Check your policy

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Read: Chapter 13 case 2: You Can’t Fire Me! Check Your Policy

Format Requirements: Each answer is to be clear and concise, and students will lose points for improper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Journal articles and books, if used, must be referenced according to APA style. You are to submit a file with a Microsoft word (.doc/.docx), rich text format (rtf), or a pdf file of your assignment.

Submission Requirements: Please answer the questions at the end of the case for this case study. Your answers must present a research-based rationale (citing outside sources) when appropriate. For other questions, you are to use your knowledge of other business areas, your creativity, and own experience to provide solutions, recommendations, scenarios, and/or justifications in your response. Cases are due Sundays at 9:00 PM ET.

From: Snell, S.A. & Morris, S.H. (2019). Managing Human Resources(18th ed.) (p. XX). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, INC.

Case Study 2

Case Study 2You Can’t Fire Me! Check Your Policy

Supervisors report that discharging an employee is one of the toughest tasks they perform as managers. Furthermore, termination for absenteeism can be particularly difficult due to the causes of absenteeism and, in some cases, the past work record of the employee. This case illustrates a typical absentee problem faced by management.

Hattie Mae was employed by Beach Electrical Systems for 9 years. For the first 6 years of her employment, she was considered a model employee. Hattie’s annual performance reviews were always above average or exceptional, and she was described by her managers as a loyal and dedicated employee. However, things changed rapidly in 2010 when Hattie became, as her current manager stated, “an absentee problem.”

According to HR department records, in 2014 and 2015 Hattie was absent 12 percent and 19 percent of the time, respectively. Her worst year was 2016, when she was absent 27.2 percent of the time. However, unlike other absent employees, Hattie was always absent because of genuine and verifiable illnesses or work-related accidents. Hattie’s supervisor had talked to her periodically about her attendance problem, but she was never given an official warning notice—oral or written—that she would be fired if her attendance record did not improve.

The incident that caused her termination occurred on Thursday, May 20, 2017. On that day her manager notified all department employees (eight in total) that they would need to work overtime on Saturday, May 22, 2017, to complete a critical order for a highly valued and important customer. All employees agreed to work on Saturday, except Hattie, who cited “personal reasons,” which she refused to disclose, for her refusal to work.

On Monday, May 24, 2017, her supervisor, with concurrence from the department manager, terminated her employment for “unsatisfactory attendance.” Hattie did not dispute the attendance record; however, she filed a grievance through the company’s alternative dispute resolution procedure alleging that management did not discharge her according to the organization’s published disciplinary policy. She pointed to the section in the policy manual that states, “Employees will be warned for absenteeism before they are terminated.” Hattie maintained that she was never officially warned as required. Management replied that Hattie was well aware of her absentee problem but that warning her would have served no purpose since she was unable to prevent her continued illnesses from occurring. Additionally, her refusal to work overtime on Saturday was a further indication of her lack of concern for her job or the welfare of the company.

Questions

1. What role, if any, should Hattie’s past work record play in this case? Explain your answer.

2. Does management have a right to know why employees refuse to work overtime? Why or why not?

3. Evaluate the arguments of Hattie Mae and management in this case.

4. If you were a member of the company’s peer-review complaint committee, how would you vote in this case? What facts would cause you to vote this way?

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