Sleeping On Duty - CiteHR
Head - Human Resources
Gopinath Varahamurthi
Mindhour Partner, Ass.professor/adm. Officer,
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
+6 Others

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Can the management terminate an office employee (Cashier) for sleeping on duty regularly? The office camera has recorded him sleeping during office hours several times. What should be the procedure? Is there any letter which need to be issued? Are there any legal precedents?
Hi Kolkata Harsh,
What type of organization do you work with? Also please let us whether this employee was sleeping in his work station. Did anyone in the HR speak with him? Yes, employer may terminate if an employee is sleeping regularly while working hours.

But company needs to follow due procedure before termination.
This includes-counselling,warnings and chance to change/improve and finally termination.
Sleeping on duty of this nature is definitely misconduct which can cause loss to company as well as employee.

There is no need to terminate an employee if the employee sleeps in his working hours.. The management has to enquire on his health issues or the management should do anything to make interest on employees if they dont have any activities to do
This will be carrying welfare too much.
The employee is a cashier.
His responsibility is serious and involves handling cash.
I do not think his sleeping on duty is a good thing or can be accepted by any organisation.
He needs to find out why he feels sleepy and organisation needs to keep him away from cash handling.

Dear Harsh,
As you have not given much detail about the scenario (For example, what type of an organisation it is and what is the role of the cashier), I wonder whether it is a real situation or an assignment question posed on an academic course!! In the absence of such information, the responses you get are based on assumptions and.or you will get more questions asked.

Yes, but you need to follow the due course of law, such as you need to issue a show cause notice, allow the employee to respond in writing, consider the response, warning letters for first misconduct, and then after a repeat of the behaviour, conduct a fully documented inquiry etc and only and then termination. i dont see any mention of a warning for previous misconduct.. that should always be in place before termination.
This is because as a cashier, the employee would most probably be non supervisor, and can challenge the termination. The labour courts are labour friendly (they are meant to protect the employees rights), and will quash any termination not done as per the prescribed procedure.

Hi Kolkata,
Have you talked to him about his mistake (maybe it's caused from his sickness, lack of sleeping or family burden...) or given him a warning and an opportunity to change. After doing those steps, if he still sleep on duty, it's time to consider a termination decision. I don't know where are you from so I can't give advice on legal issue.

I agree with Harsh. You talk to him and find out whether any medical reason for his behaviour. Follow the procedure for taking action
Hello Abdulla Javed Moochikal,
Your line "There is no need to terminate an employee if the employee sleeps in his working hours" gives a totally message than what you MAY have had in mind.......that the employee shouldn't be directly terminated without checking the health issues. Pl note that THIS action DOES remain as ONE of the options available to ANY Employer in such situations.
But a 'blanket' statement like your's gives a totally contradictory message than what you intended. Suggest use your words carefully, lest someone blindly follows your suggestion & lands in a mess.....
@ Kolkata Harsh--
IF you REALLY want actionable suggestions from the members, pl give the FULL & COMPLETE picture of the situation.

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