what is it called when a supervisor fills in for a subordinate. I as a supervisor was told by a subordinate that I had to work her position while she was out on Friday.I called my manager and discussed the issue but was told by him that it would be looked into. should I, or is it right by law that I do so?

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    I doubt there are laws about this, but if there are they would depend on your location, so please provide that. There may be policies within your company, and your manager is looking into that. It does feel "off" to me that someone under you should be telling you what to do, but perhaps that's how things are set up in your business. If your manager has told you to do it, I think it would be wise to follow that directive. The consequences of not doing so are company-specific but I expect would not be good. – Kate Gregory May 23 at 23:05
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    Surely as her supervisor you say what is done if your subordinate is not there. So who should work her position? You Have to decide. – user151019 May 23 at 23:50
  • What industry are you in? What level supervisor? That info might help people provide answers. – bob May 31 at 21:35

It's not unusual for a supervisor to provide cover for a subordinate when they are unavailable (sick, holiday etc) - but it's rather unusual for a subordinate to tell a supervisor to do this. Typically a supervisor would be responsible for making sure the role/work is covered and it's up to them to work out how this happens - whether the work gets delegated to another subordinate or the supervisor does it themselves.

  • @JoeStrazzere possible (although there isn't any indication one way or the other in the Q as to whether the OP is new), and that could easily be a sensible reason why a subordinate might say that – motosubatsu May 24 at 14:48

A good leader is one who is willing to step in and cover for a subordinate. I'm going to assume you're new to this company, and perhaps the subordinate was just telling you how past supervisors would have done it? As the leader of an organization I've scrubbed toilets if they needed cleaning. It's what a good leader does. If the employee being gone prevents the job from getting done, then you fill in for them.

If I were you, I'd talk it over with the manager. Sounds like a policy needs to be implemented to deal with how to cover for absences. Maybe a policy requiring employees to attempt to find coverage is needed. Maybe your job should be to find someone else to cover it in advance. Maybe you need more staff to cover for absenteeism.

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