Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hill, Marvin F.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Employees--United States--Dismissal of; Labor laws and legislation--United States


This thesis is an analysis of discharge for off-duty misconduct in the private and public sectors. The purpose is to provide a clearer understanding of how arbitrators and the courts resolve cases involving off-duty misconduct discharges. It presents an objective review of labor arbitration awards and court decisions and is structured to aid in resolving these issues. The private sector is analyzed with particular discussion centering on contractual and judicial limitations to discharge for off-duty misconduct. Published arbitration awards and court decisions are highlighted to show arbitral and judicial analysis. Published arbitration awards reveal four standards for analyzing off-duty misconduct discharges, while judicial analysis centers on employment at-will. An examination of cases in the public sector is also presented. Specifically, contractual, statutory, and constitutional limitations are major considerations. An in-depth analysis of these limitations is presented to highlight differences between the various forums used to resolve this issue, as well as for comparison purposes between the sectors. A framework for determining the propriety of discharge for off-duty misconduct is recommended by the author. It is submitted that determining the extent of adverse effect upon the affairs of the employer which leads to the establishment of a nexus between the misconduct and the employment relation is critical to upholding a discharge penalty. Furthermore, if a clear nexus can not be established, a presumption argument may be used in certain instances; otherwise,discharge is inappropriate. This thesis attempts to contribute a furtherance of knowledge and understanding of discharges for off-duty misconduct. Employers, practitioners, labor arbitrators, and courts should benefit from the analysis presented.


Bibliography : leaf 81.


iv, 81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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