I work at a small office of 6, including the owner.

We do not have a hierarchy outside of the owner, and I plan on asking for a promotion (and raise) to instigate some sort of chain of command because our workflow feels very disjointed most of the time and I'm the one who everyone comes to anyways.

However, there is one employee who is constantly 25 to 60 minutes late (average when late is probably 30 minutes, and late at least once per week).

Currently the owner does not make a fuss about this, should I assume that if I become project manager that I would be responsible for disciplinary action of this employee due to tardiness?

I guess this breaks down into two questions

  1. Would (or should) a project manager in this context inherent that responsibility?
  2. If so, would I be mistaken assuming I should follow the owners actions/attitude toward this situation?

For clarification, the issue does bother the employer, but it seems like they just don't want to initiate any conflict in the office because after a year and a half there has never been any disciplinary action taken with anyone.

  • 7
    However, there is one employee who is constantly 25 to 60 minutes late - does the lateness impact their contributions to the project?
    – dwizum
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 16:18
  • 2
    Also - I see you've marked @Keith's answer as accepted. Generally, it's good practice to wait a day or so before accepting an answer. Accepting an answer so quickly (his had only been there for a few minutes, and it's the only answer posted so far) will sometimes discourage others from answering, so you may end up missing out on other perspectives.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 16:20
  • @dwizum - I am glad you pointed out the already accepted answer thing. Keith's answer is almost exactly what I was going write regarding PM vs Supervisors but I had a few things to add relating to the other parts of the question. Now that OP has accepted and moved on, I'm not going to bother with it.
    – Smitty
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 16:26
  • @Smitty I'd really appreciate your opinion if you're still interested in the topic, that was my mistake. Either way, thanks for your perspective here as well, as it helped me be a better part of this community.
    – Sleepwave
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 16:31
  • Does this person come late and leave as others do? The better idea is to introduce flexible working time. Then everyone works their time and nobody needs to care about when they come and go. Would that be an option? It is a more modern way to handle individual preferences, it strengthens one's commitment and has no negative effects.
    – puck
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


Currently the owner does not make a fuss about this, should I assume that if I become project manager that I would be responsible for disciplinary action of this employee due to tardiness?

Project managers are traditionally not responsible for disciplinary actions. Since your company is so small- I would go over responsibilities with the owner to make sure there isn't any miscommunication about what is expected.

And my guess is that since the owner doesn't care about the employee being late- I wouldn't be the one to start to make it a big deal in the office. If the late employee continues to meet or exceed expectations in terms of performance- I don't see why it should be made into a big deal.

  • They actually do not consistently meet or exceed expectations, they usually underperform and get away with it because the owner does not take any disciplinary action. That is probably in part due to the tardiness, but even while they're present they are not working or not making a reasonable amount of progress on average day to day.
    – Sleepwave
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 17:55
  • @Sleepwave this sounds like your working in a salaried team - you do know that salaried jobs have no fixed hours and its more about are you getting the work done not are you there on the dot of 9:00 Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 19:32
  • @Neuromancer The owner is adamant about a strict 8-5 schedule and sometimes docks pay in hourly blocks if you're out of office during that time unless you're using PTO hours. I know, it's weird, but it's legal and it's how he wants to run his company. On paper we're salary but we're essentially treated as hourly (as much as legally possible).
    – Sleepwave
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 21:05
  • @Sleepwave -You said in another comment that an answer from me with other insights would be appreciated. The things I was going to address (like owner's pay grade) have been edited out. I cant post an answer yet because I have a new question.Have you confirmed through your own research that it is legal to dock pay on a salary due to hours not in the office? I cant imagine that this is legitimate (assuming USA) and Im afraid you think it is because the owner is misleading you. Im also a little confused; in most comments you are saying that the owner doesn't discipline, but here you say he does.
    – Smitty
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 18:50

In every job I've ever had, the PM was not responsible for employee tardiness or performance issues. The manager is, meaning the personnel manager. They are 2 different functions. In the absence of a personnel manager the owner would likely fill that role.

I'd suggest that the owner can define it anyway he wants. Maybe he would want you to manage the employees, as well. That's up to him. But I would not assume.

  • Thanks, that makes a lot of sense and really clears this up for me. I plan on making these details clear if the owner does agree with my promotion, in the meantime I was trying to figure out if I actually wanted the promotion if that position typically did include handling tardiness and performance issues.
    – Sleepwave
    Commented Jun 12, 2019 at 16:12

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