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    Human Resource Issues

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    "Email Problems at CarLis"

    After you put the report about Paul Hewitt and Wally Haskell from Legal down on your desk, you paused to reflect on how all this had come about. At this point, the paperwork concerning this personnel action was taking a couple of hours a day of your time. And it wasn't like you didn't have other irons in the fire! What had happened?

    A month ago, while scanning the company's e-mail printout, Paul Hewitt intercepted and read the latest edition of the company's underground newsletter, "Forbidden Issues." His blood boiling, he immediately got on the horn and demanded that Wally Haskell, the newsletter's editor and creator, come down to his office.
    "You wanted to see me?" Haskell asked.
    "I read the latest issue of your newsletter," Hewitt began. "And I don't appreciate your attempt at humor."
    "Lighten up, Paul," Haskell responded. "The newsletter is supposed to poke fun at company matters."
    "The newsletter is offensive," Hewitt replied flatly.
    "Last year I had to talk to you about that story that ridiculed minorities," Hewitt reminded him. "This time, you not only slammed gays, you took potshots at the company's diversity program."
    "But I -" Haskell started before being interrupted.
    "No buts," Hewitt said emphatically. " You have to stop running these inappropriate articles. Got it?"
    "Got it," Haskell agreed reluctantly. The action ended at this.

    A few weeks later, Hewitt caught Haskell red-handed abusing the company's e-mail system for the second time in a month. The first time, he had said something to him to the effect that he had about had it with this type of behavior, but he had not formalized it. This time, he walked up behind his subordinate and caught a glimpse of his computer screen, which contained the horse racing results from the night before.
    "Just what do you think you're doing? Hewitt asked, startling Haskell.
    "Uh, nothing, " Haskell responded, exiting the screen with the touch of a button. " I just had some personal business to attend to."
    "I know what you were doing." Hewitt said. "You were posting last night's racing results over the company's e-mail system. I thought I warned you to stop abusing your e-mail privileges."
    "You told me to stop writing inappropriate articles in my newsletter," Haskell said, pleading innocence. "I didn't know that included the racing results."
    "I'm warning you. Stop abusing the e-mail system!" Hewitt concluded.

    A week later, suspicious that Haskell would not heed the most recent warning, Hewitt conducted a standard e-mail review for the most recent two-week period. Sure enough, Haskell had ignored the order and continued to send the race results. As a matter of fact, less than half of Haskell's messages were business related; the rest were personal.

    At this time, Hewitt reviewed the company policy concerning this issue. It stated "progressive discipline is our goal, but need not always be followed in actions serious enough to warrant immediate discharge."

    Tired of Haskell's shenanigans, Hewitt called him into his office and fired him on the spot, citing company policy. You are the HR Manager here at CarLis. Neither of the parties had told you anything about what was going on until after Paul had fired Wally. You had written the disciplinary policy however, and you are quite proud of it.

    Now that you know about the termination, what will you tell Paul and Wally?

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    Solution Preview

    Problem: Paul Hewitt had by passed the disciplinary policy and had taken action against Wally Haskell by firing him for insubordination, misuse of the company e-mail system and ignoring warnings from Hewitt.

    The causes of this situation were that Hewitt had caught Haskell publishing an underground newspaper that he found derogatory to the company. He warned Haskell about the matter. Then he caught Haskell using the company e-mail system to get horse-racing results. Again Hewitt warned him. Then Hewitt asked for the e-mail report, found that his warnings had been disregarded and so he fired Haskell.
    The main issue was that the disciplinary system that had been set up by you the HR Manager had been disregarded and you had been intimated of the firing after the deed had been done.
    The issue is that the company procedures that need to be followed ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution gives you a detailed discussion on Human Resource Issues