Fired b/c procedures not followed; procedures changed after termination to allow previous actions : LUSENET : Law Of The Workplace : One Thread

A friend was employed for approximately three years as an on-site security guard. He was the head of security, and oversaw three other guards. Duties included ensuring that all doors were locked after hours and arming security systems as needed. These responsibilities were divided amongst the four guards, each on duty one night per week and one weekend per month, on a rotating basis. The weekly shifts are eight hours in length. While on duty, guards are to remain on site to handle any issues that may arise.

Roughly one month ago, the employee in question left one door unlocked by mistake. All the guards have done this at one point or another, but it has always been seen by management as a simple mistake; no harm done. However, this incident placed my friend on a 30 day probationary period (even though there were no break ins and the security system was still armed).

During this probationary period, my friend and I left campus for 20 minutes for dinner, while he was on duty. He was observed off campus and was promptly terminated the next day. He realised that leaving campus was indeed a violation of his probation and thus decided to get on with his life and not fight the matter.

Here is the issue in question: Not two weeks after termination, a memo was sent from staff to the security's management complaining about a door (different from the one above) that is consistently unlocked on Tuesdays when it should be locked. The guard assigned to Tuesdays has not been put on probation.

In addition to this, a memo was sent out from management to the security team allowing for one lunch break per shift. This was the main reason my friend got fired; he was taking a lunch break.

So the question is simply, does this follow proper business ethics? Can procedures be changed to allow for activites which were prohibited and enforced less than one month prior? Does my friend have any rights?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

-- Scott Atkins (, April 11, 2004

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