WEEK 10-CASE STUDY: JUAN HERNANDEZ VS. THE COUNTY 6
Question one: Did the employer (the Data Processing Center)provide Mr. Hernandez with clear performance standards from the timeof his employment to the time of his termination?
The performance standards in the case of Mr. Hernandez were indoubt. There are instances where Mr. Hernandez was given satisfactoryfeedback by his supervisors in regard to his performance. However,there are also instances where the employer was dissatisfied with theperformance of Mr. Hernandez. It is also evident from the case of Mr.Hernandez that the court held that the poor performance accusationswere not enough to warrant his dismissal (Klingner et al, 2010).However, from the initial part of the case study, it is clear thatthe employer, Data Processing Center (DPC), gave the employee, Mr.Hernandez, performance appraisals which seemed to assess hisperformance appropriately. Mr. Hernandez failed to backup variousdocuments, which he was in charge of protecting against loss as aresult of power outage. The failure to attend some lessons that weremeant to sharpen is skills also led to poor performance. However, theemployer never provided a clear and precise standard for theperformance of the particular employee. One is tempted to concludethat the various instances of lack of performance, were as a resultof lack of clear guidelines of what to do at the work place.
Question two: Did the DPC provide Mr. Hernandez with adequateinformal counseling concerning his performance discrepancies priorto initiating formal counseling and disciplinary action?
Whereas there are instances where the employer has cited thepresence of informal counseling, it is evident that the informalcounseling was not sufficient. The employer presented Mr. Hernandezwith a letter of formal counseling after he came back from nursinghis injuries that he inflicted at the workplace. There was no clearproof that informal counseling was offered to Mr. Hernandez. Theissues that the management cites in regard to the poor performance bythe employee are few. This implies that the possibility that therewere numerous informal counseling sessions to Mr. Hernandez does notexist. It is evident from the various readings that disciplinaryaction should be the last option for dealing with an employee’spoor performance standards. There should be numerous informalcounseling sessions before an employee is taken to the formalcounseling session, and finally facing disciplinary action (Morrison,1993). In this case, it is evident that there were extremely fewinformal counseling sessions offered to Mr. Hernandez before thedisciplinary action, which led to his dismissal.
Question three: Did the employer adequately document Mr.Hernandez’s alleged violation of clear performance standards?
The employer was unable to convince the court of theviolations that Mr. Hernandez had done in regard to performancestandards. Due to the lack of clear performance standards in theorganization, the employer was unable to document the allegedviolations of clear performance standards by Mr. Hernandez (Klingneret al, 2010). The employer failed to clearly indicate how theemployee in question had failed to live up to the performancestandards. Whereas it is clear that the employee might have performedpoorly in some of his duties, it is evident that the employer had noclear record of the poor performance incidents of the employee.
Question four: What is the difference between poorperformance and misconduct? Is the distinction important?
The distinction between poor performance and misconduct has beenclearly brought forward in the case of Juan Hernandez Vs. The County.Whereas poor performance relates to the failure to deliver asexpected by the employer, misconduct is defined as the failure tofollow the laid down procedures and regulations at the workplace. Inother words, poor performance can be directly associated with workoutput. Poor performance leads to low work output and is associatedwith the skills and knowledge possessed by the employees. On theother hand, misconduct relates to a particular employee behavior,which fails to abide by the set organizational rules and regulations.In the case study, misconduct by Mr. Hernandez is evident when hepresents a fake letter from the doctor in regard to his treatment ina particular hospital. This is clearly contrary to the rules and theregulations of the organization and therefore results to misconduct.In addition, Mr. Hernandez failed to adhere to various organizationalrequirements such as ensuring that he seeks for sick leave permissionand also extending lunch hours without compensating them. This was anaction of misconduct on the side of the employee. It is imperative tonote that the distinction between the two is critical in ensuringthat the management is aware of the type of issue he or she isdealing with (Tompkins, 1995). It is vital to note that thisdistinction ensures that the correct measures and disciplinarymeasures are put in place.
Question five: Who, if anyone, benefited from the outcome ofthis case study?
According to the outcome of this case study, it is clearly evidentthat the employer benefited. The aim or the objective of the employerwas to ensure that Mr. Hernandez was dismissed. Although all thecounts of poor performance were not upheld, it is evident that theaspects of misconduct by the said employee were sufficient to warranthis dismissal. The employer also benefited in terms of eliminatingany future possibility of poor performance, such as the loss ofcritical data due to the negligence of a single employee (Klingner etal, 2010).
Question six: What functions and values are present in thiscase?
The functions of a disciplinary committee that is impartial havebeen manifest in this case. This case also presents the function ofthe employer or the manager to discipline employees who performpoorly or are engaged in acts of misconduct. The values of integrityin this case are also prevalent especially in regard to the impartialhearing committee. It is also evident that the organizational cultureat the Data Processing Center was that of integrity and honesty. Mr.Hernandez was unable to portray these values, which led to hisdismissal.
Question seven: How important is an impartial hearing examinerin developing a sense of organizational justice?
As the name suggests, the hearing examiner does not favor any partyand delivers judgments based on impartiality. In developingorganizational justice, impartial hearing examiners play a criticalrole in ensuring that both parties are satisfied and that every partyis given a fair hearing.
Klingner, D., Nalbaldian, J., & Llorens, J. (2010). PublicPersonnel Management: Contexts and Strategies. New York. PearsonEducation, Inc.
Morrison, D. (1993). The Local Government Institute, ModelPersonnel Policies and Procedures. Washington: Tacoma.
Tompkins, J. (1995). Human Resource Management in Government.New York: Longman Press.