Responding to an Employee Grievance:
As you know, company policy requires that employees smile at customers and make eye contact with them. In the past nine months, 12 employees have filed grievances over this rule. They say they are being harassed by customers who think they are flirting with them. A produce clerk claims customers have propositioned her and followed her to her car. Another says, “Let me decide who I am going to say hello to with a big smile.” The union wants us to change the policy to let workers not make eye contact with customers, and to allow workers to refuse to carry groceries to a customer’s car at night. My own feeling is that we want to maintain our image as a ...view middle of the document...
Cooperatively establish a method to get a single team report prepared and submitted by Sunday night.
Write a group response recommending whether to change the policy and supporting your recommendation.
Type: Problematic Request
Purpose: Persuade VP for HR that we have found a workable solution that he should use.
Audience: VR for HR
Goal: Provide a solution and justification.
I. Problem/Recommendation: Intro
* Rule says all employees must smile and make eye contact w/ customers.
* Female employees say this encourages inappropriate behavior, and leads to them feeling unsafe.
* Also say that some male customers, after getting smiled at, want female to carry his groceries to car, and acts inappropriately.
With all this in mind, our committee recommends:
* Modifying the bargaining unit agreement to make eye contact with customers optional, and
* Allowing employees to request a manager appoint an alternate to carry groceries for a customer if the employees feel unsafe or uncomfortable with the customer.
II. Pros and Cons/Discussion: Body
* Management says that greeting customers and acting courteously cannot be optional.
* Management does not specifically say eye contact cannot be optional, and they do not specifically require that a particular employee be compelled to carry a customer’s groceries, simply because the customer requests it.
* Union suggested that it would be possible to compromise in the following way:
* Affirm that greeting and courtesy are mandatory,
* Make eye contact optional, and
* Allow in some way for employees to refuse to accompany a customer to the parking lot if he/she feels uncomfortable or unsafe.
Our committee strongly feels that the compromises outlined above protect the profitability of the company, while also protecting the safety and well-being of our bargaining unit employees. With this in mind we recommend that these new policies be incorporated into the collective bargaining unit agreement.
Date: August 9, 2012
To: Vice President for Human Resources, Union President for Local 397
From: Jean and Killeen, on behalf of Labor-Management Committee at Joe’s Groceries
Re: Committee Recommendation for Modification of Collective Bargaining Unit Agreement
As you are aware, there has been some controversy lately concerning 12 similar...