We seem to have a couple of current threads on staff dismissal issues . A sign of stressful times perhaps.
In this case an employee assaulted another employee at his work station, during work hours. Do we have reasonable grounds for dismissal or is this one of those cases where warnings should be issued? The facts are as follows:
- The aggressor (A) approached the victim (V) at V's work station.
- The two have a history of not liking each other.
- The spark for this particular incident was V pointing out to the manager that A was not at his work station.
- A threw the first punch after a short heated discussion.
- A continued to throw punches and then delivered several kicks to the ribs of V whilst he was down on the ground and added a few punches for good measure.
- This was not a quick hand bag incident, it lasted for probably 20 sec in a very one sided fight.
- It seems that V will be opening a criminal case of assault against A.
- V seems to have received some pretty serious injuries in terms of superficial swelling and bruising (A was wearing safety boots). it would not surprise me if ribs are broken.
- The incident is captured on video.
Other info which is probably irrelevant to the case:
- Both are generally poor workers. Poor punctuality, regular absenteeism and poor work ethic are common in both employees. Although no formal disciplinaries or warnings issued in either case.
- A is the son of the factory manager, who is pleading leniency.
- V has worked for the company for about 25 years and A about 5 years.
- The atmosphere is a bit unpleasant at the moment. Not sure if its one of fear yet, but I don't think A is good for company morale even before this incident. V is not much better, but over the years the other staff have just grown to accept his laziness.
- A's brother, another employee was marginally involved in the fight which made it a bit of a one sided contest. Having 4 employees from one family in a company of about 20 is not good for morale, especially when one of them is the manager and one is a general slacker (A). Nepotism and preferential treatment comes to mind.
What are the options open to the company?