Zero Tolerance NonsensePosted by on Thursday, May 17th, 2012
While zero tolerance regulations in school and workplaces aren’t necessarily illegal, they are symptomatic of a bigger problem (and one that I document here quite frequently), which is the lack of common sense while enforcing laws and regulations across the board. There are times when rules and regulations get put in place for the best reasons. We don’t want any child to get hurt at school, so we have zero tolerance policy on weapons. Well, then, when it is taken to the extreme, you have kids getting suspended for bringing Nerf guns to show-n-tell. We don’t want people to operate dangerous and expensive machinery while intoxicated, so we heartily approve of a zero alcohol policy at the workplace. Well, then, you have people getting fired who happened to have alcohol before bed the previous night and would have been within the legal limits to drive. It’s just my opinion that a workplace policy is a little overboard if the same amount of alcohol would make a cop turn the other direction and let you keep operating a motor vehicle.
Here’s another example of zero tolerance in the workplace — and an example of why it doesn’t pay to do the right thing. A Michigan public works employee was fired after turning a gun into police. He found the gun while working. The police said he did the right thing by turning it in, but his employer disagreed.
A check revealed that it had been stolen from a nearby suburb in 2005.
Where he ran into trouble is with his superiors, who saw things rather differently.
A Wayne County spokeswoman told WJBK that according to department rules employees aren’t allowed to possess a weapon on work property.
So after 23 years — just two shy of retirement — Chevilott was fired for violation of department policies, even though he found the gun while on the job and didn’t bring it to work. His foreman, who knew about the incident, was suspended for 30 days.
So, there you have it. Evidently, that’s all you need to know. He wasn’t allowed to possess a weapon on work property, and even though he found it there, he’s in violation of the rule and terminated. Rules are rules.
When will we wake up and realize that regulations have gone too far? On one hand, we’re told to trust the police and turn stuff like this in. But, on the other hand, we are punished for it. Nice. What would the punishment have been if the gun went off and injured or killed someone and he did nothing to prevent it?
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