The Case of Jack and Eric – MGT516

Jack and Eric Scenario

Jack and Eric are both hourly employees in the finishing department. They work under Phil, the first-shift finishing foreman. Steve is the second-shift foreman.Jack has been complaining that Eric is trying to get him to quit so that Eric’s friend can be employed in Jack’s job. He says Eric has bullied and harassed him. Jack thinks it is because he helped in union organizing activities last year (Eric is anti-union).Jack says that Eric complains about anything that he does and constantly badgers him to quit. Jack alleges that Eric deliberately does not pass on crucial information about day-to-day work, which then creates the impression that Jack is underperforming in his role.Jack has raised concerns about this treatment from Eric on many occasions with Phil, his foreman, who has simply told him to deal with the matter himself.

Jack says he is stressed out and alleges that things came to a head when Eric spent a whole day picking on him and he (Jack) openly cried. Eric repeatedly told Jack that he was not wanted on the finishing team and should quit.Jack couldn’t afford to be without a job and did not see why he should be forced out. He went home and decided that he was too upset to go to work the following day. He called in that night and told the next shift’s foreman, Steve, that he was too stressed to go to work the next day because he would be picked on.Steve said he was aware of what had been alleged and thought it had been dealt with by Phil months ago. He advised Jack that he should not go to work the next day and that he (Steve) would speak to Phil.Jack did as he was instructed, and missed the next day of work. When he returned the following day, Phil called him into the office to ask why he had not been at work and why he had not called in to speak to him directly to report his absence.Jack was told that because he did not comply with the call-in policy he would get a “ding” on his attendance record. He explained that he called and talked to Steve who was aware of what had happened and had advised him not to go into work the next day.Phil laughed and told Jack that the department had had bets on whether he would be at work the day after he had been crying and that because of his failure to attend, Phil and Steve had each won $50.Jack told Phil that he was going to file a grievance with the union because he thought the way he was being treated was not right.Phil told Jack that if he filed a grievance he would be fired for insubordination. Instead, he should just knuckle down and do his work.Phil thinks that Jack is the problem, not anyone else.Jack is very upset and decides that enough is enough. He files a formal grievance with the union about this situation.

Scenario Questions:

  1. What do you think will happen next without any intervention? Why
  2. Discuss the important steps that might take place to resolve this issue.
  3. If you were the HR manager in this plant, describe in detail what would you do to get to the root of the issue. Why?

MGT516 – Jack and Eric Scenario Questions Sample Answers

The case of Jack and Eric is a perfect representation of mistreatment of employees by seniors and fellow workers. The senior employees seem to work in coordination in cohort with Eric, Jack’s co-worker in chastising Jack and thus lowering his motivation in the workplace. This is shown when the foremen bet on Jack reporting to work after being chastised by Eric, instead of them offering to help him. This eventually contributes to Jack’s absenteeism and filing of grievances with the union.

            The National Labor Relations Board guarantees the rights of private sector employees to picket and to join together with/without a union to fight for fair wages and better workplace conditions (Shilling, 2015). Employees, who feel aggrieved, like the case of Jack, can file a complaint with the regional director of the board. The National Labor Relations Board offers a number of steps that should be followed once an employee files an official complaint with them.

Read also Labor Laws That Have Shaped the Present Union Management Relationships

            Once Jack filed his grievances with the union about the step that would follow is investigation. During investigation, the regional director issues complaint and date of hearing to the respondent who is given ten days to answer. This offers the opportunity for the respondent and the petitioner to file evidence for a fair hearing. Sometimes, the regional director, on or before the issuance of complaint, may withdraw the case. However, if the director chooses not to withdraw the complaint against the respondent, the complaint proceeds to hearing and decision.

            The hearing and decision takes place presided by an administrative judge, who files a decision and makes a recommendation. The recommendation can be an order of dismissal of the case if it is found to hold no sufficient evidence. However, the judge can order the respondent to cease and desist for unfair labor practice. In the case above, the administrative judge presiding over the case can order for the company that Jack works to desist from the unfair workplace practices and order for an affirmative relief.

            The hearing and decision that leads to the respondent being found guilty of unfair labor practice leads to remedial order. The National Labor Relations Board will order the respondent to cease and desist from such unfair labor practice and order for the practice to be reviewed and rectified by the respondent. In the case under study, the finishing department is guilty of unfair labor practices, which include intimidations and workplace harassment. The National Labor Relations Board can order the company upon making its decision to rectify such labor practices and dismissal or suspension of the foremen.

            However, if the matter is found to be beyond the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board, then it is forwarded to the courts for further directions and decisions. According to (Finkin, Cutcher-Gershenfeld, & Araki, 2013), upon hearing of the case filed by the union representative, it can enforce all, remand all or set aside part of the case. The Supreme Court             As a human resources manager in the company, there is need to built closer relationship with employees, offering job evolution mechanisms that allows for employees to provide feedback on workplace conditions and provision of performance enhancement strategies such as training, motivation and communication (Finkin, Cutcher-Gershenfeld, & Araki, 2013). In the case of Jack and Eric, the best step would be to conduct an investigation of the whole case, through interviews and interaction with other co-workers of the two employees and their seniors such as the foremen. Then an opportunity will be offered to Jack and Eric, other co-workers and the foremen. This will provide an opportunity for a fair hearing, upon which judgment will be based. In the case, the foremen and Eric are guilty and would be disciplined through suspension or termination if there is past history of such cases.

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