Gerri was hired through a welfare-to-work initiative at Memorial Medical Center. The purpose of this work initiative was to offer immediate job placement to a Temporary Assistance for Need Families (TANF) recipient. Memorial Medical Center is getting grant funding from the state to participate in the program by offering employment to TANF recipients. Memorial Medical Center has the responsibility to work with the state to find suitable TANF recipients to fill the entry-level positions that require minimal or on-the-job training. Gerri is a divorced mother with four small children all under the age of 6 and a TANF recipient. During her first month of employment, Gerri was absent from work on three separate occasions and reported to work late several times.
The employee handbook states that the probationary period is a time for the employee to adjust to the organization, and the employer must quickly socialize the employee. It also states expectations for punctuality and attendance. According to Memorial Medical Center, employees who do not fit or adhere to the policies may have their employment terminated at any time during the probationary period.
Alarmed by the pattern of lateness and absenteeism, Gerri’s supervisor, Mitch, approached her to discuss the situation. Gerri explained her childcare issues and lack of social support to Mitch. Mitch noted that the quality and quantity of her work were exceptional for a new employee, and because of this he decided not to fire her, although it would have been allowed during the three-month probationary period. Mitch warned Gerri that continuing this patter would lead to her termination, because the organization has a strict attendance policy, which states that “three or more absences during the probationary period is grounds for suspension and even termination.” Gerri did not come to work the next day, so Mitch fired her.
Utilizing your decision matrix, answer the following questions supporting your reasoning:
Did Mitch do the right thing in firing Gerri according to the facility’s policy?
What ethical implications should be taken into consideration in this case?
Could Mitch have done something that could have helped Gerri with her issues?
Should the fact that Gerri is a single mother with small children be considered in Mitch’s decision?
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