The 7 Tests of “Just Cause”

Union Contracts state “an employee cannot be disciplined, suspended or discharged without just cause”.  When you have a Union Contract, management MUST follow this rule every time an employee is disciplined.  For many years arbitrators have accepted a 7 test standard to determine whether management used “just cause” when imposing discipline.  In order to meet the 7 test standard, management must comply with ALL of the 7 tests.  The 7 tests are as follows:

  1. Was the employee adequately warned of the consequences of his/her conduct?
  2. Was the employer’s rule reasonably related to efficient and safe operations?
  3. Did management investigate before administering the discipline?
  4. Was the investigation fair and objective?
  5. Did the investigation produce substantial evidence or proof of guilt?
  6. Were the rules, orders, and penalties applied evenhandedly and without discrimination?
  7. Was the penalty reasonably related to the seriousness of the offense and the past record?