I have about 20 years of job experience and I’ve been working for my current company for 3 and half years. Throughout my career I've used this pattern for my vacations:
- the last working day before a vacation I come to the office with my suitcase and get out a few hours earlier
- I spend the entire holiday away from home (usually 3 weeks)
- I get back the first day a few hours after the regular start of the workday
I've never had a problem with this. Early exits and late arrivals are covered by PTO approved by my manager and are registered in my time-sheet as such, all per company policy. Leaving early on the last day before a vacation is very common here and many colleagues, managers included, do so. Arriving late on the first day back isn't uncommon either.
Yesterday after coming back from vacation a manager outside my division hierarchy from a cross-divisional department who has limited authority over all employees officially warned me because “this behavior is not professional”, “not being at home, especially the days before going back to work, shows little commitment” and “this MUST end quickly”, apparently referring to this practice in general at our company. According to the manager, not being at home, at least for the last days before coming back to work, is the main issue. Leaving early and returning late is a minor issue. The only reason given is a generic "lack of commitment" with no further explanation and it seems that this manager has decided to take a stand against this flexibility we have around holidays.
I am very annoyed by this warning and I think it is completely nonsense. The time I spend outside work shouldn't matter to my company. I want to understand which is the best pattern here:
- go to HR and ask them to review the warning and remove it** (with the risk that this manager bears a grudge against me and targets me)?
- Involve my manager (but he will return back in 2 weeks)?
- Simply ignore all of this (with the risk that this manager will monitor me and discipline me again, more severely, next time, in January)?
Thanks to everybody for your help. I decided to send an email to my manager and his manager (who is in the office) to ask for a brief meeting on the topic (to be confirmed for the next Monday). After that I will go to the HR, I hope with my manager/his manager support
In Italy an official warning is defined by the law and is the first (and less severe) discipline action a company can take against an employee. It requires some formalities and 2 witnesses. It remains “active” for 2 years and can lead to more severe discipline actions in case of other violations in the 2 years.
I can “appeal” against any discipline action inside (upper authority) and outside (court) the company. A cancelled/removed warning will not exist any more.