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Discharge of Peter Seichek
Mr. Arbitrator, the termination of the employment of Mr. Seichek, by the
Wheelwright Corporation, was for his "sleeping on the job". Lets examine this
stated reason - in the light of the evidence provided by witness testimony and
contained within Mr. Seichek\'s personnel record.
1) Mr. Holloday testified that he and Mr. White, the third shift supervisor,
observed Mr. Seichek, wearing his welding hood, sitting or leaning against the
ladder, "apparently" asleep. Further, Mr. Holloday stated that he called to Mr.
Seichek six or seven times to get his attention.
Mr. Seichek was then directed to accompany Mr. Holloday and Mr. White to the
office. In the office, Mr. Holloday told Mr. Seichek that he had been caught
sleeping before, and that his absenteeism was excessive, and therefore was
Mr. Arbitrator, they found Mr. Seichek at his work station, wearing his protective
clothing, waiting for a co-worker to return with needed parts, in order to continue
the job. With the welding hood on, they could not positively determine that he
was asleep, and six or seven calls to get his attention in the noisy, factory
atmosphere is not extreme.
In reference to having been caught sleeping before, Mr. Holloday, testified that
on August 16,1982, that he found Mr. Seichek asleep in the reception area and
on August 17, he was found asleep on a tool box near the time clock. In both
instances, Mr. Holloday awakened him, directed him to clock in and return to
work. Mr. Seichek complied with this direction.
Mr. Holloday went on to state that these instances annoyed him, but since Mr.
Seichek was on break and not "on the clock", that he (Holloday) should not and
did not issue a formal, verbal warning or make any notation concerning these
incidents in Mr. Seichek\'s record.
2) Mr. Lewis, the third shift steward, gave testimony that it has been a common
practice for employees to sleep during their break periods and to occasionally
doze on the job.
This corresponds with Mr. Holloday\'s testimony concerning his decision not to
issue a formal verbal warning to Mr. Seichek after he (Holloday) found him
asleep during break.
Of further note, Mr. Lewis stated that heard Mr. Holloday use an ethnic slur when
referring to Mr. Seichek sleeping on the job. This raises a question as to the
objectivity of Mr. Holloday with regard to his supervision of Mr. Seichek.
On the morning of December 3, 1982, Mr. Holloday notified Ms. Delores Lopez,
the Personnel Assistant, that he had suspended Mr. Seichek pending possible
discharge because he had found him sleeping on the job. Mr. Holloday also told
her that he had directed Mr. Seichek to report to the Personnel Office at 7:30
A.M. that same morning.
3) Mr. Banks testified that he conferred with the Plant Manager and the
Production Superintendent before he and Ms. Lopez talked with Mr. Seichek.
Mr. Banks stated that in their conversation Mr. Seichek admitted that he had
fallen asleep, but that he felt that this had been induced by the medication that
he was taking. This medication had been prescribed by the company physician
to relieve the pain that Mr. Seichek continued to have from a work related injury.
At the conclusion of this conversation, held on the morning of December 3,
1982, sometime after 7:30 A.M., Mr. Banks terminated Mr. Seichek "for sleeping
on the job".
4) Mr. Seichek testified he was asleep on December 3, 1982, when he should
have been at work, but that he could not do much without the parts that Stone,
another employee, had gone for. He also stated that he was drowsy because of
the medication he had been taking and didn\'t remember just which or how much
medication he had taken that day or night.
Mr. Seichek further testified that he had asked Dr. Jones for medication, not
only to relieve the pain from his injury, but to permit him to continue to work
because of his absenteeism situation. This statement is not contradicted.
Mr. Seichek also stated that when he responded to Mr. Holloday\'s call, in the
basement, that he had tried to explain to Mr. Holloday that he was under
medication that made him sleepy. Mr. Holloday told him that it made no
difference and let the suspension stand. Mr. Holloday admitted this response.
Mr. Seichek also testified, that during his conversation with Mr. Banks in the
Personnel Office on the morning following his suspension, it was he who
volunteered the information that he
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Absenteeism, Industrial and organizational psychology, Working time, Workplace, Just cause
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