Answer: Rebecca, SPHR, one of our HR Pros says…
I am happy to see you want to be consistent in your practices. And you are correct: in most situations, consistency is very important. However, you minimize risk by having a solid, defensible, business-related reason for granting a request in one case but not in another.
If you believe, based on the employee’s performance, that she could not satisfactorily complete the essential functions of the job with part-time hours, you could deny the request based on performance. Just be sure that you have documented the performance concerns and that you can reasonably explain why part-time hours would worsen performance. You will also want to be certain that the employee whose request was granted does not have any similar performance issues.
A final note: if the underperforming employee were to improve her performance in the future, it would be in your best interest to re-review her request.
Rebecca has a diverse background in Human Resources and Training Management from the temporary staffing and insurance industries. She has served in a variety of HR management positions and enjoys translating complex regulatory language into “real world” scenarios, allowing her clients to quickly utilize the content in their daily activities.