A. Conflict - possible rule violation.
If there is a conflict about the contract the parties typically investigate the facts surrounding the conflict. If the matter involves employees the employer will conduct an investigatory interview. The purpose of the investigatory interview is to question the witnesses involved so that the employer can decide on the appropriate disciplinary action for the employee that has violated the Employer's rules and regulations. The contract may dictate the procedure for the investigatory interview. So know the contract.
Make sure that someone on each side is taking notes!
During the investigatory interview, as well as the actual arbitration hearing, ask questions that paint a detailed picture of what happened. Make sure to ask about the time, date, and location of the incident. Ask the witness who was present at the time, if there were any other witnesses, and what was said during the incident.
Before the investigatory interview, both sides should thoroughly prepare. Make sure each witness knows his/her story and is prepared to answer questions from the other side.
B. If the employee is a just cause employee keep the following in mind.
Just Cause = Substantive Due Process + Procedural Due Process
- Rule Violation - Followed procedures in contract/cba
- Fair Discipline - Time limits are important
C. How to Prepare for the Investigatory Interview :
Read everything on the web site regarding how to prepare for arbitration. Also, make sure to watch ALL the arbitration and mediation films on the web site.
If the employee thinks the discipline is unfair s/he typically files a grievance. A grievance is simply a written statement that asserts why the employee thinks s/he has been treated unfairly.
The employer will answer the grievance with a written response stating that it will either reduce the discipline or that the discipline will stand.
If the collective bargaining agreement (cba) or personnel handbook has a mediation provision the parties may use a mediator to attempt resolution of the dispute.
Some contracts provide for mediation before arbitration but not all contracts have such a requirement.
To learn more about mediation click here
The parties typically meet with the arbitrator prior to the arbitration hearing. At the pre-arbitration the arbitrator discusses the following with the parties:
* Information on how to prepare and conduct an arbitration can be found on the main page (How To - Prepare for Arbitration). Other helpful information includes: