Tired of Voicemail? Try Email?


So what are the pros of e-mail?     Well, as you can see, there’s no room  for  “he-said-she-said” with an e-mail.   It’s clear exactly what type of leave  you need,  and  how much you need to  use.  This is especially important for  employees who have FMLA or  Maternity/Paternity leave-you want to be able to track exactly what type of leave and in what amounts you’ve used to prevent an accidental reduction in the hours available to you.   



 Did you know that the 2016   National Agreement provides for    e-mailing your manager to request   unscheduled sick Leave?   Per Article 34, Section 2B, you    are allowed to e-mail your manager    of your request or you may use    voicemail via phone.  There are some advantages and disadvantages   to using either method, but first,    let’s review what your message    needs to contain.  “In most cases, you must contact your supervisor as soon as possible, but in no event later than 2 hours after the start of their TOD."  You must request a particular type of leave (Sick, Annual, LWOP, TOA, Comp, Credit or what kind of FMLA). You also, must provide a phone number at which your manager can contact you if they need to.


       Whether you choose to use e-mail or leave a voicemail, you must be carful to supply all the necessary information, but you do not need to elaborate unnecessarily.  Your voicemail or e-mail may look   or sound like this:     “Hello, Sally Manager. This is Bob Employee. I am unable tocome in today due to illness and request to use eight hours of Sick Leave. If you are unable to grant my request or need to reach me, you can contact me at 603-111-2222. Thank you."


So what are the pros of e-mail?     Well, as you can see, there’s no room  for  “he-said-she-said” with an e-mail.   It’s clear exactly what type of leave  you need,  and  how much you need to  use.  This is especially important for  employees who have FMLA or  Maternity/Paternity leave-you want to be able to track exactly what type of leave and in what amounts you’ve used to prevent an accidental reduction in the hours available to you.    


Additionally, because e-mails are  automatically time-date stamped and a copy of the e-mail remains in your “sent” folder, you would be able to prove what you requested and when you requested it, should any issues arise. This also where the cons come in. Without any room to debate what was or wasn’t requested, you need to understand and articulate clearly when you’re engaging a particular type of leave- if you don’t say “FMLA LWOP”, for example, you may be forced to use regular sick or annual time.


Additionally, it’s always possible that your message to your manager could end up in their “Junk” folder, since it’s coming from an external e-mail address.  In order to be perfectly safe, it’s best to follow up with a voicemail, and state in the message, “This is a follow up to the e-mail I sent at 2:45 pm."     It’s important to all of us in Chapter 68 that our members understand their rights under the contract when it comes to using leave. If you have follow up questions or specific concerns with using or asking for any leave including; FMLA or Maternity / Paternity Leave, please stop by the  office or reach out to a Steward.


By, Devon Mercer-Defillippi