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Employment At Will Essay

1672 words - 7 pages

Employment at Will

1. What is the employment at will?

According to Ford, the employment-at-will doctrine is a legal rule that was established in the nineteenth century, giving employer's unrestricted power to "terminate their employees at will for a good cause, for no cause, or even for cause morally wrong, without being thereby guilty of a legal wrong”. Once the employee agrees to the term of the Employment at Will contracts, the employee can leave the company whenever they want, and the doctrine gives the employer the ability to fire the employee without providing any reason or notice. This legal intent of employment at will is to ensure that all parties have a degree of protection ...view middle of the document...

If the company policy states that the employee cannot use the BlackBerry phone for personal use, then Bill is breaking the company's policy and his ground for termination. But if there are no policy regarding the restriction on the usage of the phone, then Bill is not breaking the rule and cannot be terminated. A few more questions need to be answered such as: when was Bill running his own business? Was he running his business on the company hours? Was it doing it after hours? How did the company find out that he was running his business? With the information provided in the scenario, the company cannot terminate Bill.

b) Primary action(s) that you should take:

The primary action for the company is to update their company policy and handbook to be clearly stating that the usage of the company phone and other technology devices are not to be used for personal matters.

3) After being disciplined for criticizing a customer in an email (sent from his personal email account on a company computer), Joe threatens to sue the company for invasion of privacy.

a) Can you legally fire this employee?

The company cannot terminate Joe for criticizing a customer. More research need to be perform on the company’s policy. However, Joe did misused some confidential information such as the customers' email address and name. The company does not have the rights to get Joes' personal ID to check what was sent from the company's computer. However, if the emails are kept on the company’s’ computer HUB, then they can retrieve all emails going through the system. In this scenario, I feel that Joe could be terminated on some misuse of confidential information. If the customer finds out and come and complains then other actions can be taken.

b) Primary action(s) that you should take:

Immediate action should be taken in regards to the clients' confidentiality. The company may want to update their policy to include the action taken if the clients' information is misused and employee are unethical.

4) One of the department supervisors requests your approval to fire his secretary for insubordination. Since the secretary has always received glowing reviews, you call her into your office and determine that she has refused to prepare false expense reports for her boss.

a) Can you legally fire this employee?

“The majority holds that an employee may not express a refusal to engage in illegal or clearly unethical conduct until his actual participation and the resulting harm is imminent (Guerin & DelPo, 2013).” This principle gives no protection to the ethical independence of an employee. Under the employment-at-will law, it is illegal for the department supervisor to fire her because the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects her as a whistleblower against discrimination for providing information (Hatamian, 2016). No action is needed to be taken against the secretary. She did the right thing by not preparing false expense reports for her boss.

b)...

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