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Unformatted text preview: a about Zihala's absence and her work performance
during the first week. Dr. Pirl concluded that Zihala should be discharged because her
work performance and demeanor in the laboratory were unacceptable. That same day, Dr.
Pirl drafted a discharge letter to Zihala indicating that she was discharged immediately
for failing to report to work and because she was dissatisfied with her current position.
Dr. Pirl twice revised the letter with the final version, dated December 22, 1993,
indicating that Zihala was discharged because she did not perform her duties properly and
because [*4] "her conduct was unprofessional and disruptive and [she] refused to follow
instructions." The letter did not provide when the discharge became effective. Dr. Pirl
was instructed not to send Zihala the letter until Personnel had ensured that all provisions
of the Personnel Code relative to a probationary employee had been satisfied.
On December 21, 1993, Zihala's mother phoned Dr. Linder, the Director of Laboratories,
and Pauline Edwards in Personnel and told them that Zihala had been hospitalized but
gave no details. The next day, Zihala's mother called Dr. Pirl and informed him that
Zihala was in the hospital for unknown reasons. That same day, Zihala's supervisors
completed a discharge evaluation detailing her poor work performance and behavior in
the laboratory. Zihala was released from the hospital one week later on December 29,
1993. On January 5, 1994, while allegedly recuperating at home, Zihala called Dr. Pirl
and Pauline Edwards and told them that she had been raped and had suffered a "nervous
breakdown." Dr. Pirl also spoke with Zihala on January 4 and 6 and informed her to
"keep in touch" and that she must have a physician's release to return to work. Dr. Pirl
apparently [*5] did not inform Zihala that she had been discharged. 184 On January 7, 1994, Yoshimura wrote Zihala informing her that the Department was
going to address her work performance at a pre-disciplinary meeting on January 11,
1994. At the meeting, Zihala was represented by the American Federation of...
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- Spring '08