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Repacordy, Inc. manufactures industrial containers. The heavy machinery on the

plant floor is so dangerous that it could maim or even kill inattentive or distracted employees. Robert has been employed by Repacordy for the past 2 years as a working supervisor, spending about 40% of his time operating the heavy machinery and the rest of his time closely supervising the hourly employees who work on that equipment. About a year before he was hired, Robert developed a severe degenerative disc disease that made it almost impossible for him to engage in even the most mundane of daily activities. After consultation with this doctor, he was prescribed morphine, which gave him significant relief. Although the literature that accompanies his medication states that he should not drive or operate machinery while under its influence, Robert did not disclose his condition or medication to Repacordy when he was hired. Nor has he complied with Repacordy employee handbook's requirement that employees notify the company of any medication that could affect their ability to safely do their work.

Although the morphine had been working pretty well, last month the pain started breaking through to the point that even Robert realized that he was too distracted to work safely. Robert decided to ask one of the hourly employees, Rick, for some Vicodin, which Robert knew he was taking. Rick reluctantly agreed. But, the following day, worried about the situation and regretting his decision, Rick alerted the plant manager, Ted, to what was going on. Ted immediately removed Robert from the plant floor. That afternoon Human Resources sent Robert for a drug test, which confirmed the presence of Vicodin and morphine in his system. When HR confronted Robert about taking medication that had not been prescribed for him and failing to disclose medication that could interfere with this work, Robert apologized, asked to be released from the handbook requirements, and tried to assure HR that he knew what he was doing. Unconvinced, HR suspended Robert without pay and asked him to provide information from his doctor about Robert's ability to safely do his job.

Although Robert initially agreed to have his doctor provide the information, the next day he changed his mind and told HR it would just be a waste of time. HR urged Robert to bring his doctor into the conversation, but Robert declined. Ted is asking that Robert be discharged for violating the terms of the handbook.

In light of what we learned in Lessons 05 and 07, please:

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