by Louis P. DiLorenzo, Esq., Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
Ask employers what their toughest challenge is, and they probably will mention discipline. It seems no one likes to play parent in the workplace. On the other hand, there’s no way to avoid it.
Consider, for example, one of the classic labor-law cases—In re Grief Brothers Cooperage Corporation and United Mine Workers of America—in which the parties had specified that the company had “just cause” for discipline but didn’t define the term. The arbitrator did, coming up with a famous list of “Seven Steps” to define the discipline process in the union environment. Those seven steps have become an informal test employers use to see if the discipline they are imposing is, in fact, appropriate—even outside the union environment.
The arbitrator in the 1964 decision asked seven questions and told the parties if the answer to any was “No,” then the employer probably hadn’t a...(register to read more)