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Oiler/Winn-Dixie Case

By surraen Jan 14, 2012 598 Words
Peter Oiler/Winn-Dixie
Peter Oiler’s termination from his job by the Winn-Dixie Corporation was an outright and blatant violation of his employee rights. No company or organization is allowed to discriminate against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation and they are most certainly not allowed to discriminate against an employee due to the way he/she decides to dress. This decision would be akin to firing a woman truck driver for wearing a flannel shirt and a pair of jeans while off-duty; while this would be unheard of, the decision to fire Oiler based on his choice of wardrobe while off the job is absurd and completely unfounded. Oiler had a spotless record during his numerous years working for Winn-Dixie; he was basically the perfect employee and to violate an individual’s employee rights and invade his privacy as the company did exhibits a degree of narrow-mindedness and bigotry which is reminiscent of the Dark Ages. It would be easier to understand this decision, if Oiler had been dressing this way on the job due to the fact that numerous organizations must enforce particular dress-codes however; even if this were the case, Oiler would have been given a warning (by most other companies) and offered the chance to “conform” to policies, but the decision to fire him based on his behavior off the job is a major violation of numerous federal and state laws as well as his personal rights. Organizations which feel as though they have the right to punish workers for off-the-job behaviors run the risk of not only being faced with numerous lawsuits and accusations of prejudice and discriminatory practices, they also face losing customers, business partners and stockholders. While there may be a number of individuals who agree with these actions it is more likely that there will be a greater number of individuals who do not agree and decide to cut their ties with organizations who favor such practices. It would be safe to assume that many businesses who were previously a part of the Winn-Dixie Empire (financial institutions, suppliers etc.) made the decision to no longer be affiliated with a company that would practice such unethical and immoral standards of business. The consequences of such actions have the propensity to ultimately destroy both past and future business relationships and to completely obliterate the potential success of any business or organization. Any business organization must have rules and regulations which must be adhered to by all employees. Additionally, businesses must have particular methods in place to discipline individuals who do not follow the rules. The “hot-stove” approach punishes all unacceptable behaviors with identical disciplinary actions whereas the “progressive” approach, reprimands individuals depending on the severity and/or the reoccurrence of actions and behaviors which they have previously been warned against. For instance; an organization which uses the “hot-stove” approach may immediately terminate the employment of a worker for being late; the “progressive” approach would initially be used to warn the employee that if the behavior continues harsher actions will be taken. In the Winn-Dixie/Oiler case the “hot-stove” approach of discipline was used. The company did not warn Oiler, or give him a chance to plead his case etc. instead; they terminated his employment with no questions asked. The downfall to this type of discipline method is that does not differentiate between good employees, such as Oiler, and bad employees; each individual is reprimanded with no consideration of how important they may be to the organization.

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