Human Resource Management & Law
Dec 12, 2012
Discipline and Discharge
In the case of Val-Tech’s termination of Susan, a brand new employee with numerous absences, the employer exercised their right to let her go. According to the company she had received several warnings about being tardy, talking on the phone and accountability issues. Susan was fired during her three month probationary period; the company handbook stated that any employee could be terminated with or without reason, which she did sign. She had only been employed for approximately 41 days, in which she was considered absent for 9 of these. It is difficult to state for a fact if she was or wasn’t either verbally counseled about her lack of focus, her inappropriate attire, and her excessive phone conversations at work, because there is no evidence to show that she was counseled either in writing or through some type of recording, other than the file for dismissal. It is possible that Val-Tech has an “at will employment” contract, agreement or policy that they elected to exercise, Susan however could have a fighting chance in court if the company does not have all their legal ducks in a row.
“Employment At Will” is when a company does not offer tenured or guaranteed employment and either the company or employee can end employment at any time. This type of employment relationship may exist regardless of any other written policies or statements contained in their handbook or other company documents, or other verbal statements to the contrary. Val-Tech may have had this policy in place, but regardless they terminated Susan within her three month probationary period, which was in their right to do. A company is in no way obligated to follow any type of progressive discipline procedures, especially in an at will employment. However to document or record counseling sessions that may be needed if litigation should arise is a...
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