Southwest sent Carmona a written warning.
On June 21, 2005, Carmona sprained his thumb at home. He did not report to work the next day as scheduled, but went to the hospital instead to have his thumb examined. The hospital released him around midnight of June 23. However, he did not return to work until June 27, because of the swelling in his hand. At trial, it was disputed whether or not this absence was in accordance with the hospital’s instructions. Carmona testified that he faxed two doctors’ notes to Southwest, one of which said that he should return to work the morning of June 23, and the other of which said that he would need to stay home for three or four days. Southwest contended that it had only received the note saying he could return to work the morning of June 23.
On June 23, 2005, Southwest sent Carmona his final warning. It issued him a termination level notice on June 27, which indicated that he had accumulated thirteen points as of June 26. Under the Agreement between the flight attendants’ union and Southwest, a flight attendant must be terminated within seven days of reaching twelve points. Kevin Clark (Clark), Southwest’s In-Flight Base Manager for Houston, requested an extension of this deadline, because he was unable to find a time within seven days of June 26 when he, Carmona, and a representative from Carmona’s union could meet to hold the fact-finding meeting to which Carmona was entitled. At trial, Carmona testified that his union representative told him that he had to grant Southwest the extension or it would terminate him immediately. He decided to grant the extension.
Before the fact-finding meeting, Clark reviewed Carmona’s attendance points and concluded that Carmona’s record was incorrect, because Clark calculated that it should have reflected sixteen-and-a-half points, instead of thirteen. At the meeting, Clark asserted this view. Stacy Martin (Martin),