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Graphics and Commercial Art Joan, an employee of Great American Market, was warned about her excessive absenteeism several times, both verbally and...

was the suspension fair?
Graphics and Commercial Art Joan, an employee of Great American Market, was warned about her excessive absenteeism several times, both verbally and in writing. The written warning included notice that "further violations will result in disciplinary actions," including suspension or discharge. A short time after the written warning was issued, Joan called work to say she was not going to be in because her babysitter had called in sick and she had to stay home and care for her young child. Joan's supervisor, Sylvia, told her that she had already exceeded the allowed number of absences and warned that if she did not report to work, she could be suspended. When Joan did not report for her shift, Sylvia suspended her for fifteen days. In a subsequent hearing, Joan argued that it was not her fault that the babysitter had canceled, and protested that she had no other choice but to stay home. Sylvia pointed out that Joan had not made a good faith effort to find an alternate babysitter, nor had she tried to swap shifts with a co-worker. Furthermore, Sylvia said that the lack of a babysitter was not a justifiable excuse for being absent. Questions: Was the suspension fair? Did Joan act responsibly? Should she be fired? Should the babysitter be fired? Was Sylvia fair in her actions? Is there ever a solution for working mothers? Should working fathers take turns staying home? Should Great American Market provide daycare?
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Case Study: Substance Abuse by Stephen Adams Graphics and Commercial Art Fred, a 17-year employee with Sam's Sauna, was fired for poor job performance and poor attendance, after accruing five disciplinary penalties within a 12-month period under the company's progressive disciplinary policy. A week later, Fred told his former supervisor that he had a substance abuse problem. Although there was no employee assistance program in place and the company had not been aware of Fred's condition, their personnel director assisted Fred in obtaining treatment by allowing him to continue receiving insurance benefits and approved his unemployment insurance claim. Fred subsequently requested reinstatement, maintaining that he had been rehabilitated since his discharge and was fully capable of being a productive employee. He pointed to a letter written by his treatment counselor, which said that his prognosis for leading a "clean, sober lifestyle" was a big incentive for him. Fred pleaded for another chance, arguing that his past problems resulted from drug addiction and that Sam's Saunas should have recognized and provided treatment for the problem. Sam's Saunas countered that Fred should have notified his supervisor of his drug problem, and that everything possible had been done to help him receive treatment. Moreover, the company stressed that the employee had been fired for poor performance and absenteeism. Use of the progressive discipline policy had been necessary because the employee had committed a string of offenses over the course of a year, including careless workmanship, distracting others, wasting time, and disregarding safety rules. Questions: Should Fred be reinstated? Was the company fair to Fred in helping him receive treatment? Did the personnel director behave ethically toward Fred? Did he act ethically for his company? Would it be fair to other employees to reinstate Fred?
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