Discipline Education Series: Seniority as a Mitigating Factor
The other argument I hear is that seniority is not a factor when it’s a zero-tolerance offense. But that’s not a good argument. The test is just cause - not zero tolerance. If you want zero tolerance, get the union to agree to that in the CBA and make it a cardinal sin with discharge on the first offense. You just heard two arbitrators say that 25 years, 30 years, and wow, 46 years is a very long time, and that an employee who strikes a co-worker with an open hand goes back to work without backpay because of his seniority. That is how they interpret the just cause standard. I may not come out the same way, but their analysis is perfectly valid.