SOLUTION: CSU Business Law Maria Gonzalez Case Discussion

1. What is the core issue in this case? (Hint: examine and compare whose rights are at
stake in this case). Explain why you chose this particular core issue.
2. Is the company’s drug policy instructive in handling this matter?
3. Should the job or position of the employee make a difference in the action that Global
may take?
4. What should Jerry McDow’s recommendation to Ann Jackson be about Maria
Gonzalez’s desire to return to work? (Does Global have enough information to make a
recommendation regarding whether Gonzalez can or cannot return to work?). Explain
the basis for your recommendation.
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NA0276
Maria Gonzalez
Karen E. Boroff, Seton Hall University
O
n the afternoon of Wednesday, May 7, Jerry McDow, the human resources
specialist for Global Communications, received another telephone call from
an agitated supervisor, Ann Jackson, who was in charge of one of Global’s
customer service centers in New Jersey. One of Jackson’s union-represented employees,
Maria Gonzalez, had just left a message for Jackson to say she was ready to return to
work the next day, May 8. Gonzalez had been absent from work since Monday, May
5, due to being hospitalized after a lurid incident involving a police raid. McDow and
Jackson now had to make a decision on how to handle Gonzalez’s expected return to
work the next day.
The Previous Day: McDow’s First Conversation with Jackson
On Tuesday, May 6, McDow was in his office early, as was his practice. Once settled at
his desk, he began to read over the day’s newspaper, looked over his mail, and otherwise
got ready for the day. As he read Tuesday’s paper, a headline with an Associated Press
dateline of May 5 caught his eye—“School Teacher and Professional Athlete Arrested
in Guns, Drug and Porn Raid.” As he scanned the article (Exhibit 1), he read that
there was a drug bust in Englewood, New Jersey in the early morning of Sunday,
May 4.1 When authorities made the arrest, they found cash, a pistol, and an array of
drugs totaling $7,000. Among those arrested, some of whom were naked or nearly so,
was a professional athlete. McDow recognized the athlete’s name. Police also found
a woman, unconscious and close to dying, who was rushed to the nearby hospital.
There was also a movie camera that contained no film, and the county prosecutor
hypothesized that perhaps the people were planning to make a pornographic film. The
initial arrest led to others being arrested in other locations and drugs with a value of
$300,000 were seized. McDow thought to himself, “What a mess,” flipped the page,
and went on to read other articles.
Later that day, in the afternoon, he got a panicked call from Ann Jackson.
“Jerry, did you see today’s newspaper?” Jackson asked.
“Yea,” replied McDow. “The Yankees are off to an OK start.”
Copyright © 2014 by the Case Research Journal and by Karen Boroff.
Maria Gonzalez
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“Forget the Yankees,” Jackson replied. There is an article about a drug bust in
Bergen County, New Jersey, in the city of Englewood. Some hot-shot pro athlete was
arrested.”
McDow responded, “I kinda remember the story—something about drugs and a
porn film.”
Jackson said, “That’s the story. Well, read it again. The woman who was arrested,
Yvonne Gonzalez, is one of my customer service representatives. I need to know what
to do. The whole office is talking about this.”
McDow grabbed a blank contact sheet, a document that he filled in at the very
beginning of the discussion of any personnel or employee relations issue where people
sought his advice. Completing the contact sheet was “a must” in the office, since these
sheets helped to memorialize events as issues unfolded and also aided in the continuity
of case management from one human resource specialist to the next. “Ann, let’s start
from the beginning,” McDow said. “Tell me what you know.”
Global Communications
Global Communications was a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company, providing an array
of communications solutions to customers, both residential and business, around
the world. The firm offered both equipment and connectivity to telecommunication
networks of every kind. It employed over 45,000 employees, and about 26,000 of
these were represented by one labor union, the Communications Workers of America
(CWA). The CWA represented the majority of employees in the U.S. telecommunications industry. These union-represented employees worked in a full spectrum of jobs,
with such job titles as telecommunications technicians, engineers, payroll clerks, data
clerks, administrative assistants, and customer service representatives.
Global was proud of its code of conduct, in effect since 1962. It established standards of behavior in honesty at work, in all its dimensions. Employees were constantly
reminded to treat the company’s money as their own when making purchases for the
company. Theft in all its many forms was not tolerated, including misuse of company
time. For example, one employee was fired for stealing $2.50 and another was dismissed for taking leftover gravel from a construction project back to his home. Managers were fired for drinking on the job. Falsifying company documents was another
offense that could result in immediate dismissal, and this included padding expense
vouchers. Each year, every manager had the responsibility to review the code of conduct with his or her subordinate team, whether that team consisted of lower level managers or unionized employees. Time would be set aside where the ranking manager
would go over the pamphlet, about ten pages, and this review would take about thirty
to forty-five minutes. Employees then signed off on a form that the code had been
reviewed with them. If the employee did not want to sign the form, then the manager
made a notation in the person’s personnel file that the annual code review took place.
The company’s culture was such that most managers believed that most employees
found the code’s high ideals were worthwhile. However, this annual review also proved
to be contentious. Some of the union employees, generally those with less seniority
than the “old timers” in the union leadership, felt that since Global had never negotiated with them over the code, the code was not contractual. Management countered
that it had the right to set company rules, and that the code was a set of them.
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Global’s head of human resources, Edward Fisher, who was three managerial levels
above McDow, had been in his position for many years. He held very strong beliefs
about personal responsibility, some rooted in the company’s code of conduct. He felt
that if an employee did not work, he or she should not get paid. Even for the unionrepresented employees, while the bargained-for medical benefits, vacation, and paid
holiday provisions were considered generous by industry standards, there was no paid
time off for sickness (except for disabilities) and employees could be docked if they
came to work late. In every cycle of labor negotiations, the CWA raised the issue of
paid-time off for sickness, but Global never conceded on that point. With Fisher as
head of human resources, the average annual absenteeism rate was about six days per
employee, a rate envied by most organizations. Fisher was convinced his stance on the
no-work/no-pay policy contributed significantly to this result.
The Customer Service Representative Position
Ann Jackson was a manager of one of the New Jersey customer service centers at
Global. Reporting to her were five first-line supervisors, who were not members of the
union but part of the management team. Reporting to these first-line supervisors were
customer service representatives (CSRs) represented by the CWA. Jackson’s customers were all business clients with large offices in northern New Jersey. These included
many firms that were household names—Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toys R Us, Dow
Jones, IBM, PepsiCo, Panasonic, Sony, and a host of pharmaceutical firms. Her supervisory teams were organized around industries and clients. So, as an example, automotive clients were clustered under the same supervisor, the pharmaceuticals under
another, and the finance firms under yet another. In this way, the entire sales team
could better anticipate the telecommunication needs of a particular industry. Jackson
and her management team could more easily train CSRs in the jargon of the industry
and a critical mass of knowledge within the team could be developed.
The CSR was the first point of contact for any customer. If customers had a billing
inquiry, their first call was to their CSR. If they wanted to expand their communications networks or change a service, the initial call would be made to the CSR. When
clients wanted to meet with their marketing team, the CSR would be the person who
would make those arrangements. If customers came to the customer service center,
the CSR would be the person who would greet the clients, escort them to the meeting
room, take their coats, and point out where the restrooms were. They would arrange
for coffee or other beverages and meals to be brought to the meeting. CSRs would
remain in the meeting room to take minutes of meetings. Typically, a CSR would
make calls to clients every other week, just to check on levels of service. These calls
sometimes unearthed new customer needs or identified service problems, which, in
turn, would then be referred either to the sales managers for new leads or to operations for repair. The CSR knew the clients’ installation locations and had access to the
kinds of equipment or networks customers used. They were one of the first to learn of
mergers, acquisitions, and office closings for their clients, many times even before the
clients’ own employees were made aware. If CSRs performed well and had the potential, they could be promoted to the position of CSR supervisor anywhere in Global;
Jackson herself started as a CSR. CSRs could also earn promotions to the ranks of sales
supervisor.
Maria Gonzalez
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CSRs worked a 37.5-hour work week, from Monday through Friday. However,
their start and end times could vary, from 8:00–9:00 a.m. to 5:00–6:00 p.m., respectively, so that the manager could appropriately staff the office for longer periods of
customer support.
Maria Gonzalez
Maria Gonzalez had been with Global Communications for seven years. She had been
hired directly into a CSR position. Prior to working for Global, she was a student at
one of the colleges in the area, but completed only one year of studies. In her annual
performance reviews, she had expressed to her boss that she hoped someday to earn a
college degree by taking advantage of Global’s college tuition assistance plan.
Gonzalez had satisfactory ratings in all her annual reviews. Like all CSRs, the collective bargaining agreement outlined her wages and these were based on a seniority
system. Over a six-year period, provided an employee had satisfactory performance
reviews, he/she would automatically progress up the wage progression chart for CSRs.
Gonzalez was now at the top of the scale. It was rare that employees did not progress
upward. Even employees with suspensions for performance moved along quite regularly. Managers tended not to want to withhold a wage increase. That was because the
process for these types of decisions was a complex union-management wage board
negotiation appeals procedure. Managers would instead counsel employees or give
warnings or suspensions for poor performance. The union could and did grieve these
as well, but managers seemed not to be as troubled about facing those grievances or
arbitrations. Gonzalez never had a performance warning or a suspension. She had been
counseled from time to time to limit her personal telephone conversations at work and
once had her pay docked for reporting to work late. She had never been on Jackson’s
promotable-to-management list—but not every CSR was on this list nor was it considered a performance “negative” if one were not on this list. There were other CSRs
in the office whose performance, based upon the annual performance reviews, was far
better than hers was. Nevertheless, overall, Jackson knew Gonzalez to be a satisfactory
employee in quality of work, quantity of work, knowledge of the job, cooperation, and
attendance, the five major dimensions of performance reviews.
Jackson observed that Gonzalez got along with her co-workers. She was considered
to be quite attractive and some of her fellow CSRs good-naturedly envied how stylishly she dressed—top designer fashions with coordinating shoes, handbags, and jewelry. When customers came to the office, she always made a professional appearance,
something that the sales managers appreciated. Gonzalez was also known to drive the
best cars. Since all CSRs knew the pay scale (it was published in the union contract),
some of her co-workers wondered aloud at times, “How did she do all this on a CSR
paycheck?”
The Events of May 4, 5, and 6
The drug arrests reported in the newspaper were made early Sunday morning on May
4; apparently, whatever happened in the apartment in Englewood began on Saturday
night. That Sunday, according to the news account, Yvonne Gonzalez, one of those
arrested, was taken to the hospital where she stayed overnight.
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On Monday morning, May 5, Gonzalez’s immediate supervisor, Helen Brackett,
found a voicemail message on her office phone from a person who said she was Maria
Gonzalez’s mother. The message said that Maria would not be in to work today; she
was sick. Brackett recorded the absence and then advised the rest of her CSRs so that
they could cover Gonzalez’s work. The next day, Tuesday, May 6, Gonzalez called in
before the work day began and Brackett took the call. Gonzalez said she was still feeling ill and would not be able to come to work. Brackett expressed her hope that she
would be getting better and wished her well. Because Gonzalez did not have an absenteeism problem, Brackett thought nothing more of the absence and simply recorded it
in her attendance record.
Later in the day on Tuesday, Brackett saw a group of her CSRs huddled around the
desk of one of them. Their voices were hushed but Brackett could also hear exclamations of, “Oh, My God,” and “I can’t believe this.” So, she went over to the desk to
see what was happening. Three of the CSRs became quiet. A fourth asked Brackett if
she had any more news about Maria Gonzalez. Brackett replied that Gonzalez needed
another sick day, and two of the CSRs laughed and another said, “She’s going to need
more than a few days.” Brackett asked, “What is so funny?” “Do you know what’s
wrong with her—is it serious?” No one said anything. Then one of them gave Brackett
a copy of a news story about a drug raid and the CSRs then all went back to their desks.
When Brackett first read the story, she was aghast about the raid, the drugs, and
the pornography. She was appalled by the near-death of the woman in the story, apparently induced from taking drugs and didn’t know how girls got themselves in such
awful situations. “Where was the girl’s mother?” she asked herself. One of the CSRs
called out to Brackett—“I didn’t know that Maria’s real name was Yvonne, did you?”
Another one said, “Yvonne is Maria’s real name; she uses Maria at work, but she uses
Yvonne for her second job.” One of the CSRs said to the others, “Shut up—you don’t
know anything.”
Brackett could not believe what she was hearing. She reread the news account and
wondered whether this Yvonne person in the article was really her employee, Maria
Gonzalez. She looked up Gonzalez’s personnel records, and, sure enough, her first
name was Yvonne and she did live in Leonia, just as the Yvonne in the news article did.
However, both the first and last names were pretty common, Brackett reasoned. Even
so, the way the CSRs were talking, Brackett felt that they probably knew that Maria
and Yvonne were one and the same.
Brackett knew the company rules on drug infractions and these were fairly serious. If employees were caught on company premises with drugs, that was typically
a two-week unpaid suspension with a final warning of dismissal; a repeat incident of
possession resulted in dismissal. If employees were found to be using or distributing
drugs on company premises, then that was an immediate dismissal. The company’s
distinction between possession, use, and distribution of drugs was patterned conceptually on the increased severity for drug possession, use, and distribution crimes in
the legal setting. Global’s drug rules and penalties withstood the union’s bringing the
matter before arbitrators to overturn the rules and their penalties. The arbitrators had
deemed the company’s rules reasonably related to the safe and efficient operation of the
job, and upheld Global’s policies. There were cases where, because of a lack of proof
and uneven treatment, Global had lost several on-the-job drug-related cases, but the
rules themselves had remained in place. Brackett immediately went to her boss, Ann
Jackson, to discuss the matter.
Maria Gonzalez
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Brackett brought Jackson up-to-date on the matter. She told Jackson that she,
Brackett, thought nothing of Gonzalez’s call-out for sickness on Monday morning.
Jackson asked Brackett if she had personally spoken to Gonzalez. Brackett said that
on Monday, she had not; Gonzalez’s call-out was made by her mother and was left on
voicemail. Brackett noted, “On Monday, if you believe this article, Maria was still in
the hospital.” Jackson replied that, technically, she was sick, so the call-out was not a
lie, but it certainly was a tad misleading. Brackett continued, “But today, I did speak to
Maria and she said she was still feeling ill and would not be in. I told her to get better.
I had no idea about this drug raid, though, and she made it seem like this was just a
flu or something.” “Well,” replied Jackson, “let us make a telephone call now to her to
see how she is doing.”
Jackson, using the speakerphone and with Brackett in the office, dialed Gonzalez
at her home. Gonzalez answered.
“Maria, this is Ann Jackson and Helen Brackett calling. How are you doing?”
Gonzalez replied, “I am still kind of weak, but getting better and hope to be at
work by the end of this week or early next week.”
Jackson continued. “Maria, I am reading a news article about a drug raid in Englewood, and it mentions a person called ‘Yvonne Gonzalez.’ Do you want to tell us
anything about that?”
Gonzalez responded, “This is all a big misunderstanding. I don’t really know what
happened. I was at this party—nothing really special. I think someone slipped some
drugs into my drink and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital. I had my
stomach pumped. The papers said I was naked, but I really don’t believe that. But I’m
getting back on my feet and will be back to work real soon.”
Jackson could think of nothing else to ask, expressed her hope for Gonzalez’s speedy
recovery, and said goodbye.
Consultation with Human Resources
After she concluded her telephone call with Gonzalez on Tuesday afternoon, Jackson
called McDow, the human resource specialist for the northeast region of Global. She,
like other managers, sought McDow’s advice and counsel on human resource personnel issues, whether these were union issues or ones involving managers. Jackson knew
that most people trusted his judgment but others felt that he was in the position
for so long that he was not current with the attitudes and work expectations of less
senior employees. As Jackson began her conversation with McDow, he began asking
her questions. He occasionally stopped her to clarify what Jackson was saying. Jackson referenced the article as she spoke with McDow; McDow, for his part, pulled his
discarded newspaper out of the recycle bin and reread the article. When he had read
the account earlier that day, it was just another problem in the city; but now he was
far more interested in it. McDow and Jackson agreed that, in all likelihood, Gonzalez
would, at a minimum, not be reporting for work tomorrow. This was good, since it
gave them a bit of time to consider what to do. Jackson asked that if, at some point,
Gonzalez was charged with a crime and unable to make bail, what would happen?
McDow replied that this could create a significant problem for Gonzalez, since she
then could not come to work.
They were both very concerned about the company’s image, given what was
described. “Good thing the paper did not report that Maria or Yvonne worked for
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Global,” McDow remarked to Jackson. Jackson agreed. Both were concerned about
Global’s customers, as well. Gonzalez had access to private information about customers and their telecommunications networks. She handled their bills and knew about
potential business expansion and mergers. McDow asked Jackson if the customers on
Gonzalez’s account knew her by Yvonne or Maria. Jackson told McDow that she did
not think anyone at work called her Yvonne and only a few people at work might have
known that Yvonne was her first name; Jackson did not think any of her customers
knew her name was Yvonne. “Heck,” said Jackson, “I did not know nor did Helen
Brackett. Helen would have been none the wiser except that a CSR mentioned that
Maria’s real name was Yvonne. Helen said that at least one CSR intimated that Maria
had a second job where she used the name Yvonne.” McDow asked about Gonzalez’s
work performance. Jackson said that she was a perfectly satisfactory employee and she
got along fine with her fellow workers. Her annual performance reviews were solid and
there were no attendance issues.
McDow told Jackson that he would try to get more information about the Maria/
Yvonne arrest and its implications for Gonzalez, assuming the newspaper account was
accurate. McDow would approach Global’s Security Department, to see what security
could learn from the arresting authorities. Jackson promised to keep McDow up-todate about Gonzalez’s readiness to return to work. If she did report out sick again,
Jackson would try to get from her additional information about her account of the
matter, especially her time line of Saturday evening/Sunday morning.
McDow Does Some Additional Investigation and Research
Near the end of the workday on Tuesday, McDow called Jack Corey in Global’s Security Department. Corey said he would call his contacts in the police department in
Bergen County who handled arrests in Englewood, NJ, to see what he could find out.
Given it was late in the day, Corey suspected that he would not be able to reach anyone, but would try.
McDow also looked over several of Global’s labor relations policies for on-the-job
drug possession, use, and distribution as well as policies for off-the-job misconduct.
These policies had been shaped by collective bargaining, grievances, and labor arbitrations (both ones that Global won and those it had lost). Global’s nationwide collective
bargaining agreement with the CWA specified that all discipline, from warnings to dismissals, had to meet the standard of “just cause.” This was true in New Jersey and in all
right-to-work and at-will employment states where Global operated. The specific contractual language read, “In dismissal, demotion or suspension cases, the arbitrator shall
determine whether the discipline was for just cause.” Under the contract, arbitrators
did not have the ability to reduce penalties or convert dismissals into long suspensions.
McDow pulled out his “just cause” job aid, a hand-out that he gave out as part
of the labor relations two-day training course he gave to managers (Exhibit 2), and
looked it over. Under the just cause standard, refined by both arbitration cases between
Global and the CWA as well as those reported elsewhere, Global was required to have
reasonable work rules that were clearly communicated, providing notice to employees
of the consequences for violating those, in order to meet the test of just cause. McDow
felt comfortable that Global’s rules on drugs at work were communicated annually and
people knew the consequences of possessing, using, or distributing drugs. Invoking just
cause required a full and impartial investigation of the incident, which demonstrated
Maria Gonzalez
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that the person did break a rule. Whatever penalties were meted out had to be consistently applied and the penalty had to “fit the crime.” McDow made a note to himself
to make sure this investigation was thorough and fair.
He looked over Global’s labor arbitration files for any off-the-job infractions cases.
The one case that involved off-the job misconduct that went to arbitration with the
CWA involved two employees who were caught fighting off-hours after the conclusion
of an adult-league basketball game where Global had sponsored a team. One employee
had drawn a knife against the other employee, who was much taller, and wounded the
bigger employee. The one who used the knife was dismissed. Global’s position had
been that the safety concerns of employees were paramount, since this employee had
wounded the second employee with a knife and then left him lying and bleeding in a
parking lot. Global’s concern was that fellow employees feared working with this person as a result of the incident. The second employee, the one who was wounded, was
disciplined with a three-week suspension for fighting. The employee did not grieve the
suspension, nor did the CWA pursue it on his behalf. In this one case, which eventually did go to arbitration, the arbitrator had ruled that Global’s concern for the safety
of its employees and for its reputation were reasonable factors to evaluate in deciding
whether off-the-job misconduct could be grounds for dismissing an employee for just
cause. Other than that, there were no other arbitration cases for off-the-job misconduct at Global.
Information from Corey
On Wednesday, May 7, Gonzalez left an early-morning voicemail that she would not
be reporting to work. Brackett had come to work early, hoping to be there in person
on the chance that Gonzalez called the office early, but Brackett was not there in time.
Meanwhile, Corey was successful in getting some information from police in Bergen County. One of the officers who was involved in the case told Corey that the newspaper account was accurate—the names of people who were arrested, the drugs that
were confiscated and their value, the guns found, and that Yvonne was unconscious
and near death. She was, the officer said, naked, but neither she nor others were filing sexual assault charges at this time. Gonzalez’s attending physicians reported to the
police no physical signs of sexual assault. The doctors did find a large quantity of drugs
when they pumped her stomach, but what these were and how these drugs got there,
the police were not saying. Gonzalez was arrested for possession of cocaine, as were all
the others who were in the apartment at the time of the raid. One of the arresting police
officers thought this was, in part, a bachelor party “gone bad.” The professional athlete
involved was scheduled to be married in June. He was released on a $2,000 bond.
Corey also learned that all who were arrested were out on bail, but the bail amounts
varied, according to the charges in the arrest. Yvonne Gonzalez’s bail was set at $2,000.
The officer also told Corey that this particular apartment was under police surveillance for some time, for suspected drug trafficking. The person with whom Corey was
speaking also said that the police officers on the scene did not know what happened
to the film or even if there was any film in the movie camera. The Grand Jury would
be meeting to hear all the arrest claims in a week or so—maybe three weeks—and the
prosecution would go from there. Corey asked the official whether this could be a
simple matter of Gonzalez being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The detective
replied that this was an active case and nothing more could be said, except that Yvonne
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Gonzalez had hired a lawyer and that she was a familiar face at this apartment, from
the police surveillance that had been ongoing. Corey persisted. “Is Yvonne Gonzalez
involved in the drug trafficking ring or some gun gang?” to which the detective replied,
“I’ve told you everything I can say; this is an active case and we are dealing with some
serious issues. The arrested folks are not talking yet, as they all try to make their best
deals with the prosecutor.”
Corey updated McDow on the information from the police. On the face of it, it
appeared that Gonzalez had not lied, but seemed to be minimizing the seriousness
of the incident or at least was trying to say as little as possible about it. According to
Corey’s contact, it did appear that Gonzalez had been to this apartment before. Corey
thought this did not look good for her and said so to McDow. In any case, the grand
jury would be hearing the cases in two or three weeks.
McDow and Jackson Confer Again
McDow began to mull things over in his mind. “We are not dealing with fighting on
the job, here, so that older arbitration case is not instructive. But the matter about
other employees who may not want to work with her is something to consider.” He
started to list what he might be able to do here. “I suppose we could just let her come
back to work and see what happens. But, I don’t think Fisher (the VP of Human
Resources) would think favorably about Gonzalez’s situation, however it came about.
He’s too ‘old school’ for these kinds of things. He’d probably support our firing her
right away. Fisher certainly would not support paying her for any of her absences,
given his strong stance on “no work/no pay.” McDow realized that, “if Gonzalez is
fired, the CWA will probably grieve the decision. So I have to be careful to make sure
our handling of the situation is rock-solid, with little exposure to losing the grievance,
or, if it comes to that, the arbitration case.” McDow continued his personal debate. “I
wonder if a warning or suspension is an option—I don’t really think so, though, since
it seems foolish to warn someone, ‘Don’t do these kinds of things during your personal
time,’ since no company should be telling people how to spend their own time. We
only discipline to rehabilitate on-the-job behavior.”
McDow was about to call Jackson and bring her up to speed on his conversation
with Corey and to go over his research when Jackson’s call to him came in. Jackson
was newly agitated—Gonzalez had just called again and left word that she was feeling better and would be returning to work the next day, Thursday. Gonzalez’s union
steward also called and spoke to Brackett. The union representative told Brackett that
she hoped that “management would butt out of Maria’s personal life” and wanted
assurances that there would be no problem with Gonzalez’s returning to work. Jackson
asked McDow what would be the best decision to make on how to handle Gonzalez’s
return to work.
Maria Gonzalez
9
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Exhibit 1: The Newspaper Article
School Teacher and Professional Athlete Arrested in
Guns, Drug, and Porn Raid
Tuesday, May 6
Hackensack, May 5 (AP)—A professional athlete,
Lyon Hawkes, was among those arrested on
cocaine charges after Bergen County authorities
interrupted what appeared to be the filming of a
pornographic movie at an apartment in Englewood, officials said today.
In the raid early yesterday, authorities also
found a woman was “very close to dying,” County
Prosecutor Michael Norburth said.
The woman, identified as Yvonne Gonzalez of
Leonia, had apparently suffered a drug overdose
and was taken to Bergen County Hospital. Ms.
Gonzalez, who was charged with possession of
cocaine, was released from the hospital today.
Investigators found eight ounces of cocaine,
a pistol and $7,000 in cash at the apartment,
where the athlete, 26 years old, and several other
persons were found “wholly or completely naked”
with a movie camera that contained no film, Mr.
Norburth said.
Newark Teacher Arrested
David Alongo, 31, a Newark high school teacher,
was arrested later at his home here after authorities discovered more than 3,000 amphetamines
and barbiturates allegedly in his possession. He
was charged with conspiring with Anthony Ditalia, 21, of West Orange, Victor Frascino, 30, of
Bloomfield, and Paul Taglio of Warren Township
in the operation of the alleged ring, the prosecutor said.
“They were either in the process of making a
pornographic film or pretending to shoot a sexual
scene,” Mr. Norburth said. “The men were in
a state of panic because of the condition of the
woman.”
Mr. Frascino was arrested at his home on
charges that he sold two ounces of cocaine and
Mr. Taglio and Rita Madden were arrested Saturday in Warren Township, Mr. Norburth said.
Authorities said they found two rifles and two
shotguns in the Warren Township home.
According to Mr. Norburth, a total of
$300,000 worth of cocaine and an electronic scale
used to measure the drug were seized.
Also arrested in Englewood on charges of
possession of drugs with intent to distribute them
were Lonnie Stuart, 24, of Dumont, Leroy Miner,
26, of Palisades Park, Ted Pine, 28, of Newark,
Jamel Terry, 37, of Chicago, Matt Jankowicz, 26,
of Lyndhust, and Jack Rodino, 27, of Rutherford.
10
Case Research Journal • Volume 34 • Issue 1 • Winter 2014
This document is authorized for use only by Turki Haidar in Law for the Entrepreneur Spring 2022 taught by Sona Gala, Loyola Marymount University from Jan 2022 to Jul 2022.
For the exclusive use of T. Haidar, 2022.
Exhibit 2: Just Cause Job Aid
The Seven Tests of Just Cause
Developed by Arbitrator Carroll R. Daugherty
Enterprise Wire Co. and Enterprise Independent Union (46 LA 359, 1966)
The questions posed here are ones that will help you determine if a manager exercised his/her
managerial rights appropriately in the administration of discipline. In other words, was the person
disciplined with just cause or did the manager act in an arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, or
discriminatory way? If a person can answer “NO” to even one of the questions below, then that
decreases the likelihood that the discipline meets the standard of “just cause.”
1.
Did the company give the employee forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible or probably disciplinary consequences of the employee’s conduct?
Rules must be
established and
communicated!
2.
Employees know
the consequences
of rule violations.
Was the company’s rule or managerial order reasonably related to the orderly, efficient, and
safe operation of the company’s business?
Work now, grieve later, except
for the safety/integrity
exceptions; employee must
justify disobedience.
3.
Did the company, before administering discipline to an employee, make an effort to discover
whether the employee did, in fact, violate or disobey a rule, or order of management?
Investigations must occur before discipline is
meted. It is reasonable for an employee to offer an
explanation for his/her behavior. It is acceptable
to suspend an employee while an investigation is
happening, but this is an investigatory suspension.
If no error is found, pay for time lost is restored.
The investigatory suspension could convert to a
disciplinary suspension.
Maria Gonzalez
11
This document is authorized for use only by Turki Haidar in Law for the Entrepreneur Spring 2022 taught by Sona Gala, Loyola Marymount University from Jan 2022 to Jul 2022.
For the exclusive use of T. Haidar, 2022.
Exhibit 2: continued
4.
Was the company’s investigation conducted fairly and objectively?
Manager may be investigator and judge
but should not also be the witness.
Credibility may be an issue if there are
no witnesses, so multiple investigators
may help test credibility.
5.
At the investigation, did the investigator obtain substantial evidence or proof that the
employee was guilty as charged?
Evidence must be substantial and
not flimsy. Managers should seek
out witnesses and evidence.
6.
Has the company applied its rules, orders, and penalties evenhandedly and without
discrimination to all employees?
Disparate treatment may cause a penalty to be
reduced or set aside. If rules were poorly enforced
or the company was lax in applying these,
management must inform employees of renewed
intent to enforce rules going forward.
12
Case Research Journal • Volume 34 • Issue 1 • Winter 2014
This document is authorized for use only by Turki Haidar in Law for the Entrepreneur Spring 2022 taught by Sona Gala, Loyola Marymount University from Jan 2022 to Jul 2022.
For the exclusive use of T. Haidar, 2022.
Exhibit 2: continued
7.
Was the degree of discipline administered by the company in a particular case reasonably related to (a) the seriousness of the employee’s proven offense and (b) the
record of the employee in his service with the company?
Does the penalty fit the crime?
Repeated violations of smaller rules
with disciplinary penalties may,
nonetheless, warrant a stiffer penalty.
Note
1. This case is based on real events and real organizations. Names and other identifying information have been changed to protect confidentiality. An earlier
version of this case was presented at the North American Case Research Association Annual Meeting in October 2011. The author is appreciative of the
valuable suggestions made by Debra Ettington and the anonymous reviewers
at the Case Research Journal. The author thanks Seton Hall University for its
support of the author’s sabbatical, when she began the initial work on this case.
The author also appreciates the support extended by the United States Military
Academy when she was a visiting professor there, support which also helped to
advance this manuscript.
Maria Gonzalez
13
This document is authorized for use only by Turki Haidar in Law for the Entrepreneur Spring 2022 taught by Sona Gala, Loyola Marymount University from Jan 2022 to Jul 2022.

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