Double jeopardy: can an employee be tried twice on the same charge?

After maintenance department Utility Worker Jack Hansen grabbed a female employee's buttocks, tried to embrace her, and talk her into having sex with him despite her struggle to get free, he was fired for sexual harassment.

02/01/1998


After maintenance department Utility Worker Jack Hansen grabbed a female employee's buttocks, tried to embrace her, and talk her into having sex with him despite her struggle to get free, he was fired for sexual harassment. Hansen filed a grievance contesting the dismissal. In a heated arbitration hearing, although Hansen's guilt was confirmed, the arbitrator ruled that the evidence was "too sketchy" to warrant dismissal. Hansen was reinstated and the punishment reduced to a suspension.

Several women in the plant responded to the verdict with anger and indignation. Hansen's reputation as a harasser was well known.

A few days later, three other women came forward with new evidence of harassment in the past. Just what the doctor ordered, Maintenance Foreman Eli Redlich thought. A second dismissal notice was issued to Hansen.

"What the hell is this? The arbitrator ruled -- "

"I know what the arbitrator ruled. This termination is based on new evidence. Would you like to see the details?"

Hansen knew what the details were without looking. He made a beeline for the plant steward.

"This is double jeopardy," the steward said half-heartedly. "You can't try a man twice for the same offense."

Question : Who is right: the steward, or Redlich?

Shaeffer's decision: "The termination stands," Plant Engineer Bob Shaeffer ruled. "The arbitrator's ruling on the first case doesn't get Hansen off the hook for charges based on evidence that was not previously considered."





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
2016 Product of the Year Finalists: Vote now; Data center Q&A; LED codes; Smart buildings
Fire pump power system design: How to design safe, reliable fire pump power service; Water management in commercial buildings; Emergency egress, illumination
Pump technology design: Selecting pumps and pipes; Class A office buildings; NFPA 101-2015; ASHRAE 90.1 updates; Motors, drives, and HVAC efficiency
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me