Can You Fire Someone for Sleeping on the Job?
Employees who are found sleeping on the job can be dismissed, but there are a few factors employers should consider before making this decision. It is important to take into account the employee’s circumstances and the impact their behaviour has on the company’s productivity.
Reasons an Employee May Have Fallen Asleep on the Job
- Physical Health: Employees who are suffering from an illness or injury may feel exhausted during the day due to their compromised physical health.
- Mental Health: It is possible for employees with depression or anxiety to become so overwhelmed by their symptoms that they feel the need to sleep at their desk in order to cope with the day.
- External Factors: Things like financial or family stress can lead to employees being exhausted by the time they get to work, causing them to become drowsy or fall asleep during the day.
- Poor Scheduling: Some employers require employees to work long shifts without appropriate breaks to rest. In such cases, it is easy for an employee to become too fatigued to stay alert during the duration of their shift.
What to Consider Before Dismissing an Employee
- Employers should consider if the employee in question was working reasonable hours.
- It is important to evaluate and assess the employee’s situation to determine if any of the above factors could be affecting their behaviour.
- If necessary, employers can provide support in the form of an employee assistance program.
- Employers should caution employees against sleeping on the job and take action if the behaviour persists.
The decision to fire an employee for sleeping on the job should not be taken lightly, as there might be deeper issues beneath the surface that need to be addressed. It is best to take into account the employee’s personal circumstances before making a decision.