Q: Some employees refuse to use company software - instant messaging - how can they be disciplined/forced to use it?
I have an instant messaging system on my office computers. Some users are logging out. We can’t fire them, but how can I set consequences for logging out or ignoring messages? What can I do to make the software so users can’t disconnect? Program is Synology Chat. Server is Windows.
A: There is a middle ground between firing people and letting them sabotage your system. An attorney can provide rules and procedures that can be set up and provided to employees. Rules can be enforced without firing people.
Firing employees who perform their tasks, except for the ones they don't feel like doing, usually does more harm than good. However, they actually can be fired. Firing cannot be done indiscriminately, but there are procedures to follow which will achieve the desired end with minimal risk to the employer. If you actually do fire someone, you do not want them to collect unemployment.
A: You should have clear, written policies about your expectations and the consequences. They should be applied uniformly to everyone. California employment is generally "at will" meaning you can fire and they can quit at any time. You can fire for any or no reason, with some limitations: you can't fire based on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, etc. or because they won't violate the law. A local employment lawyer can help you develop good policies and procedures, and good documentation to mitigate your liability risk if you have to terminate someone.
You may want to look at an IT company to help you work with the software.
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