Wages - Shift differential ►115.60 ►24.356 ►2.01 [Show Topic Path] Arbitrator David E. Wilson ruled that the Highland Container Company did not violate its CBA when it declined to pay second-shift or third-shift premium for any hours worked outside of 6:00 am to 2:00 pm, since the CBA does not establish the starting or finishing time for any shift. The union failed to establish a binding past practice supporting its position, the company has retained the management right to establish shift schedules, and the shift an employee is assigned to work determines eligibility for a second shift or third shift differential, not an arbitrary time of day. The introduction of 10- and 12-hour shifts does not alter how shift differential is paid, since all employees receive overtime for any hours worked over eight in a day and this far exceeds the incremental increase in the shift differential for second and third shift employees.
The Department of Veterans Affairs had just cause to discipline the grievant for insubordination by failing to follow her supervisor’s instructions to provide him with a completed draft of a submission for an agency environmental award one week before it was due. While the parties differ as to whether and how it was delivered—by hard copy or by uploading the draft to a shared drive—a reasonable person would notify their supervisor that the document was ready for his review, which the grievant admitted she did not do; she also submitted the “completed” draft just before it was due to the agency. The agency properly issued a three-day suspension with one day of lost pay, as this is a reasonable next step in progressive discipline given that the grievant had previously received a reprimand and documented verbal counseling for similar failures to follow instructions.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office improperly discharged a deputy for insubordination and conduct violating morality, since he did not knowingly disobey a no-contact order with his girlfriend following several domestic disturbances as he legitimately believed it had expired, and the work rule proscribing conduct violating morality is far too vague to provide clear guidance as to what behaviors violate the rule. There was just cause to discipline the deputy for his off-duty conduct, as it failed to conform to the high standards of law enforcement and brought discredit to him and the sheriff’s office when his arrest was covered by local, Cleveland, and Columbus television stations. The grievant’s discharge is converted to a suspension without backpay for the seven months he was off work, as mitigating circumstances were not considered, including an outstanding work record, his cooperation and honesty throughout the investigation, and his genuine remorse.
Arbitrator David E. Wilson ruled that Ohio State University Medical Center had just cause to discipline, but not discharge, the grievant for violating a university no-contact order and sexual harassment by sending text messages to a young female contractor that were sexbased, unwelcome, pervasive, and created a hostile working environment. However, the grievant was denied due process by the protracted length of the investigation, the failure to provide him any information on its status, and the failure of the contractor and a witness to the grievant’s behavior to testify and be available for cross-examination. The grievant had a good record for over seven years, but he doesn’t t have clean hands, as he was evasive, made excuses, and never took responsibility for his actions; the grievant’s discharge is reduced to a suspension without back pay for the over 17 months he was absent from work and a last chance agreement.
SUMMARY  Attendance policy - Excusable absence - ‘Weather related event’ ►118.25 ►116,201 ►24.15 ►24.366 ►2.01 [Show Topic Path] Arbitrator David E. Wilson ruled that Jim Beam Brands Company did not violate the CBA or the attendance policy when it refused to excuse employee absences on a day following an ice storm, despite some employee testimony that the storm resulted in difficult commuting conditions. He found it unnecessary to resolve conflicting testimony on road conditions, since the CBA clearly includes in a list of excused absences “weather related absences” with the notation “[d]etermined by the [c]ompany,” the union failed to establish a past practice of 25% employee absences to be excused as it offered one isolated incident 12 years ago, and the liberal policy allowing employees to schedule PTO in advance of the forecasted weather event or to schedule an emergency vacation day up to 15 minutes before their shift protected employees who were genuinely concerned for their safety.
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