page is dedicated to the facts
and rights of handling
situations. The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois has put together a few
cases and issues to assist if there are questions about discipline.
A basic principle in discipline
cases is that management must
have “just cause”
to impose the discipline. Arbitrators’ decisions over the years have resulted in a
kind of measuring stick -- known as the “Seven Tests of Just Cause’ -- that can
be applied to discipline cases. The just cause standard is contained in the
following seven questions:
1. Was the employee adequately
warned of the probable
consequences of the employee’s
2. Was the employer’s rule or order reasonably related to the efficient and safe operation of the job function?
3. Did management investigate before administering the discipline?
4. Was management’s investigation fair and objective?
5. Did the investigation produce
substantial evidence or proof
that the employee was guilty of
6. Has the employer applied its rules, orders and penalties evenly and without discrimination?
7. Was the amount of discipline reasonably related to the seriousness of the
offense and the employee’s past service and record? (Did the “punishment fit the crime?) If the answer to one or more of these questions is “no,” the union can argue that management did not have just cause to take the disciplinary action.
Click on this link Weingarten Rights to read the PDF file.
Weingarten means that an
employee may be represented by
the union at an investigatory interview with his or her supervisor when the employee reasonably believes that the interview may lead to a disciplinary
Click on this link Garrity Rights to read the PDF file.
In summary, Garrity is the right of a law enforcement officer to be free from compulsory self-incrimination.
Click on this link Discipline Rights to read the PDF file.
A top 10 List of Rights compiled by Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Legal Counsel J. Dale Berry.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision somewhat similar to Weingarten occurred in 1985, with the case of Cleveland Board of Education vs. Loudermill. This decision established what have come to be called "Loudermill Rights" for public employees.
Loudermill Rights apply to incidents of involuntary termination.
Prior to being terminated, "the...tenured public employee is entitled to oral or written notice of the charges against him (or her), an explanation of the employer's evidence, and an opportunity to present his (or her) side of the story."
Unlike Weingarten, the employer has an obligation to inform the employees of his/her Loudermill Rights.
The employee has the right to speak or not to speak at the Loudermill (or "pre-disciplinary") hearing. Also, the employee has a right to union representation, and the union representative may speak on behalf of the employee.
If the employee chooses not to attend the Loudermill (or "pre-disciplinary") hearing, the employer may proceed with termination.