Two food service coordinators for Chartwells were fired from their jobs after violating the “Associate Return to Work Policy.” Bernard George and Victor Chacon both failed to call the Chartwells hotline to report when they would be returning to work after they missed work due to extenuating circumstances. (Chacon was ill and George’s wife was in need of emergency medical attention.)
The Miami Hurricane reported the story on Sept. 6 and has since learned that the two men were rehired in conjunction with an amendment to the policy abolishing the zero tolerance rules and allowing employees three warnings before dismissal.
This change in policy is certainly a step in the right direction. It is good to see the university reacted to the issue, particularly with regard to student health and safety as well as with employee rights. After facing the public relations disaster better known as the UNICCO strike, the university should be quick to exhibit compassion where its workers are concerned and continue working toward improving its current practices. University policy and procedure in dealing with its employees should parallel the way it handles its students, faculty and community: firm and unwavering, keeping their best interests at heart, yet flexible enough to include understanding and the allowance for instances to be dealt with on a case-to-case basis.
While The Hurricane applauds the recent revisions, the appeals process for workers should be streamlined and should continue to work toward maximum efficiency.
The Hurricane was lucky enough to have two brave men come forward with their stories, aiding the newspaper in fulfilling its role as a watchdog. This time around it resulted in a small policy change, but next time it could result in even more. So here’s to serving as a watchdog. Woof, woof.