First Message: Work Place Privacy

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You have just been hired as the Vice President of Operations for a manufacturing company.

The President has informed you that various problems have arisen that need immediate attention.


First, IT has found that, at least, one person downloaded child pornography. They need to know what steps should be taken with regard to this problem. IT has also determined that there has been a large amount of downloads of other materials and that employees are playing on-line games as well as posting regularly on Face Book and other social media. 

Secondly, the Corporate Office has received a cease and desist letter from attorneys for Adobe, advising them that it has been determined that various licensed products have been illegally downloaded into the work computers. They want a list of the employees on whose computers the illegal downloads had occurred, as they are planning to go the United Sates Attorney in your area to determine whether criminal action is warranted.

Furthermore, the President states that employees, including managers, always seem to be on their cell phones.

Fnally, there has been a large amount of theft from the supply room, especially at the beginning and middle of each school year.

 
How do you handle such situatiions? Would there be any different approach taken if these activities occured in the public sector or be covered under a union contact?
 
Please use formal legal and/or professional support to sustain your analysis.

Socializing in the Work Place

You are the Personnel Director of a marketing company with 40 employees.

 It has been company policy for many years that the employees go out every so oftern to a local bar/restaurant to celebrate birhtdays and special events.  Many times the Company President gives a message or update on the company and sales. There are also occasional team building exercises. Food and alcohol are served and are paid for by the company.

 

Last week was the most recent of these events.  During the course of the evening, everyone has been drinking. At the end of the evening, the President gets in front of the group. She starsts off by saying that she wants to tell a joke that she had heard the prior night on Jimmy Kimmel. She starts off and says that it is a joke about blonde. She notes in passing that hopefully the joke does not offend her assistant, Shannon (who is blonde). She tells the joke quite poorly and everyone groans at the punch line.

 

Two days later Shannon comes to you quite upset. She has learned (and has even seen) postings on the Intranet, repeating variations of the proverbial dumb blonde joke, using her as the blonde, that start off bad, then nasty and now outright obscene.  She says that she is not only hurt but personally and professionally offended. She notes that her boyfriend has told her to talk to a lawyer since this is obviously sexual harassment and hostile work environment.

 

You do an investigation and find out that the IT people are the ones who posted the jokes. You call in the head of IT. She admits that she and her co-workers were just having a bit of fun. You tell her that she and they are being written up and some form of appropriate discipline will be imposted. Her response- Are you not going to do the same with the President?

 

How do you respond to all of these issues.

Discipline in the Work Place

You are the Vice President of Operations for a construction company.

You have hired two plus months ago a female administrative assistant, Brenda. Her job is to work with two engineers and two project managers. There is a three month probationary period with only accrued personal time off.


During the second week on her job she comes and tells you that her new boyfriend is undergoing emergency surgery the following day and has insisted that she be with him during the surgery and be in his room when he awakens from anesthesia. She told him that she would.  Accordingly, she tells you that she is taking that day off to honor his request. You reluctantly agreed to allow her to go but tell her that she will not be paid for the day. She accepts that.


One month later, she calls one of the engineers in a panicked voice. She tells her that while driving to work, she was forced off the road by a crazy speeder. The State Trooper who investigated the accident had advised her, she reports, that she is too traumatized to drive to work and that she should go home and rest. She says that she is taking FMLA time off. The engineer tells her to call you but she does not. The following day you call her into your office and tell her that she has no time to take off and again will not be paid for the day.  


Last week, she comes to you and says that she needs an advance on her pay. Due to her not being paid for work and her boyfriend being out of work due to his illness, she is short on the rent money. You talk to the owners, who say that for JUST this one time they will allow this to occur.


During that same meeting she tells you that her probationary period is coming to an end and that she would like to receive a large increase in salary as she is the “heart, soul and glue of her team.”


Yesterday, her team sent you a group Confidential Memo, stating that Brenda is causing problems due to absences, frequent time away from her desk (due to her having “Crohn’s Disease), taking cigarette breaks outside and talking on her cell phone while typing. They say that something must be done.


You have another problem child, Jackie. She has been with the firm for ten years. She is well liked by everyone and is a good worker. HOWEVER, she is a “singer” and goes to Open Mike nights at various clubs and bars each week. People always know when she has performed. She comes in the following day late, wearing dark glasses and speaking in a husky voice.


How do you handle both situations?

Would there be any difference if this occurred in the public sector rather than in the private sector or covered under a union contract?

Please use academic and/or professional support to sustain your analysis.

Marijuana in the Work Place

 I also remit a link to an article from The New York Times and the developing legal problems surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the work place

As more states head towards legalization, the issues will become more pressing.

/legal-use-of-marijuana-clashes-with-workplace-drug-testing.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&module=inside-nyt-region&region=inside-nyt-region&WT.nav=inside-nyt-region”>http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/us/legal-use-of-marijuana-clashes-with-workplace-drug-testing.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&module=inside-nyt-region&region=inside-nyt-region&WT.nav=inside-nyt-region

I remit an article about a decision from the CO Sureme Court on this issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/us/companies-can-fire-workers-for-marijuana-use-colorado-court-rules.html

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