ESSAY: Employee Conduct, Termination, & Progressive Discipline

Resource: Avery Foster v. Federal Express Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53779 (E. Dist. Ct. MI)

The issue in the case is whether the company’s employment handbook created an implied contract. Avery Foster was terminated for falsifying an employee timecard. He argued that he was told in his initial interview that he would be guaranteed employment at Federal Express as long as he was a good worker and was protected from “just cause” termination. The court found there was good cause to terminate Avery Foster and that the handbook did not create an implied contract of guaranteed employment.

Progressive discipline is an employee disciplinary process that provides a graduated and measured range of responses to employee performance or conduct issues. Critical thinking consideration: Short of termination, could progressive discipline have been effective in this matter?

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Given the circumstances and issues that arose in the Avery Foster case, create the following:

Design a Progressive Discipline Policy that would be appropriate for most organizations to follow, with consideration to the following measures:
Identify the discipline issues to be addressed: attendance, performance, conduct, or a single broad category of non-performance.
Determine whether or not the provisions of the policy should permit the company to modify and/or apply the policy in any manner it deems appropriate under the circumstances, including acceleration of steps, exclusion of steps, or repetition of steps.
Assess when a supervisor may act independently or needs to seek upper management approval.
Explain instructions on when to involve Human Resources.
Clarify the role of Human Resources to advise or approve disciplinary action.
Determine when a witness should be present.
Outline the different sequences and progressive levels of discipline that an employee can receive.
Develop rules regarding merit increases in relation to disciplinary action.
Write the policy in the third-person in no more than 1,400 words.

Use headings that appropriately signal the steps and keep your policy organized.

Use a minimum of three different research resources, and identify all sources in your Reference page.


Facts Summary of Avery v. Federal Express Corp

In this case, the main concern was whether the organization’s handbook established an implied contract. The company terminated Avery Foster for fabricating a staff timecard. He argued that, during his initial interview, the interviewer had told him that his Federal Express would guarantee his employment given that he was a good employee and he would be protected from “just cause” termination. The court held that the company’s handbook did not establish an implied contract and the cause was convincing….

Progressive Discipline

Progressive discipline refers to the process of disciplining an employee in measured and graduated steps in response to misconduct or performance issues (Bester, 2019). It is a process that uses progressively harsher measures when and if a member of staff fails to rectify their behavior after they have been given reasonable opportunity and time to do so (Bester, 2019). In the case of Avery…

To ensure an effective and well-rounded progressive discipline policy, it is essential to assess and identify the various actions that it will address. The policy should include all matters relating to non-performance. Additionally, the policy should consider punctuality, attendance, and inappropriate conduct. In meeting the particular end goal of training its employees, an organization requires a well-crafted disciplinary document and arrangement, to ensure the policy’s enforcement. Both the disciplinary system and the …

Progressive Discipline Policy

A progressive discipline policy describes the process of rectifying both single and repeats instances of failure to conform to the regulations or meet certain codes of conduct in the workplace. This policy ma address rectifications in undesirable behavior or under the Performance Accountability and Commitment Policy, based on each specific situation and the extent and nature of needed corrections (Falcone, 2017). Both policies may address expectations of conduct given the situation or circumstance. Progressive discipline follows a step-by-step procedure that modifies undesirable behaviors of employees and allows starting the disciplinary actions at a higher stage depending on the circumstances and severity of the instances. Supervisors should evaluate their staff members’ understanding of the expectations and regulations…

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