Worker disagreement? Be wary of unlawful restraint

Tools and personal items were disappearing and Maintenance Foreman Clint Dexter wanted to know why. "Do you have any suspects?" his boss, Plant Engineer Ed Morrow, asked. "No real suspects," Dexter replied.

09/01/1998


Tools and personal items were disappearing and Maintenance Foreman Clint Dexter wanted to know why.

"Do you have any suspects?" his boss, Plant Engineer Ed Morrow, asked.

"No real suspects," Dexter replied. "At least no one I can point to with any kind of evidence to back me up."

"What makes you think the thief is someone in the maintenance department?"

Dexter hesitated. "Instinct, I guess."

It was a tad more than instinct. Opportunity, for one thing, circumstances for another. The foreman also had a couple of suspects in mind: Al Polk, for one; Vince Wilkens, for another.

Morrow suggested, "Why don't you question each employee individually? Use the small conference room where you can talk in privacy."

"Good idea," Dexter agreed.

Al Polk was the sixth person on his list. He appeared nervous as he sat down opposite his boss at the desk. When Dexter informed him what the interview was about, Polk flew off the handle.

"No way I'm listening to this crap."

Polk stood up to leave. Dexter rose quickly and pushed him back into the chair, not roughly, but forcefully enough to seat him. "You're gonna hear me out, Buster."

"That does it!" Polk shouted and, threatening to sue for unlawful restraint, he stormed out of the room.

Question : If Polk follows through on his threat, does he have a case?

Morrow's opinion: Dexter's report of the incident produced a frown on Morrow's face. "You made a mistake trying to force Polk to remain. What you should have done was warn him that if he left he would be guilty of insubordination and would have to suffer the consequences. Send Polk to my office. I'll see what I can do to smooth over this thing."





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
What controller fits your application; Permanent magnet motors; Chemical manufacturer tames alarm management; Taking steps in a new direction
Tying a microgrid to the smart grid; Paralleling generator systems; Previewing NEC 2017 changes
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on preventing compressed air leaks and centrifugal air compressor basics and best practices for the "fifth utility" in manufacturing plants.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me