Law School Exam Question
Here’s your fact pattern:
Employee Q is scheduled to work Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, Q complains of back pain and requests to leave for the rest of the day. Her request is granted. On Saturday, she reports to work and after a few hours complains again of back pain and requests to go home. Her supervisor offers to let her perform duties that will allow her to sit down the remainder of her shift if she will stay. She declines saying that her pain medication makes her sleepy and if she sits, she’ll just fall asleep. Her supervisor asks her if she is going to report to work on Sunday. She says no; she doesn’t think that her back will be any better. Her supervisor instructs her to call someone to replace her on Sunday. She does and elects to take sick time for the missed day on Sunday.
On Monday, Q’s co-worker, R, tells his supervisor that he saw Q at church on Sunday morning. Singing in the choir. Swaying back and forth. In high heels. R reports that at one point in the service, people are being prayed for at the front of the church and Q is helping to “catch” them as they “fall out.” To the supervisor, this seems inconsistent with Q’s complaint of back pain that required her to leave work on Saturday and rendered her incapable of coming in for work on the same Sunday morning. When Q next reports for work, she brings in a note from her doctor indicating that she had been completely incapacitated all weekend and unable to report to work. To the supervisor, this seems inconsistent with the activity that R described observing from Q.
The company decides to investigate the situation. They obtain a DVD of the church service to conduct their own observation of Q’s conduct at the church service. It confirms what R said he observed Q doing. The company decides to suspend Q for a day. Q doesn’t think that’s fair.
This is a 3-parter:
1) On what basis could Q argue that the suspension is unfair?
2) On what basis could the company say the suspension is warranted?
3) Who’s right?