Case Study: Employee Absence

Question 1

Please read and critically evaluate the case study below by using theoretical framework related to grievance and discipline in order to discuss a) whether the suspension was fair from the employer’s perspective? b) whether Joan had grounds to complain, from an employee’s perspective? (Minimum answer 15 lines, 10 points)

Case Study: Employee Absence

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 cancelled, 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.

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