NEW YORK NURSE: June 2008
Q.: I was disciplined by my employer and it is being grieved. My NYSNA nursing representative tells me that, in disciplinary grievances, the employer has to show that “just cause” existed for the discipline. What does this mean?
A.: The term “just cause” is related to the idea that the employer has the burden of proof in disciplinary cases. Having the burden of proof means that the employer must produce evidence that the discipline was justified. Just cause is the test used in discipline cases to determine whether the employer has met this burden.
One often-used metric for determining just cause is what is known as the “seven tests.” They are as follows:
If these seven tests are met by the employer, it is more likely that the discipline will stand. It is important to note that not every arbitrator will use the seven tests, but it is one of the more common approaches to determining just cause in disciplinary cases.
The NYSNA EGW Program receives many inquiries each month from members who have problems in their workplaces. If you have a question about labor relations at your facility, contact your NYSNA nursing representative. If you have a question you think should be featured in this column, send it to: RNs at Work, NYSNA, 120 Wall Street, 23rd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10005.