Rules are an important part of society and the work environment. They provide employees the boundaries they can or cannot cross. To enforce these boundaries, disciplinary action may (and in some cases must) be taken. Although few would argue that disciplinary action is necessary to enforce an employer's rules, some may disagree on the severity of the discipline the employer may use.
In order to establish a "fairness" of disciplinary action across the board, an employer would be wise to look at the reasonableness of the disciplinary action suggested before implementing it. This will reduce the need for an arbitrator to resolve disputes between the employee and employer. At the very least, it would make it more likely that an arbitrator would side with the employer who looked at a reasonableness standard to decide an employee's discipline.
There are several steps an employer can take to ensure that an arbitrator, if called upon, would side with management.
One such step is the notice of rules. This establishes the foundation that certain conduct is prohibited. It also provides the employee with the reasonable believe that if he or she is caught in such conduct that he or she would be disciplined by the employer. An employer may not be able to provide an example for every possible action an employee may take that would deserve some type of disciplinary action, but they should may it very difficult for an employee to "play dump" when confronted by an employer that the employee's conduct was unacceptable.
In order for an employer to close any gaps an employee may use to "play dump" an employer may state a certain conduct and then adding the phrase "and similar or related offenses" or "including but not limited to." (Zack, 2000) Of course, there is some conduct...