Can’t be reached by phone. Must you wire him not to show?

Maintenance Foreman Bob Dexter just barely restrained himself from blowing his top when the Acme truck arrived Friday morning minus a shipment of parts needed for a repair job. The work was scheduled for the swing shift.
By Raymond Dreyfack March 1, 1999

Maintenance Foreman Bob Dexter just barely restrained himself from blowing his top when the Acme truck arrived Friday morning minus a shipment of parts needed for a repair job. The work was scheduled for the swing shift. Without those parts he would have to notify an electrician and two carpenters that they wouldn’t be needed.

Dexter had no trouble telephoning the carpenters, Phillips and Gruen. The electrician, Rick Fallow, was another story. When he tried to call Rick he was informed the number was disconnected. That’s when Dexter realized Fallow had moved a couple of months back. Annoyed because he had work piled up, the foreman checked the personnel office and his own personnel file. Fallow had never given the company his new phone number or address.

“Hey, do any of you guys know Rick’s phone number?” Dexter asked members of his crew.

They all shook their heads.

“That’s the best I can do,” Dexter grumbled. “He’ll have to turn around and go home when he shows.”

That decision didn’t sit well with Fallow.

“It takes me more than an hour to get here,” Fallow complained when he arrived, “plus half a tank of gas.”

“I’m sorry about that,” Dexter sympathized. “I did my best to reach you.”

“I’ll bet. You could’ve sent me a telegram. Some of the guys know my number.”

“Not the ones I asked. I was up to my eyebrows in work. I couldn’t spend all day trying to reach you.”

“That’s no excuse. The contract says if an employee is sent home without notice, he’s entitled to 4-hr call-in pay.”

“I made every reasonable effort to notify you.”

Fallow refused to settle for that.

Question: Is Fallow entitled to the call-in pay?

Thorne’s decision: No call-in pay for the worker, Plant Engineer Jack Thorne ruled. “He’s right about the call-in pay provision. But the contract also obligates an employee to inform the company of his new phone number and address when he moves. His failure to do so invalidates his claim. It’s a handy clause to have around.”

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