Human Resources News & Insights

Lighter Side: Government worker reprimanded for passing gas

Let’s hope you never have to discipline an employee with a problem this pungent.

A Social Security administration official was formally reprimanded recently for “passing gas and releasing an unpleasant odor” at work.

The five-page official reprimand, which is available in full on The Smoking Gun, details the department’s repeated attempts to have the 38-year-old employee stop, uh, farting in the office.

First, when the issue came to the attention of the department, the company put the worker in touch with an Employee Assistance Program to determine if there was a medical condition that was causing his flatulence and, subsequently, causing people to not want to work with the employee.

Two months later, the staff member’s manager was forced to ask the smelly employee to make it to the bathroom before “releasing the awful and unpleasant odor” and refused to allow the worker to turn on his fan when he passed gas because it would “cause the smell to spread and worsen the air quality in the module.”

Another month passed, and the deputy division director confronted the employee and asked him to see a doctor. Still the flatulence apparently still did not stop.

At this point, the employee’s gas passing was so bad that his or her co-workers began formally logging dates and times during which he farted, eventually amounting to 60 times over a three-month period.

As a last resort, the employee’s manager decided to formally reprimand him, noting that his conduct was “discourteous, disrespectful and entirely inappropriate.”

The letter went on to note that if the worker continues his “misconduct,” he will be disciplined further, up to and including being terminated.

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