Disciplinary Action

Maint Wrk employee with two years of service was arrested at 7:30 pm - off duty still in company uniform. This ee was arrested for speeding, dui (2nd offense), found four types of class 3 & 4 drugs (misdemeanor) and an open container. Spent the day in jail, but called in sick and used sick leave. Past two years perf eval scores are the second lowest rating in the division.

In the absence of a written policy for this specific incident, I seek any comments as to the level of discipline we should consider (i.e., immediate dismissal, leave with pay/benefits, leave w/o pay & ee pays insurance premiums, allow the employee to continue to work until court, etc.).

Technically, the ee has not yet been convicted only arrested, though the charges pending are serious. The court date is in 60 days.

Thanks so much for your time and responses.


  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • This is an off duty event. What is the nexus between this event and the daily duties of the employee? Is he or she required to keep a clean drivers license? What is your policy on drugs and does drug possession or abuse bring discipline or discharge? Do you suspect that the employee was in possession of the drugs while still at work or were they in the vehicle while parked at the work site? Will this cause the employee to lose so much time from work that your attendance policy will cause a discharge? Does the timing lead you to believe that the employee was under the influence while still at work? Did the publicity surrounding the event bring adverse publicity or public shame on the employer?

    In other words, is there anything regarding this event that makes it difficult or impossible for the employee to continue employment.
  • You stated "in the absence of a written policy for this specific incident" are you referring to drug procession or absence.

    We have a "zero tolerance" policy for drug use and procession. If the ee is caught off duty they will be discharged IF THEY ARE CONVICTED, they are innocent until then. We will allow them to work until the case is settled one way or the other. At the point depending on the court decision we either terminate or other actions.

    Welcome to the forum.
  • HR HELP: It reads to me that you could very well have a termination once all the evidence is presented in court. In the meantime, our company policy would have allowed for immediate termination resulting from incarceration and conduct un-becoming an employee in uniform. If these two things are not available then suspend the individual pending the outcome of the hearings or trial. If he/she volunteers to resig, I would not accept same. When he/she is nailed by the courts he is most likely headed for jail time. So rock back and let it happen! If he quits you have no way of stopping him and a termination based on a "no call no show" policy works well in our company.

  • HR Help...

    I truly do not believe in terminating an employee for a first offense. The bad records could have pointed to a problem earlier which should have been caught and addressed by a supervisor. This is why a random drug test policy really comes in handy.

    On a first offense we give a suspension of two weeks. If the employee can bring us proof that he/she is in a rehab program and is willing to submit to a drug test once a week at his/her expense we will re-instate him on a 6 months probationary period (after any detox treatement ends)during which he/she cannot receive any further substance abuse problems, must take the drug test once a week randomly at our selection, and must show that he/she is attending counseling and rehab for the 6 months.
    Employee pays for the tests. We do have a free counseling service through our insurance company and substance abuse benefits.

    The only exception to this rule is if they are incarcinated and cannot come to work.

    At the time he/she is put on probation they sign a paper with the above stipulations which also says that if there is a 2nd offense they will be terminated immediately.

    If there is a 2nd offense, they are terminated immediately. No exceptions.


  • Wildsporty, are you saying that no matter what the offense is you give them a 2nd chance. Is this just with drugs or all offenses?
  • Craig,
    This is our substance abuse policy. With other offenses we take into consideration the seriousness of the offense. Basically we treat substance abuse as an illness.

    It depends on the offense. Theft from the company is an immediate dismissal...no questions.

    Sexual Harrassement is an immediate dismissal.

    Violence in the workplace is an immediate dismissal.

    Other minor incidents are delt with

    First time...Warning
    Second time...Verbal reprimend
    Third Time....Written reprimend with employee signature...3 day suspension without pay

    Fourth Time...Termination

    These might be improper internet use, violation of tobacco policy, violation of dress code, Excessive absence, Attitude, Failure to properly complete work assignments.

    (In the above instances at the third offense we would be asking questions and trying to find out why this employee has a problem and what we can do to help him fix the problem with counseling, medical treatment for substance abuse or some time off to take care of personal problems.)

    We have over 80% of our current staff here for more than 5 years and 40% for more than 10 years with 10% here for more than 15 years.

    we take care of our employees, we do what we can to help and if nothing works the employee is terminated. We actually have terminated a few over the years. I have been here 23 years the company has been in existence for 24 years.

  • I agree with Pork, I've used our 3 days no call policy with cases like this. But, we also do drug testing and my guess is the ee would show up for the next random test. x;-)
  • We have a Corrective Action Policy which holds us accountable for our conduct and behavior on or off duty. That being absent here, I would say you could do several things: one would be as others have suggested with immedicate termination OR falsification of benefit leave. He called in "sick" and was allowed to utilize this benefit?Of course I'm assuming this is not PTO time but he lied as to his whereabouts. My next best option would be to give him leave w/o pay, let him pay his insurance premiums and see what happens in court. If convicted, definitely term.

    In my humble opinion.....Jane in Lex.
  • Thank you all for your comments. We met with the ee to discuss the situation. It was a good meeting by the way. Ultimately, we suspended the ee for three days w/o pay and escorted to have a drug/alcohol test. The reason for this action: discredit to the org, poor judgement and conduct unbecoming.

    After three days and negative drug screen, he will return to work until the court date.

    Thanks again and have a great day!
Sign In or Register to comment.