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Managing Human Resources Bohlander  Snell  Sherman. Chapter 13 Employee Rights and Discipline. Learning Objectives. Explain the concepts of employment-at-will, wrongful discharge, implied contract, and constructive discharge. Identify the job expectancy rights of employees.

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Managing human resources bohlander snell sherman
ManagingHuman ResourcesBohlander Snell Sherman

Chapter 13

Employee Rights

and Discipline

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

  • Explain the concepts of employment-at-will, wrongful discharge, implied contract, and constructive discharge.

  • Identify the job expectancy rights of employees.

  • Explain the process of establishing disciplinary policies, including the proper implementation of organizational rules.

  • Discuss the meaning of discipline and how to investigate a disciplinary problem.

Learning objectives cont
Learning Objectives, cont.

  • Explain two approaches to disciplinary action.

  • Identify the different types of alternative dispute-resolution procedures.

  • Discuss the role of ethics in the management of human resources.

Employee rights topics
Employee Rights Topics

  • Wrongful discharge

  • Substance abuse and drug testing

  • Employee searches and surveillance

  • Plant closing notification

  • Access to employee personnel files

  • Smoking in the workplace

  • Employee conduct away from organization

Employee rights
Employee Rights

Guarantees of fair treatment from

employers, particularly regarding

an employee’s right to privacy


Failure to provide reasonable care where

such failure results in injury to consumers

or other employees

Employment at will principle
Employment-at-Will Principle

The right of an employer to fire an

employee without giving a reason

and the right of an employee to quit

when he or she chooses

Presentation slide 13 1 employment at will and wrongful discharge

Violation of Public Policy

Implied Contract

Implied Covenant

Presentation Slide 13-1Employment-at-Will and Wrongful Discharge

Exceptions to Employment at Will

Presentation slide 13 1 exceptions to employment at will doctrine
Presentation Slide 13-1Exceptions to Employment-at-Will Doctrine

  • Violations to public policy -- wrongful discharge for acts protected by law

  • Implied contract -- wrongful discharge contrary to employer oral or written promises

  • Implied covenant --wrongful discharge for a lack of fair dealing on part of employer

Implied contract

Guarded Conversations

State Termination Notice in Offers

Publish Employment-at- Will Statements

Get Signed Statements of Understanding

Implied Contract

Constructive discharge
Constructive Discharge

An employee voluntarily terminates his

or her employment because of harsh,

unreasonable employment conditions placed

on the individual by the employer

Presentation slide 13 2 privacy concerns
Presentation Slide 13-2Privacy Concerns

  • Substance Abuse and Drug Testing

  • Searches and Surveillance

  • Access to Personnel Files

  • E-mail and Voice Mail

  • Conduct Outside the Workplace

  • Genetic Testing

Employee Privacy vs Employer Obligations

Setting organizational rules

Publish Widely

Keep in Writing

Review Regularly

Be Reasonable

Explain Reasons

Be Timely

Get Signed Statements of Understanding

Setting Organizational Rules

Guidelines for

Smooth Implementation of Organizational Rules

Hot stove rule
Hot-Stove Rule

Rule of discipline that can be compared

with a hot stove in that it gives warning,

is effective immediately, is enforced consistently, and applies to all employees

in an impersonal and unbiased way


(1) Treatment that punishes; (2) orderly

behavior in an organizational setting;

or (3) training that molds and strengthens

desirable conduct—or corrects undesirable

conduct—and develops self-control

Progressive discipline
Progressive Discipline

Application of corrective measures

by increasing degrees

Positive or nonpunitive discipline
Positive, or Nonpunitive, Discipline

System of discipline that focuses

on the early correction of employee misconduct, with the employee

taking total responsibility

for correcting the problem

Positive discipline procedure
Positive Discipline Procedure

First Conference

(Oral Reminder)

Second Conference

(Written Reminder)

Decision-Making Leave/Decision Day




Recognition and Reinforcement


Presentation slide 13 5 disciplinary action for unsatisfactory performance
Presentation Slide 13-5Disciplinary Action for Unsatisfactory Performance

  • Do clear and objective performance standards exist?

  • Has employee received proper orientation and training?

  • Is the unsatisfactory performance caused by conditions beyond employees’ control?

  • Has employee been given adequate warning and time to improve performance?

  • Are the other employees meeting performance standards?

Considerations when discharging employees
Considerations When Discharging Employees

  • What is the employee’s length of service?

  • What is the employee’s previous service record?

  • Did employee receive warning and lesser penalties, i.e., progressive discipline?

  • Did employer use every means possible to avoid the discharge?

  • Are there any evidences of prejudice or bias toward employee?

Due process
Due Process

Employee’s right to present his or her

position during a disciplinary action

Employee rights due process
Employee Rights: Due Process





Right to Know

Right to Consistent Treatment

Right to Fair Discipline

Right to Appeal

Right to Progressive Discipline

Appealing disciplinary action
Appealing Disciplinary Action



Department Head





HR Department

Top Management

Alternative dispute resolution adr
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Term applied to different types

of employee complaint or

dispute-resolution procedures

Presentation slide 13 7 alternative dispute resolution procedures
Presentation Slide 13-7Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures

  • Step-Review Systems

  • Peer-Review Systems

  • Hearing Officer

  • Open-Door Policy

  • Ombudsman System

  • Arbitration

Step review system
Step-Review System

System for reviewing employee

complaints and disputes by successively

higher levels of management

Peer review system
Peer-Review System

System for reviewing employee complaints

that uses a group composed of equal numbers

of employee representatives and management

appointees. It functions as a jury since its

members weigh evidence, consider

arguments, and after deliberation vote

independently to render a final decision

Hearing officer
Hearing Officer

Person who holds a full-time position

with an organization but assumes a

neutral role when deciding cases between

the aggrieved employees and management

Open door policy
Open-Door Policy

Policy of settling grievances that

identifies various levels of management

above the immediate supervisor

for employee contact


Designated individual from whom

employees may seek counsel

for the resolution of their complaints


Set of standards of conduct and moral

judgments that help to determine

right and wrong behavior