Every company that we represent has numerous company policies that employees are expected to have read and are required to follow. These policies are handed out at various times from management along with a sign-off page that will go into your personnel file. These policies may vary from department and some, such as time and attendance, may apply to all employees.
Most of our members may be familiar with the policies to apply to their normal duties, but are lost when they are asked to work in other departments to fill in as needed. Some of our members that should be aware of the specific policies relating to their job duties are tempted to take shortcuts due to the limited time scheduled to get the job done. It is extremely important not to guess at what the policy is or to not take shortcuts that are in violation of your company’s policies. For instance, sampling product in the service deli/ bakery or marking down damaged or short coded merchandise at a deep discount that is higher than your company allows is a serious violation. There are policies regarding the purchase of merchandise (other than for your break) while on the clock and also for setting products aside in the back room for a later purchase. Accepting free merchandise from a vendor or keeping coupons that were left behind is also a violation. There are many safety policies that are specific to slicers, grinders and saws that may require safety gloves or specific training. Proper procedures for completing inventories, sweep logs or temperature logs must be followed, and violation of these policies continue to be a source of discipline. These are just a few of the many policies that our members are expected to know and follow.
Members are disciplined, suspended and terminated every day for violating these and other company policies. When you are given a policy to read and sign, make sure that you are allowed ample time to read it before signing it. You have the right to have sufficient time to do this before you are required to sign off on a policy that you have read and understand it. For instance, if you are handed a document while in the check stand and you feel that you are being rushed, ask to wait until you can thoroughly read it without distractions. Ask questions if you are not sure. If you are asked to perform work that is new to you, let the manager know that you have not been trained and that you are not familiar with all the policies related to that job. Don’t guess and don’t be embarrassed to ask your manager for guidance or direction when you are not sure what the policy is. Don’t take shortcuts around company policies just because you are short on time. It would be better for you to protest a written warning for missing a sweep or forgetting to take a required temperature than to be faced with a possible termination for falsifying a company document.
Many employers reissue company policies at the beginning of each year. Sometime these policies contain changes. Make sure to pay attention and read the policy thoroughly. Make sure to get your questions answered and that you understand the policy before signing. It just may save your job someday.