Discipline History, Seniority, and Reason for Discharge as Predictors - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 40, No. 3
Chalmer E. Labig, Ir., ii an Assistant Professor in (the Department of Management at Oklahoma State University. I. B. Helburn is Bobbie
and Coulter R. Sublett Centennial Professor in the Department of Management at The University of Texas at Austin. Robert C. Rodgers is
an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at The University of Texas at Austin. The authors wish to acknowledge the
assistance of Charles R. Greer, a Professor in the Department of Management at Oklahoma State University.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
The relationships between the post-reinstatement performance of previously discharged employees and their pre-discharge discipline history and seniority, as well as the reason for their heing discharged, are examined. The authors find that a poor(good) pre-discharge discipline record is a reliable predictor of poor(good) job performance after reinstatement. In addition, employees initially discharged for absenteeism are more likely to be discharged a second time than employees discharged for other reasons. The authors point out that these results raise questions about employee discipline policies.
Discipline constitutes the single largest category of grievance arbitration cases arising under negotiated labor agreements.^ Discharge, the most severe form of discipline, is often an issue in arbitration. Arbitrators must frequently decide whether an employee was terminated for just cause or whether discharge is too severe a penalty in view of mitigating circumstances. Accordingly, where discharge is too severe, the arbitrator must decide whether the employee should be reinstated with full back pay and allowances or with some penalty. Among the factors often considered in reaching a decision are the grievant's discipline history and seniority. A pre-discharge history that is completely or largely devoid of disciplinary actions may serve as grounds for mitigating a discharge.