Case Study

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Larry Hansen entered the employee's locker room prior to the starting time for his second shift at the northern Ohio plant of XYZ manufacturing Co. He saw about a dozen of his co-workers’ just finishing the day shift. It seemed like an informal meeting was being held, and emotions went volatile. John Adams, the union steward, was trying to respond to complaints from several of the workers. Hansen took a seat nearby where he could listen to the discussion and get changed for his shift. The gist of the discussion centred on an episode early in the day shift. Louis Brockington, a young Journeyman machinist, had been fired by company because he had been caught smoking a marijuana cigarette during a break from his work. "Brock" was being paid dared "on the clock"— as well as being inside the factory. Because this was an obvious violation of the company "drug-free" and "no smoking" policy for all employees he had been immediately dismissed. He was even forced to leave the plant with his street clothes and personal items in a bag packed by management. He was not even given the opportunity to be sure all personal items from his locker were included. Management informed union representatives of their action almost immediately and assured them that everything found in the locker belonging to Brockington was put into the bag he was given except for a small plastic bag. Which had been stuffed into the toe of Brock's street shoes the bag contained about half an ounce of the same substance Brockington had been found smoking. Management kept this item as "evidence" in case the union decided to formally protest Brock's rapid dismissal. Many of the workers argued that management had violated Brockington's privacy by illegally searching a locker without his permission and asked what was to prevent them from doing this to anyone working in the plant Management would never think of searching the private areas of a manager's...
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