Posted: May 25th, 2022
David Gates’ arrest as a consequence of him being in possession of a significant quantity of illegal substances is intriguing when considering the context of the plant that he was working for deciding to suspend him. The fact that Gates was charged with a serious felony makes it less likely to consider that his suspension was unfair. Gates was working under a contract at the time when the company’s management became acquainted with his situation and this makes it difficult for the company to go through with simply firing him. This is why the management decided to suspend him as an alternative.
Even with the fact that Gates was found in possession of a quantity of drugs that made him very likely to be a drug dealer, his grievance was primarily owed to the fact that he had a written contract with the company. The overall issues associated with engaging in an attempt to appeal the company’s decision was probable to represent a serious impediment for the company. Even with this, the management decided that it was imperative for it to go through with the plan and to emphasize their desire to suspend Gates.
The presence of an arbitrator would make it possible for the company to address the idea of just cause existing in these circumstances. Given that the plant emphasized its determination to keep drugs away from the company and its employees and that Gates was caught in possession of 60 pounds of marijuana, it only seems natural for the company to express reluctance with regard to continuing to keep him as an employee. Gates’ behavior meant that he exposed the company to a series of dangers, especially considering that he was reported to sell drugs to several individuals working there. The management is familiarized with the dangers associated with having employees under the influence of particular substances and thus considered that it would be in the firm’s best interest to deny Gates access to its employees and to the company as a whole.
The stakeholders in this case are both the company and Gates, considering that the former risks having Gates deal drugs within the company if he continues to work there while the latter would lose his job as a consequence of the set of events leading to his arrest. Even in a situation involving an employee using drugs, it is in the employer’s best interest to address this issue, considering the wide range of problems that such a person can cause. Gates’ case is even more worrying, taking into account that he was also reported to sell illegal substances to other employees. This would basically mean that he was jeopardizing the company’s functioning as a whole, not just parts of the company associated with his actual job.
The company emphasized the fact that it came across instances involving drug usage and sales and that its main intention is to keep drug dealers away from its operations. Considering the circumstances that Gates was in at the time, it would only seem normal for the company to do everything in its power in order to make sure that the plant stays drug-free. The union attempted to take blame away from Gates by highlighting the fact that there were no drugs found in his system and that the authorities searched his car and house without finding anything that would incriminate him. While it seems that Gates was nothing more but a victim of circumstance, the truth is that his background as a person reported to have sold drugs to individuals working for the plant makes his charge too much of a coincidence. Gates was associated with dealing drugs and he was arrested for being in possession of 60 pounds of cannabis.
While someone might argue that Gates was right in turning to the union as a result of the company discriminating him for actions that he was performing while not at work, the situation is actually more complicated than it appears. The reality is that Gates was previously linked to drug sales occurring within the company and the management was already acquainted with his activities. The fact that he was unhesitant about procuring 60 pounds of cannabis demonstrates that it was unlikely that he would stop selling the substance, as this actually proves that he was about to get actively involved in dealing illegal substances.
From my point-of-view the company was right in deciding to eventually terminate Gates altogether. As the management has said, it is not the company’s responsibility to analyze Gates’ case with the purpose to determine whether or not he was guilty. The employee’s background and the fact that he was caught in possession of a large quantity of illegal substances are sufficient evidence for the company to avoid any kind of association with the man. The fact that he met the District Attorney and agreed to have a two-year probationary period is of no interest to the company, as this actually contributes to incriminating him. All things considered, Gates’ actions should be considered enough for the company to have just cause for his suspension, and, eventually, for his termination.
There can be a series of reasons why Gates reached an agreement with the District Attorney. The fact that the company has no influence over the way that the authorities conduct their business and that Gates decided not to plead guilty cannot possibly be considered enough for the management to consider that he is not guilty. In spite of the fact that the legal context involving Gates was particularly controversial, it would have been wrong for the company to avoid coming across any issues as a consequence of just cause concerning the case being uncertain.
If I were provided with the opportunity to be the arbitrator in the case under discussion, I would likely consider that there is just cause for the company’s decision to suspend Gates. Even with the fact that the company has a history of presenting individuals responsible for committing an illegality with a second chance, Gates’ case is much more complex than that. This was not an instance involving a person committing a misdemeanor, as the employee was in possession of a large quantity of narcotics and was also believed to have sold illegal substances to other workers in the past. This would make Gates a serious threat for the company and it would certainly be wrong to continue to keep him as an employee, as this would likely have a negative effect on overall productivity in the plant.
“Drugs and the Workplace,” Retrieved September 27, 2015, from https://ncadd.org/learn-about-drugs/workplace/242-drugs-and-the-workplace
“Handling Employee Alcohol and Drug Use,” Retrieved September 27, 2015, from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/handling-employee-alcohol-drug-use-30349.html
“Off-Duty Conduct and Employee Rights,” Retrieved September 27, 2015, from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/off-duty-conduct-employee-rights-33590.html
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