Article 9 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) states: “Disciplinary action may be imposed upon employees only for just cause.” What is “just cause”? In 1962, an arbitration case set the precedent for determining whether discipline is warranted. This case, “Enterprise Wire Co, 46LA362” established 7 tests or standards for “just cause” as follows:
- NOTICE – Does the employee know of the rule, was he forewarned or had knowledge of the rule and the consequences for violating such rule?
- REASONABLE RULE – Is the rule reasonably related to the efficient, orderly and safe operation of the employer’s business and is the performance expected by the employer such that the employer might properly expect such of the employees?
- INVESTIGATION – Did the employer try to determine if the employee id violate or disobey a rule before it administered discipline?
- FAIR INVESTIGATION – Was the investigation fair and objective?
- PROOF – Did the investigation prove the employee guilty of the offense?
- EQUAL TREATMENT – Are the rules applied equally to all employees?
- PENALTY – Was the penalty commensurate with the offense and the employee service with the employer?
To determine if discipline is justified, answer the seven question test above. If the tests are not met, there is a chance the discipline is unwarranted.