Before deciding whether an employer has appropriately disciplined an employee accused of sexual harassment, many labor arbitrators draft their rulings with the employer's legal obligations in mind. When an employee's conduct rises to the level of unlawful sexual harassment or violates an employer's sexual harassment policy, arbitrators often uphold or minimally reduce harsh discipline. If, however, the grievant's conduct is less egregious, arbitrators have less tolerance for severe disciplinary measures. But before reinstating a discharged employee who was accused of sexual harassment, or otherwise reducing that employee's discipline, arbitrators consider whether the employer had a sexual harassment policy in place, what training the grievant received on harassment, and what message a lighter punishment would send to other employees in the workplace.
Lisa I. Fried-Grodin,
Disciplining Sexual Harassers in the Unionized Workplace: Judicial Precedent Is Influencing Arbitrator Attitudes, Awards,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol77/iss2/8