On which one should an employer be tougher: the new employee who has engaged in misconduct or a long-time employee, with an otherwise fine record, who has done the same thing?
I've discussed this with management classes over the years and have found it to be surprisingly controversial. One group believes that more slack should be given to the long-time employee because of service rendered. The other group counters that the senior person should have known better than the new employee and should be subject to greater discipline.
Excluding cases in which the misconduct is so severe that it would override other factors, how would you decide?