All UFCW Local 1500 contracts guarantee that employees cannot be disciplined or discharged, except for "just cause." The Just Cause checklist below can help you determine whether your Employer had Just Cause for a disciplinary action. Answering "No" to any of the following questions normally means the Employer does not have just and proper cause. No matter what, you should ALWAYS contact your Union Representative to discuss any disciplinary action taken against you on the job. All of your Union Representatives are experienced and qualified to investigate and mitigate all job related issues. They will be happy to quickly assist you in any way that they can to help you find a positive resolution.
- Did the Employer Provide Forewarning?
- Was it a Reasonable Rule?
- Did the Employer Investigate?
- Is the Penalty Appropriate?
- Are All Employees Being Treated Equally?
- Was the Investigation Fair?
Did the Employer Provide Forewarning?
Did your employer let you know that there was a possibility or probability that disciplinary consequences that could result from your actions? The employer’s warning may be delivered via spoken word at the time of the incident, located in a printed policy in their employee handbook or posted somewhere in the building. An exception may be made for certain conduct (i.e., gross insubordination, coming to work under the influence, drinking alcohol or taking narcotics on the job, stealing company time or property, etc.) that is so serious that the member is expected to know it will be punishable should they conduct themselves in that way.
Was it a Reasonable Rule?
Was the employer's rule or managerial order reasonably related to (a) the orderly, efficient and safe operation of the company's business, and (b) the performance that the employer might properly expect of the employee?
Did the Employer Investigate?
Did the employer, before disciplining the employee, make an effort to find out whether the employee did, in fact, violate or disobey a rule or order of management? The investigation should normally be made before the decision to discipline is made. However, if the Employer believes immediate action is required, they could choose to suspend a member pending investigation with the understanding that the member will be reinstated and paid for time lost if there is no basis for the discipline.
Was the Investigation Fair?
Was the company's investigation conducted fairly and objectively? Your Union Representative is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all of the evidence was reviewed, all potential witnesses were interviewed and that any disciplinary action taken is in line with a reasonable set of standards based on their own past practice with other members, common industry standards and in accordance with all applicable laws.
Are All Employees Being Treated Equally?
Has the company applied its rules, orders and penalties evenhandedly and without discrimination to you or any other member? If your employer’s enforcement has been lax in the past, management cannot suddenly reverse its course and begin cracking down without first warning employees or the Union of its intent to change a practice or policy.
Is the Penalty Appropriate?
Was the degree of discipline reasonably related to: (a) the seriousness of the proven offense; and, (b) the record of the employee in his/her service with the company? If a member’s past record is significantly better than another, the company may impose less discipline for one member than another for a similar offense. All of your Union Representatives can and will help you get the answers you need in a circumstance of this nature to avoid any confusion.