Tola is a principled young man who works as a Project Manager at BTI Consulting Ltd. He sticks to high standard and is always ready to defend anyone who has been unfairly slandered because he believes in fairness and equity in the workplace. However, sometimes this philosophy gets him into trouble.
A couple of months ago, Tola perceived that one of the managers was ‘bullying’ a 21 years old female staff called Rita. Tola came to her aid, helped her to seek assistance from the union and informed management of this bullying situation. It seems management was aware that this manager had in the past bullied some staff but had chosen to take no action. Although most employees were pleased that Tola had become involved in Rita’s situation while some were not. These staff preferred not to ‘rock the boat’ and tried to avoid involvement in any potentially confrontational situations. Some members of management were also unhappy with Tola’s involvement in what they viewed was a ‘staff issue’. They saw Tola as a troublemaker and believed that in the past, Tola had been blatantly critical of management decisions. This management dissatisfaction with Tola’s involvement in the ‘Rita’s issue’ led to many emails being sent back and forth between management and Tola. Of course, Tola wanted everyone in the company to know what management was up to and always provided a copy of the emails to all employees. This further upset management, but things eventually settled down and work carried on as usual.
However, last week Tola heard about another ‘bullying’ incident between the same manager and another young new employee. He confronted management about it and they told him to mind his own business. Tola decided to post a write-up on the social media outlining the situation. Many people responded by making one comment or the other. When management became aware of the post, Tola was told that this was a serious misconduct.
Management wants to have a meeting with Tola to discuss the post and he has agreed to such a meeting provided that the actions of the manager who bullies staff and the actions of management in allowing this to happen are also on the agenda.
· Why do you think management considered Tola’s actions ‘serious misconduct’?
· If you were management, would you agree to meeting with Tola on the conditions he has outlined? Give reasons for your answer.
· Assume Tola’s position was terminated as a result of the allegation of serious misconduct. He then files a personal grievance claim on the basis of unjustified dismissal. As a mediator for the Employment Service; discuss how you would moderate this case.