The paper "Organizational Justice and Human Resource Management" is a great example of a case study on human resources. The issue before George Chapel, the HR Manager of Catastrophe Concepts, is a curious one. It is apparent that the frequent absence of Caleb McGuire has brought about a serious problem in the marketing department. While both the marketing manager, Lilly Zheng, and Chapel recognize that Caleb has been a good performer and has contributed to the company positively in the past, his illness and frequent absence have resulted in dissension in the department since the workload of other employees has increased greatly as a result.
In particular, the financial pressures on the company that has brought about the urgency to reduce headcount, Caleb has become an easy target as other employees seem to have taken advantage of the situation. Things have not helped with Caleb being evasive about his illness and rumors floating in the company that he has AIDS. There are various steps that may be taken against Caleb to douse the situation by not only punishing Caleb for absenteeism but also giving in to the other employees’ grievances who feel that they are being overworked because of partiality shown towards Caleb.
Disciplinary actions could be either through pay cuts for the number of days of absence in excess of the due leave or asked to quit. However, it is difficult for the HR manager to take a drastic decision to either dismiss Caleb or take some other disciplinary action since that would bring about legal, ethical, and strategic HR issues. The Legal IssuesThe first element in the crisis that Chapel needs to analyze is the legal aspect of any step taken against Caleb.
It is possible that Caleb is using the excuse of sickness for unscheduled absenteeism. But, it is also possible that Caleb is genuinely sick and for some reason, is unable to disclose the nature of his sickness. If the company takes disciplinary action against him, there must be sufficient ground for it. The HR department should first clarify that the unscheduled leaves that he has been taking are beyond that is due to him contractually.
Otherwise, the company faces possibilities of lawsuits. On the other hand, the company can think of other avenues of providing more flexibility to Caleb’ s work-life balance by allowing him to telecommute, work from home, flexible workdays, and so on.
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