At the arbitration hearing, both parties were adamant in their positions. Nancy Huang, HR manager of Phoenix Semiconductor, argued that the grievant, Jesse Stansky, was justly terminated for arguing and hitting a coworker—a direct violation of company policy and the employee handbook. Stansky argued that he had been a good employee during his 10 years of employment.
The submission agreement governing the case read, “It is the employer’s position that just cause existed for the discharge of Mr. Jesse Stansky and the penalty was appropriate for the offense committed.” Additionally, the employer introduced into evidence the labor agreement, which defined just cause termination as follows:
Stansky was hired as a systems technician on November 20, 1998, a position he held until his termination on October 25, 2011. According to the testimony of Huang, Phoenix Semiconductor strived to maintain a positive and cordial work environment among its employees. Fighting on the job was strictly prohibited. Stansky’s performance evaluation showed him to be an average employee, although he had received several disciplinary warnings for poor attendance and one three-day suspension for a “systems control error.” Stansky was generally liked by his coworkers, and several testified on his behalf at the arbitration hearing.
The termination of Stansky concerned an altercation between himself and Gary Lindekin, another systems technician. According to witnesses to the incident, both Stansky and Lindekin became visibly upset over the correct way to calibrate a sensitive piece of production equipment. The argument—one witness called it no more than a heated disagreement—lasted approximately three minutes and concluded when Stansky was seen forcefully placing his hand on Lindekin’s shoulder. Lindekin took extreme exception to Stansky’s behavior and immediately reported the incident to management. After interviews with both Stansky and Lindekin and those who observed the incident, Huang, Samantha Lowry, the employee’s immediate supervisor, and Grant Ginn, department manager, decided that Stansky should be terminated for unprofessional conduct and violation of company policy.
Human Resource Strategies
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