Assignment 1: Employment-At-Will Doctrine
* Summarize the employment-at-will doctrine and evaluate each of the eight (8) scenarios described by determining:
The employment-at-will doctrine states that an employee can be fired or released from a company for cause or no cause at all. The employee also has the right to quit a job for any reason. Under this legislation, neither the employer or employee incurs “adverse legal consequences” (NCSL, 2014). There are three exceptions that are observed by the law to include a dismissal that “violates a state’s public policy, where there is an implied contract for employment, or where there is an implied covenant of good faith and ...view middle of the document...
Concerted activity is protected under the law but not grunts and groaning from one employee. According to Eidelson (2012), “concerted activity will take different forms for different workers”. Quite simply put, John’s post could cause a loss of business for the company or even a disgruntled customer, not to mention the company’s most important customer. The company would be protected in firing him. I made this decision based on the Ethics of Care. John made a comment about our most important customer, and it is the company’s business to make sure the customer continues to be our most important customer.
* Jim sent an email to other salespeople protesting a change in commission schedules and bonuses and suggesting everyone boycott the next sales meeting.
Jim’s case is interesting. The answer to firing him is it depends. If Jim is disgruntled and just decided to send out an email to all of his coworkers to get them roweled up, then he could be fired legally. However, if he had been talking to other employees and then sent them an email to further talk about actions to take, he would be protected under the law as “protected concerted activity” (Eidelson, 2012). Also, the judge may look at Jim’s case to see if he talked with any of the upper management about concerns before trying to get others to boycott. The judge would check to see if Jim was part of a union as well. In one case where an employee sent an email, the judge ruled that her firing was legal, because her email "merely expressed an individual gripe rather than any shared concerns about working conditions" (Newby, 2013). Since this description did not say that other employees joined in with Jim, the judge would rule that his firing was legal. After firing Jim, I would call a meeting with the rest of the employees to make sure that Jim’s attitude towards the company had not spread to others and to try to find some solutions if it had. I made this decision based on the Virtue Ethics model.
* Ellen started a blog to protest the CEO’s bonus, noting that no one below director has gotten a raise in two (2) years and portraying her bosses as “know-nothings” and “out-of-touch”.
Ellen started a blog to protest the CEO’s bonus. The employer would need to make sure that Ellen’s post had not been commented on by other employees who were in agreement with her. The company should also look to its’ social media policy if it has one. The employer could be covered if the policy states that employees cannot speak derogatorily about their boss or coworkers online. The “National Labor Relations Act states that workers have the right to discuss their wages and conditions of employment”; however, “griping or ranting by a single employee is not protected” (Rogers, 2013). Ellen stepped across the line by criticizing the CEO of the company and calling him names. This could cause a rift in the company and lower morale. The company would be justified in firing Ellen. I would do...