I don’t know about you guys but I’ve never known a person who hasn’t come to work sick. Not that I condone it or think you should. The last thing you need is a colleague spreading germs by hacking up a lung in your face. But for one reason or another, we’ve all done it […]
Is “bridezilla” appropriate here?
The controversial chief financial officer (CFO) of Nkomazi municipality in Mpumalanga, Sheila Mabaso, allegedly submitted a sick note laying her off for three months – only to hold her wedding during that period. Mabaso might be charged with dishonesty after the Mpumalanga municipality discovered that the sick note booking her off for September, October and November was “actually meant for her to prepare for the wedding”. Though Sowetan could not establish who Mabaso got married to, it can reveal that she got married to a pastor from the North West and that the wedding took place in Nelspruit on September 25 last year. Mabaso apparently flew to Malaysia for the honeymoon but allegedly told the municipality she was going to see a specialist doctor.
We’ve never known a CFO to be “controversial” to the point that it goes into print so we Googled “controversial CFO” and it came up with less than 100 items (although Erin Callan did sneak in there). Although, if you read further, one would discover that Ms Mabaso is nothing if not a little sassy:
[She] told Ziwaphi, a local fortnightly newspaper, that getting married while sick was none of anybody’s business. “It’s true that I was sick for three months and I have a doctor’s note to prove it. If I got married in that period, it’s none of their business. Who said a person can’t get married when they are sick?” Mabaso was quoted as saying.
On Monday we briefly mentioned the unfortunate case of Colin Tenner, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner that is suing the firm for disability discrimination. He is claiming that after he took a leave from the firm after “mismanagement by PwC and bullying by a client,” after which, negotiations for him to return to the firm fell apart and he was let go.
Now the Times Online is reporting some of the feelings of Tenner’s fellow partners. In January 2007, Mr Tenner took sick leave for a couple of days and that did not sit well with his fellow partner Hugh Crossey:
While Mr Tenner was on sick leave in January 2007, his managing partner, Hugh Crossey, e-mailed a third partner to say that he had heard that Mr Tenner was ill again and that the firm needed to point out that “real partners simply do not get sick”, it was alleged.
Depression? Anxiety? Apparently those aren’t real sicknesses, according to Hugh. But wait! Hugh wasn’t the only ones that thought Tenner was a total wuss. The tribunal also heard that a member of PwC’s “partner affairs team” (which probably has nothing to do with treating people like whores) wrote to the firm’s chief medical officer (?) “that there was a ‘very strongly held view that [Mr Tenner] was not as unwell’ as he claimed.” So not only is he total sissy, he’s also a faker.
Tenner claimed that his health had deteriorated to the point that it led him to “actively research ways of committing suicide,” although he actually never made any attempts on his own life.
PwC maintains that this mental health thing is all bullshit, sticking with the standard communiqué, “We believe that his claim is completely without merit and we will vigorously contest it.”
Can you look into the sick day policy at the Big 4’s? Is KPMG the only one who does not give any sick days? If you are sick you take the time from your PTO allowed (the days reduce your vacation time). I have seen people literally dying in the cubes – with temperatures, the chills etc – yet they insist on coming to work since they have no days left or don’t want to use their vacation time. Is this a responsible policy during the H1N1 epidemic???
We touched on this briefly but it’s worth revisiting since the swine flu coverage in the MSM is reaching fever pitch.
Discuss in the comments your firm’s sick days policy, if it’s forcing the bedridden to report, or it’s handing out surgical masks to everyone. Oh, and if you’re sick, for crissakes, stay home.
We’re upping our pandemic coverage today because 1) it’s god-awful slow out there and B) refer back to #1. Apparently most businesses out there don’t really have a plan in case this whole H1N1 thing gets medieval on our asses.
Continued, after the jump
The survey found that two-thirds of the more than 1,000 businesses questioned nationwide said they could not maintain normal operations if half their workers were out for two weeks. Four out of every five businesses expect severe problems if half their workers are out for a month. “What we found is that a minority of businesses have started some sort of emergency planning,” said Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and leader of the project sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Most, I don’t think, have thought through the implications of something so widespread.”
Surely you’d think that the accounting firms would not fall into this particular category. We glanced over the BW list again (because we’ve got nothing better to do) and surprisingly, only PwC and McGladrey & Pullen have sick days listed. P. Dubs is “Unlimited” and M&P provides five days. The other firms have nothing listed.
So are we to assume that the other usual suspects don’t provide any sick days? Most of you are aware of the really obnoxious habit that some people have of coming to work when they should probably be in the hospital. They pop some Airborne or overdose on Vitamin C and they think they’re cured.
Then, of course, there are types that assume that anyone who calls in sick is faking because, well, their jobs sucks. So the “sick” play at accounting firms is always a lose-lose-lose.
So the question should be asked: What the hell happens when half your team can’t crawl out of bed? Are the firms going to start giving you GASP sick days? Are the firms going to provide everyone with biohazard suits so everyone can still come to work? Maybe just the new associates and partners (probably the most likely scenario)? Discuss.