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Sarita

Help! Problem employee trying to get fired!

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My gardener, who has been working at my property for about 3 1/2 yrs, is causing no end of grief. The tenants report he has not been showing up, sometimes missing 2 out of 3 work shifts a week, without notifying anyone. When he does show up, he refuses to do the assigned work, and this has resulted in the gardens condition deteriorating very quickly. When he is there, between taking cigarette breaks and long cell phone conversations, he only waters or power blows walks, neither of which he is supposed to be doing as I have a functioning irrigation system and the housekeeper looks after sweeping, but these are the only things he does not find totally objectionable that constitute earning his salary. My property manager has had discussions with him but he still refuses to comply. It has become apparent he wants to be fired and collect the very lucrative severance pay, he likely has an offer of work he prefers over mine and this is his solution to make a quick buck at my expense.

Has anyone dealt with a situation like this in past? And if so, what did you do? The tenants have a young child and don't want trouble from him, right now he is still pretend-working so has access to the property.

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I didn't know if one were fired for due cause, that the person paying his salary had to pay anything extra.

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They don' t. But, you want to be sure you have proof of the just cause to avoid hearings and expensive problems. If I were in this situation, I would consider money spent on getting legal advice to be money well spent.

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The thing is getting adequate proof of the employee not performing their duties, not showing for work when scheduled, etc. My worst nightmare would be to get dragged into a legal battle with this man. It has become obvious he wants to be fired because his once excellent work habits suddenly went sharply downhill. It is bad enough to have to pay him an extra 5000 pesos on top of vacation, etc, to be free of him, but to do this when he has let my gardens die from his neglect is adding insult to injury!

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I think a lawyer can tell you what you need to do to protect yourself against the nightmare you (rightfully) dread.

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Guest bennie2

its happend to me, 3 times. one gardener, two driver/eldercaretakers (one driver who also did garden in additional). i just told them not to come back. done. (one was w/me 1 1/2 years 5-6days (1/2 day) per week). in your case, i would call spencer. seems this man has been there done that before. he knows how to work you.

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My gardener, who has been working at my property for about 3 1/2 yrs, is causing no end of grief. The tenants report he has not been showing up, sometimes missing 2 out of 3 work shifts a week, without notifying anyone. When he does show up, he refuses to do the assigned work, and this has resulted in the gardens condition deteriorating very quickly. When he is there, between taking cigarette breaks and long cell phone conversations, he only waters or power blows walks, neither of which he is supposed to be doing as I have a functioning irrigation system and the housekeeper looks after sweeping, but these are the only things he does not find totally objectionable that constitute earning his salary. My property manager has had discussions with him but he still refuses to comply. It has become apparent he wants to be fired and collect the very lucrative severance pay, he likely has an offer of work he prefers over mine and this is his solution to make a quick buck at my expense.

Has anyone dealt with a situation like this in past? And if so, what did you do? The tenants have a young child and don't want trouble from him, right now he is still pretend-working so has access to the property.

Sarita, until an employee has been with you 15 years the termination pay is not as much as you might think it is.

It is 2 months salary, vacation and Christmas bonus prorated. That is not much to get rid of a non functioning employee. Think about it. Change our locks and let him go.

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Sarita, until an employee has been with you 15 years the termination pay is not as much as you might think it is.

It is 2 months salary, vacation and Christmas bonus prorated. That is not much to get rid of a non functioning employee. Think about it. Change our locks and let him go.

Good advice. Legal services will likely cost as much or more plus time/drama. It sucks, but make them sign a letter of final pay and you are done.

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This is a great summery of employment termination and much more. http://www.mexicolaw.com/LawInfo11.htm

This is why employment contracts are so important identifying hours and days of work, duties, expectations, etc. And when violations of the contract they are noted in writing, presented to employee and signed. Without these steps it becomes difficult to win these cases.

As always Spencer is a great resource.

Happy Holidays

Sonia

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Guest bennie2

spencers fees are reasonable for a short consult. the worker should get something (maybe not the whole amount?), sign a paper & thats that. locks should have already been changed. expats are just another business OP for mexican workers. its a tradition here, kind of like lower end extortion.

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[quote name="bennie2"

expats are just another business OP for mexican workers. its a tradition here, kind of like lower end extortion.

I think that your perception of MEXICAN workers is very ugly, insulting and unfair. It is a tradition here? PULEEESE. My MEXICAN workers and those of my friends are good, hard-working people who we are lucky to have in our lives.

I have lived here for over 19 years, and have never had the kind of worker that you must attract. LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE.

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spencers fees are reasonable for a short consult. the worker should get something (maybe not the whole amount?), sign a paper & thats that. locks should have already been changed. expats are just another business OP for mexican workers. its a tradition here, kind of like lower end extortion.

I agree with LaChula that this is a very unfair and bigoted representation of Mexican workers, who I've generally found to be honest and conscientious. There are opportunists, thieves, and cheats in every country. Luckily there are a minority here and everywhere.

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be careful. Couple years ago on this forum, Holdra? Fired her gardener and he broke into her house on several occasions, poisoned her dogs and horses.

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It is always more expensive to fix a problem that could have been prevented. Spencer's services prior to termination are preventive and, in our experience, worth every peso. You need to have a properly drafted document that can be proffered should the employee go to the Labor Board with allegations that his termination was not handled in compliance with the law.

Caveat: If you are not here to personally observe the poor performance and personally talk with the employee, you may be on less firm ground which would make legal advice even more important.

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If your guy is really "trying to get fired" then why not let his wish come true? If you decided to terminate him on your own you would have the same legal/financial obligation. A local lawyer can take care of this very easily and surprisingly cost effectively. And every day you put off the inevitable adds to the final cost and potentially creates even more complications - not to mention the continued stress.

We had to get rid of a gardener a few years back. Went to a lawyer and got good advice, did all the paperwork, got the employee to sign off - all 100% by the book. We didn't point fingers, didn't make a point of telling him all the things he had done wrong, and tried to smile and be polite when we met with the employee and attorney to get everything finalized.

We still see him occasionally and always make a point to smile and at least say hello. The first few times we ran into him after letting him go he was not too friendly but after several years he is at least pleasant when we run into him. It is a small village and we run into him fairly often. And when we run into his wife or daughter they are quite friendly - big smiles and hugs all around. I think they understand we did what we needed to do and we handled it with as much grace as we could. Saving face is a big deal. I think they believe we treated him fairly, didn't tell him he was "bad", didn't cut corners or try to underpay the legal severance amount.

In retrospect that was the best decision we could have made. The only regret I have is that we spent a couple of weeks trying to decide what to do. Should have just done it as soon as it became clear we couldn't continue the arrangement and needed to get rid if him. But DEFINITELY get a lawyer involved and do it 100% by the book.

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The comment above was not bigoted... expats are an business opportunity. That is why wisely, so many locals speak English. But, there are also many who learn how to "game" the system. Word of mouth spreads and when unchecked, gaming becomes more frequent. Word of mouth also spreads when the gamer is caught and stopped in their tracks. Gaming then becomes less attractive.

Countless times I have had chump change or inexpensive items stolen and the perpetrator running away with the change, rather than make 10x that amount in the next 2 hours + have a long term, good paying job. I had my gardener steal my weedo, lawnmower and chain saw. Yeah, yeah... my fault for tempting him by providing the tools to make his job easier and more productive (and loaning them on days off so he could make more money.) I just don't understand poverty.

I have even had people on this forum blast me for shoving my religion down other people's throats for suggesting the 10 Commandments are good rules that all civilized societies should live by... well, they are. Argue them with God, not me. You want to break any of them on my property, you need my permission first and are unlikely to get it.

Nip it in the bud. If they steal enough, they split it with the judge and you lose. I know. Been there done that... in the hundreds of thousands.

Nip it in the bud and handle it as the Mexicans do... when in Rome, you know.

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Sure, why would anyone be offended by someone accusing all Mexican workers of "lower end extortion"?

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I have even had people on this forum blast me for shoving my religion down other people's throats for suggesting the 10 Commandments are good rules that all civilized societies should live by... well, they are. Argue them with God, not me. You want to break any of them on my property, you need my permission first and are unlikely to get it.

Uhm, you have noticed that it's 2014, right?

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I have even had people on this forum blast me for shoving my religion down other people's throats for suggesting the 10 Commandments are good rules that all civilized societies should live by.

I really don't appreciate it when people try to shove their religion down my throat,but that's just me..

BTW,there were originally 15 commandments but Moses dropped one of the three stone tablets they were written on and it broke so we were left with only 10.

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Guest bennie2

aquaponicsman, well said. i have had 2 of the same workers for years (one maid), its slim pickings. expats are a target, yes (IMO) the extort is more the norm. my garden person ended up being someone who had an unrelated regular job, & was free after 2pm. (he didnt work for expats). he brought the machines when he could borrow them. otherwize he would just rake the leaves. later on he did other work for me. i had no idea of his skills. if i knew i would have saved much $, aggravation. after 2 years he did my roof, charged mexican price. (did a great job). we had a loose arrangement for the garden. i called when i needed him. except for the roof we never had a set price for the garden, i would pay him what ever i thought was fair. what was also great was that he liked to work late afternoons, & sundays. ran into him around 2 months ago, he has a small food business. now he is my occassional driver. he said "pay what you want, if not enough ill tell you". the last thing i would ever want is to be married to a worker, legally or mentally. my garden didnt always look stunning, as my worker sometimes get the machines. when he couldnt even come for the leaves, i used the gardener from the house next door. after he finished he would pickup some more $, rake for 2 hours. my maid has been w/me 6 years. after 4 years she did try some funny business. spoke w/spencer, now we are back on track. i suppose she has other clients to fool with. maybe im lucky, but i have fired people who were w/me steady for almost 2 years. (no problem). the rest were "try outs". im not looking to won a popularity contest, meet families or get hugs. nip in the bud is the best way.

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