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