Case:  Metropolitan Insurance: Employee Counseling

NOTE:  This assignment must include a title page, an executive summary and a maximum of three pages of text.


You are the HR Manager for Metropolitan Insurance, a property and casualty insurance firm based in New Jersey.  The office is in a high-rise building and occupies four floors of the tower.  A total of 238 employees work in the call center  and interact with customers and independent insurance agents across the eastern U.S.


To enter the office of the Metropolitan Insurance, employees are required to use “swipe cards” that are used to open doors in order to gain access.  When the swipe cards are drawn through the unit outside the door, the employee’s name and the time he or she entered is recorded in the company’s security system.  (The is official company policy.)


One of the employees in the call center, Jennifer (Customer Service Representative), has had an attendance problem.  Her supervisor, Robert, has asked you to give him guidance for counseling Jennifer on her attendance issues.


According to Robert, “Jennifer’s office is two floors below mine, and I think she assumes I have no way of knowing when she arrives for work, returns from lunch, or is absent altogether.”


Responding to him, you say “Right.  So she doesn’t realize that every time she enters the building, the swipe card logs her entry?”


“No, she apparently thinks she is slipping in and out without our knowledge,” Robert replies.  “My records indicate that in the last month, she was late to work 9 times and took a lunch longer than an hour a total of 10 times.”


Mulling over, you ask, “Have you approached her on this matter yet?”            “Not really,” he says.  “I asked her yesterday why she was late coming to work the day before, and she simply responded that she wasn’t late.”


“Yet you know she was,” you counter.


“Exactly.  She didn’t swipe in until 30 minutes after her workday should start.”


After giving the situation some thought, you ask, “It is possible that she was on time but didn’t swipe her card at the access door?”


“What do you mean?” Robert asks.


“Perhaps she was here when she was supposed to be here, but someone held the door open for her.  If that was the case, she wouldn’t need to swipe her card to gain access.”


Robert nods.  “That is possible, but then why would she swipe in 30 minutes later?  After all, she should have been at her desk at that point.”


“True”, you say.  “but she may have forgotten something in her car and gone out to retrieve it.  When she came back in, it might have appeared that it was the first time she swiped in.”


“Well that certainly sounds plausible and might account for incident, “Robert says.  “But what about all the other times?  Surely you don’t suggest that people are holding the door open for her every time she’s been late to work in the morning or returning from lunch.  That’s just too coincidental.”


“I agree.  But when we meet with her, we must be prepared for her to offer just that kind of scenario as her defense.”


Both of you plan to meet with Jennifer this afternoon concerning her attendance.




  1. How should you and Robert approach Jennifer regarding her attendance? What will be said?


  1. If Jennifer indicates that she was never late and that employees held the door open ever time, what will you say?


  1. Assume this will be Jennifer’s first disciplinary action. What steps should be taken?


  1. If you discover there is a companywide practice of holding the door open for employees, should a new policy be created? If so, what should it say?

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