CASE STUDY: A CHRISTMAS GREETING
Sally Smith has worked for a large national grocery chain
in Newfoundland for 22 years with a clean record. She is a general clerk whose
job is to stack shelves and assist customers.
On the day in question, Smith was near the end of her
shift. She went to the gift section and picked out a Christmas card and some
wrapping paper. The total cost of these items was $5.00. With the items in
hand, she went upstairs to the employee locker room, collected her purse and
other personal items, and went back downstairs. While holding the card and
wrapping paper, she walked out of the store without stopping to pay for the
items, going by a dozen check-out counters in the process.
Unknown to Smith, she had been observed by an undercover
security officer. He watched her take the card and wrapping paper from the
shelf and walk out of the store. He followed her to her car. As she got in, he
tapped on the window, identified himself as a store security officer, and asked
her to come back into the store with him. He said that Smith looked frightened,
averted her eyes, and didn’t say anything, but she followed him into the store.
After returning to the store Smith was interviewed by the
store manager and the security officer. She seemed to regain her composure and
explained that she had been in a hurry and had simply forgotten to pay for the
items. She asked, “Haven’t you ever forgotten to pay for something—is it a
crime to be forgetful?”
Smith was asked to empty her purse. Inside was a roll of
bright red store stickers with the word “PAID” on each sticker. These stickers
are used to mark items that customers bring into the store from the outside to
indicate that they have already been paid for. The stickers are kept at the
customer service desk; Smith did not use them in her own work. She swore that
she had no idea how they had gotten in her purse and denied that they belonged
to her. She began to weep.
The store manager ended the interview at this point. He
confiscated the gift wrap, Christmas card, and roll of stickers and told Smith
he would contact her after he had considered all the facts.
After considering the facts, the next day, Smith was called
to a meeting and asked to bring her steward with her. At the meeting, she was
given her dismissal notice—the reason: theft of company property. It was
alleged that she had violated the strict company policy against any type of
theft, upon penalty of dismissal.
This case is not based on any real person, company, or
event.
ing the HR thought cycle as a guide, please analyze the case
based on the following criteria below:
1

Identification of the case issues

Hypothesis

Identification of legislative issues

Risk Identification

Action

Issues resolution

HR impact

Further considerations

Proactive response
SCORING CRITERIA
20
Shows
a complete understanding with no errors; clear explanation of situations.
15
Shows a
complete understanding of the case study with no errors; does not provide a
clear explanation of situation, example lacks depth of intent, impact, and
learning.
10
Shows
a partial understanding of the case study with few or minor errors; specific
situation explained but evidence only two parts of intent, impact, or
learning.
5
Shows
limited understanding of the case study with serious errors that affect the
successful explanation of example, example shows only intent or is too
general.
0
Shows very little, if not limited
understanding of the case study with major errors; failure to effectively
apply the case study to a situation, too general to demonstrate applied
theory.

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