleeping is human nature, suspended for 3 days is too much, and its human resource dept fault that they cant manage resources efectively (blaming worker for being human is undeniable abuse of power!).
@gracie04 (4555)
• Philippines
10 Apr 09
It's kind of unfair but i think it's right somehow.. you know, it's a way to discipline employees at work.. it's like punishing a child for doing something wrong.. the company isn't paying for employees who are not doing their work/job properly.. it's okay to sleep but make sure to finish your tasks first and yes during break time only...
• United States
12 Apr 09
Adults are not children, they should not have to be told that it is wrong to sleep at work. If you need a nap so badly that your 15 minute break is spent that way then perhaps a re-evaluation of your life is needed. Companies generally only suspend people who are riding the system, and I feel that these people should be fired so that people who want to work can have their job.
• United States
10 Apr 09
I have strong opinions about this that may hurt people feeling but I will share them anyway: If you cannot stay awake for a shift at work then you need to find another job, and after the first time you are caught then your emplyeer should be kind enought to fire you so that you will find another job. If a person wants to sleep on the job the join the military, be a perimedic or a fireman and work 24-48 hour shifts. otherwise why should they get sympathy, the rest of the world has to actually work at work
• United States
12 Apr 09
Thank you. That is my little Piggy. He is a big Piggy now but still adorable.
• Malaysia
12 Feb 13
ask them why and the reason then consider it
• China
12 Apr 09
I think over the work will reduce the dfficiency. So I hope your computer can give their some rest time
@whyaskq (7532)
• Singapore
12 Apr 09
I do think the employee should be just given a warning after hearing out why the employee sleep during working hours. If it happens persistently, then I feel it is fair to suspend him before terminating him. Afterall, each company has its own policy and each company differs in its treatment.
@eichs1 (1934)
• Philippines
12 Apr 09
Sometimes, we have to balance empathy and discipline. If you let your workers sleep in the job, the production will be affected - quantity or quality wise or both. But as a supervisor, we need also human touch in our function to have a good working relationship with those under us. This includes knowing our workers and when to report a violation. If the one who was caught in a violation had been a well-behaved good worker, then maybe he deserves consideration. Instead of reporting things to HR, I will give him a stern verbal warning. If the violation can't be forgone, then I will try to see that he gets the minimum penalty. As for the habitual violator, I really have to see him at the HR office.
@pals101 (2011)
• Philippines
12 Apr 09
It is fair my friend, its the right thing to do? If you are the employer and you see your employees just doing nothing either sleeping or just talking and not doing their work, which in fact you pay them with the accurate payment they must received. This is also unfair to you, you will surely got bankrupt and worst close your business. If they are truly employees who think for the welfare of the company then they will try their best not to sleep, and work the best they can do for the success of the company.
@chiyosan (29383)
• Philippines
12 Apr 09
i guess if it is repeated offense then it is okay to suspend them, in my previous work, we also have night work and well, for those who accpeted this type of work is very much aware that they should know how to prepare their body for the night work. i have had my people who have slept and i just give them warnings and for the 3rd offense they are caught that is the time they are suspended, also this is within the company guidelines. for some companies, they have other guidelines and if they signed up for that and have agreed, they should accept the consequences with the actions.
@scififan43 (2440)
• United States
12 Apr 09
I am a supervisor myself. I have found person sleeping from time to time, I jsut give then a warining and only write them up if the problem presist. for my line of work, I work in privae securiy, sleeping on the job is a termaible offiense. so I am carful had I hanldel it becase if the employee is fired, we beome short of help and that can be difficut to cover the shifts.
@sawatzky (69)
• Canada
11 Apr 09
This is funny... I was just thinking about this last week... I used to fall asleep once in a while. It was because of young kids at home keeping me awake at night. Now that they're older it doesn't happen anymore. We still lobby for nap rooms at work once in a while. I don't think it is right to fire someone for their first, second or even third mistake as long as they are willing to try to get it right... unless they are obviously wrong for the job - there are always exceptions. If you understand their situation, and you are the manager I'd say use your better judgment and only report real problems. A happy employee that can get an occasional catnap is better than an unhappy awake one... and probably safer and more productive too.