Consider the following case:
Joe is an employee in a fabrication plant. It operates three shifts, Monday through Friday. (Joe works the day shift.) One of the significant issues in recent months has been attendance. An increasingly large number of employees have either called in sick, particularly on Mondays and Fridays, or arrived frequently late for work. As a result and particularly because of production schedules, there have been rumblings that the company would have to develop a mandatory overtime policy in order to cover for missing staff.
In the short run, however, the company decided to provide increasing vigilance regarding the time and attendance policy. One of the employees with a large number of suspicious absences (90 per cent on weekend days) was Joe. One recent quarter he had called in sick on 5 Fridays and 1 Monday. (He wasnâ€™t otherwise absent.) He also was late 23 times for an average of 18 minutes. Initial discussions with Joe resulted in promises for improvement, but no improvement. According to progressive disciplinary policy, Joe first received a written reprimand and then (when attendance didnâ€™t improve) a 3-day suspension without pay. As part of the 3-day suspension Joe also received a final warning: If he were to be absent or late one more time within the next quarter, he would be fired. The notice made clear that there would be no additional right for him to appeal the matter as part of the companyâ€™s workplace dispute resolution procedures.
Last night (two weeks after the final notice) there was a snowstorm. The school system shut down for today, but most businesses remained open as did the fabrication plant. Joe called in early and told his supervisor that he couldnâ€™t be at work because his two grade school children were home and there was no one to take care of them. According to Joe, his wife was called into work early (she is lab assistant in a hospital) to cover for another person who also had to care for young children. The supervisor told Joe that he would need to find alternative arrangements for the children. The supervisor also said that if Joe wasnâ€™t at work by 10:00 a.m. he (the supervisor) would have HR fire Joe.
Joe responded, â€œYouâ€™re an ass. These are my children. Iâ€™m staying with them.â€
By Saturday at 3:00 p.m., write an initial post of at least 350 words with respect to the following:
You are the HR staff person responsible for disciplinary matters. The supervisor contacts you demanding that you begin paperwork to dismiss Joe. How will you respond to this request? In developing your paper, connect your response to the concepts of distributive and procedural justice. Please explain fully.
By Sunday respond to two of your fellow studentsâ€™ initial posts. In each case discuss whether these posts properly defined and applied the concepts of distributive and procedural justice.