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Employee Suspended for Two Weeks for Excessive Lateness

In your position as leader of the HR team, the following problem has been referred to you:

You have received a grievance from the union citing a disciplinary case that has taken place. Specifically, an employee in the manufacturing department has been suspended without pay for two weeks for excessive lateness. The union alleges that a two week suspension is excessive.

Known Facts:

1. The employee has been with the company for 15 years;

2. His record has been stellar until the beginning of 2013;

3. Since January 2013, however, he has been late a dozen times;

4. His work has remained adequate;

5. His evaluations have consistently rated him as "an average employee";

6. There is an Employee Handbook which addresses lateness;

7. This individual's supervisor (the person who suspended him) is strictly a "by the book" leader;

8. The supervisor is Hispanic;

9. The employee is Black and works from a wheelchair as he lost his legs in Operation Desert Storm;

10. The employee has a wife and three children.

Question:

1. How will you handle this situation? That is, provide specifics and address any related issues that could result from your action/decision

Solution Preview

There are several issues to consider in this scenario. Let's briefly discuss each fact.

1. The employee has been with the company for 15 years. -- This is a managerial (not legal) issue to consider in the disciplinary action. What this fact tells us is that this is not a probationary employee, and that our veteran employee has been coming into work late. Oftentimes, management will take the number of years of service into consideration. Because the employee is a veteran employee, the disciplinary action may be reduced in certain cases, at management's discretion.

2. His record has been stellar until the beginning of 2013; -- This is another managerial consideration and also an ethical consideration. Because the employee has a clean work record, leniency is oftentimes given in the case of a first disciplinary action.

3. Since January 2013, however, he has been late a dozen times; -- This is our basis for the disciplinary action and the specific point that should ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses each of the ten key facts present in this case. The managerial, ethical and legal aspects of the human resource issues involved are also discussed.

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