By Susan Bennett, Legal OfficeJune 13, 2019
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- In the Spring of 2015, the Anniston CPAC Office contributed an article to TRACKS entitled "Correcting behavior through progressive discipline." The article ended by stating that "a commitment must be made by both management and employees to exert effort to make Anniston Army Depot successful in its mission to support the war fighter, including correcting inappropriate behavior and/or misconduct."
That statement is just as important today as it was four years ago.
The purpose of disciplinary action is to correct behavior.
The purpose of this article is to point out the areas where we, both supervisors and employees, have had difficulties, so employees can avoid discipline by following workplace rules.
Some of the most important workplace rules that must be followed involve attendance.
Disciplinary offenses related to attendance include Failure to Follow Letter of Leave Instructions, Failure to Follow Leave Requesting Procedures, being Absent without Leave and Unauthorized Absence from Management Directed Overtime.
Previous discipline and the length of the AWOL increase the penalty imposed, which includes possible removal from your job.
How do you avoid this? If you leave the worksite during working hours, you must request permission from your supervisor; and if you are unable to come to work, contact your supervisor to request leave.
Employees must follow written rules and regulations. The penalty for not doing so can be heightened if the rule or regulation involves safety to persons or property, including not using required safety equipment or personal protective equipment or reporting to work while under the influence of alcohol, a drug or a controlled substance.
The formal penalty for engaging in dishonest behavior ranges from a written reprimand to removal, but the most typical penalty is removal.
Dishonesty can take many forms. It can involve lying on official forms, lying to your supervisor or other management officials on material facts, or putting information in your résumé that states you have performed jobs or tasks you have not performed, that you have used specific tools or instruments you have not used or that you possess skills you do not possess.
When you are untrustworthy, you cannot be an effective employee and the taxpayer should not be expected to pay your salary.
In other words, the phrase "honesty is the best policy" applies at ANAD.
Adverse consequences can be avoided by doing some very simple things: show up to work on time, communicate with your supervisor if you cannot be at work, follow your supervisor's instructions, follow workplace rules and be honest in your interactions with your supervisors and other management officials as well as in your written statements.
Experience shows a failure in any of these areas puts you at risk of discipline.
One additional area must be mentioned by way of reinforcing security requirements.
Although there are some exceptions listed in the OPSEC Plan on the ANAD Intranet, employees and visitors are reminded that the use of cell phones to take photographs on Anniston Army Depot is prohibited by local regulation ANADR 190-5.
It naturally follows that posting those photographs on social media compounds the offense.
Operational security policies require clearance for the release of any picture taken on post. Do not jeopardize your paycheck or your employment by taking pictures or posting them on social media.
If you have questions, ask your supervisor to give you the information you need to comply.
Bottom line: workplace rules are designed to make this a better, safer place to work. Accountability starts with each employee and we hope each employee will avoid negative consequences by following the rules and respecting others in the workplace.