Reference no: EM131228322
Norman Blankenship came in the side door of the office at Consolidation Coal Company’s Rowland mine, near Clear Creek, West Virginia. He told the mine dispatcher not to tell anyone he was there. Norman was general superintendent of the Rowland operation. He had been with Consolidation for 23 years, having started out as a mining machine operator.Norman had heard that one of his section bosses, Tom Serinsky, had been sleeping on the job. Tom had been hired two months earlier and assigned to the Rowland mine by the regional personnel office. He had gone to work as section boss, working the midnight to 8:00 A . M . shift. Because of his age and experience, Serinsky was the senior person in the mine on his shift.Norman took one of the battery-operated jeeps used to transport personnel and supplies in and out of the mine and went to the area where Tom was assigned. Upon arriving, he saw Tom lying on an emer-gency stretcher. Norman stopped his jeep a few yards away from where Tom was sleeping and approached him. “Hey, are you asleep?” Norman asked. Tom awakened with a start and said, “No, I wasn’t sleeping.”Norman waited for Tom to collect his senses and then said, “I could tell that you were sleeping, but that’s beside the point. You weren’t at your workstation. You know that I have no choice but to fire you.” After Tom had left, Norman called his mine foreman and asked him to come in and complete the remainder of Tom’s shift.The next morning, Norman had the mine HR manager officially terminate Tom. As part of the standard procedure, the mine HR manager notified the regional HR manager that Tom had been fired and gave the reasons for firing him. The regional HR manager asked the mine HR manager to get Norman on the line. The regional HR manager said, “Norm, you know Tom is Justus Frederick’s brother-in-law, don’t you?” Frederick was a regional vice president. “No, I didn’t know that,” replied Norman, “but it doesn’t matter. The rules are clear. I wouldn’t care if he was Frederick’s son.”The next day, the regional HR manager showed up at the mine just as Norman was getting ready to make a routine tour of the mine. “I guess you know what I’m here for,” said the HR manager. “Yeah, you’re here to take away my authority,” replied Norman. “No, I’m just here to investigate,” said the regional HR manager.By the time Norman returned to the mine office after his tour, the regional HR manager had finished his interviews. He told Norman, “I think we’re going to have to put Tom back to work. If we decide to do that, can you let him work for you?” “No, absolutely not,” said Norman. “In fact, if he works here, I go.” A week later, Norman learned that Tom had gone to work as section boss at another Consolidation coal mine in the region.
Questions 2-14. What would you do now if you were Norman? 2-15.
Do you believe the regional HR manager handled the matter in an ethical manner? Explain.