The Case of Bradley EnnisThe Case of Bradley Ennis
The Ennis and All Saints’ Hospital case discusses the dismissal of Bradley Ennis from the hospital for excessive absenteeism (17.5 percent versus a hospital average of 7 percent). The grievant, Bradley Ennis, was employed as a trauma nurse from May 1, 1991 to December 3, 2008. For a 16 year period, up to January 2008, Mr. Ennis’ work performance was rated satisfactory (2 on a scale of 3) for most years and superior (3 on a scale of 3) for his last three years by his employer. In fact, during this 16 year period there were no complaints regarding the quality and accuracy of the employee’s work. As well, over the course of his employment, Mr. Ennis maintained his certification as a trauma specialist, a requirement of the trauma unit. In December 2007 Mr. Ennis’s five-year-old daughter died unexpectedly. After his daughter’s death, Mr. Ennis began to have attendance issues and was reprimanded on 3 separate occasions on January 27,2008, July 23, 2008, and October 3, 2008 for being absent from work without permission. Three warnings were issued; one verbal counseling and two written warnings. In December 3, 2008, Mr. Ennis was terminated by his employer. The incident of his daughter’s death led him to rely on sleeping pills to cope. However, this addiction has caused a drop in Mr. Ennis’ work performance. Before Mr. Ennis’s discharge, Ennis sought treatment for a drug and alcohol addiction and he is attempting to return to work through arbitration. Ennis’s addiction counselor, Dr. Cooper, claimed that Ennis has an 80 percent chance of remaining chemical-free and maintain an acceptable attendance as well as performance record after returning to work. Considering Ennis’s previous abnormally high absenteeism record and his three relapses after stopping his counseling, the management of the hospital should not grant Mr. Ennis an opportunity to return to work. The management has sufficient reasons to reject Ennis’s reinstatement. First, proof has to be made against Mr. Ennis showing evidence of his absenteeism. Secondly, the management must convince their opponents that the disciplinary action was justified. Proof of absenteeism wasn’t difficult to obtain, however; because the justifications of disciplinary action is debatable, management must show that the griever, Ennis, is culpable, or guilty. To show that Ennis is culpable, it is important that management provide evidence to prove Ennis was aware of his responsibilities as an employee, of the necessary precautions and steps required of him during the time period of accusation. Management must also prove that Ennis was capable of carrying out these tasks, and finally prove that he chose to do otherwise. Without all of these “elements of culpability”, management cannot prove Mr. Ennis was guilty. To prove Ennis was absent for 17.5%, nearly 10% more than the hospital usual, analysis was taken into the counseling sessions that he missed, as well as the relapses in May 2008, November 2008, and October 2009, to show Mr. Ennis’ lack of consistent attendance. This is paired with the fact that his absences were unaccounted for, which would include failing to call in sick. A large part of evidence to prove Ennis’ absenteeism is his most recent relapse occurred on October 25, 2009, which was only four months prior to the date set for arbitration. This showed a lack of enthusiasm for returning to work, despite the effort Dr. Cooper, his addiction counselor, had put forth stating that Ennis had an 80% chance of being sober. Eighty percent, however; is not an ideal number for Ennis, who will be handling the potentially lethal drugs, a risk too great for both the patients and Ennis himself. Also, despite the fact that there was another employee who had attained a 13% (about one eighth) absence, Ennis, who had a percentage nearly a fifth of his expected work hours, was deemed too inappropriate, especially for a position that other lives...
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