An employee has now been absent for three days and we are considering it as job abandonment which is then subject to termination. We have tried to contact him on his cell phone as well as his emergency contacts and have received nothing.
We are concerned that something may have happened to him. But then we are also suspicious that he may have just accepted another position with a different company.
Please advise in regards to the best method to handle this situation.
You are right to be concerned. Unfortunately, every year some employees who live alone suffer a heart attack, stroke or even die suddenly. The only sign of trouble is that they do not show up to work, and do not call to report their absence. In many cases, this is unusual conduct for an employee who has always been responsible. (Ideally, you would react to this situation in less than 3 days.)
You mention that you have called the employees cell phone and emergency numbers. Ideally, you would leave a message along the lines of *We have not heard from you and just want to know that you are okay. Could you please call and let us know? Leave a message or send an email or text if you need to.* We will also assume that you have attempted to call the employee on his home phone, perhaps after business hours.
If you still receive no response, call the police and ask them to perform a wellness check at his home address. This is a fairly standard procedure when anyone is concerned about someones health and welfare. The police will simply send an officer to that address, and report back that they have spoken to him and he is okay — or that they found him passed out on the kitchen floor, and called an ambulance.
We have to comment on the line that you are *suspicious that he may have accepted another position with a different company.* The word *suspicion* implies this is underhanded behavior — and it really is not. Employees come and go– no employment situation is forever. A good employer wants her workers to move up in the world, and recognizes that they may be offered an opportunity to better themselves with a competitor. The healthy reaction is being happy for the employee, and accepting their decision. The unhealthy choice is viewing any employee who leaves as a traitor. Such an environment is not good for the employees, or the employer — and it would certainly explain why an employee would not give the employer notice.
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