Joining unions is advantageous to the workers as it protects them against unjust and unfair disciplinary actions. There is a weapon which in a short sentence is stating that employees will only be discharged or disciplined for just and fair causes. Workers who have not joined unions are out of bound. This gives the human resource managers in the unionized facilities a greater responsibility to be keen when disciplining workers. There exist seven tests which managers in unionized organizations must use to determine whether the cause is just before firing or disciplining members (Wire, 1966).
One of the questions managers should ask themselves before any action is whether the worker was warned before the penalty for his behavior. It is expected that every employee is to be warned in printed or oral manner after realization of unbecoming behaviors. This will give him or her a chance to change his behavior if he or she has the will to continue working. However, this test has some exceptions. Serious offenses are reciprocated with immediate discipline without any prior warning. Any misconduct which can bring direct loss to the company is taken as being defiant and requires abrupt discipline. Frank had lots of mistakes. He required knowing which products to accept and put in the box, and which to reject. This would cause great harm to the company at large. He was not warned, but disciplined abruptly. This requires the human resource manager to intervene and investigate further (Wire, 1966).
Secondly, bosses should consider, whether the employee’s misconduct is really related to efficient operations or not. The employer’s managerial order or rule must be reasonably correlated to efficient, safe operation and orderliness of the business. Significant disciplinary deed is acceptable only if the violated rule is unquestionable and directly related to the business. Frank mixed good and faulty products in the boxes. In fact, six out of eight boxes which were checked had in them faulty parts. This was a misconduct that directly related to the business and therefore, is unquestionable. The worker deserved a punishment (Wire, 1966).
The third test necessitates thorough investigation before disciplining the employee
Proper investigation should be done before making the final decision of disciplining workers. Competent evidence that the employee violated a specific rule is needed. It is advisable to suspend the employee to allow for proper investigation, rather than firing him of her immediately. This reduces the costs which would be incurred if the employee is found innocent after investigation, since the time lost must be compensated. Frank was directly caught by the supervisor who came in at the middle of the night and checked his boxes. Unfortunately, six out of eight boxes had faulty parts inside. Frank had disobeyed the rules by mixing faulty products with fine products. Disciplinary action was therefore fair (Wire, 1966).
Employer’s investigation must be conducted objectively and fairly. This means that suspected workers should be given a chance to explain reasons for the misconduct. The Superintendent terminated Frank’s employment, and walked him out of the door without giving him a chance to defend his action. This action calls for Human Resource manager to intervene and give Frank a chance to explain and justify his actions.
Investigations must produce substantial proof or evidence of guilt
The boss has to proof that the worker is guilty. Decisions made in a workplace might be questioned later in the court. Frank’s case had direct proof of fire since he was specifically caught by the supervisor.
Employees should be treated equally irrespective of their age, gender, color, sex, religion or origin. Penalties should be applied to all workers without singling out some of them. Managers are expected to apply penalties even-handed without any discrimination. It is important for the Human Resource manager to examine whether the supervisor checked other employees’ boxes. Frank can complain if the supervisor checked his work only leaving out the rest. If it is the case, the aspects of discrimination show up.
The penalty administered should be convincingly related to the offense committed as well as the employee’s past records. The discipline action applied to the crime should be realistic. Less serious offenses should not lead to firing (Wire, 1966). The worker’s past records should not be ignored as they reflect how often the worker misbehaves. The Superintendent did not check Frank’s past records. Human resource manager requires checking this and comparing Frank’s crime with other crimes in the business.