Employment at Will

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  • Topic: Employment, At-will employment, Law
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LEG 500 Law, Ethics, and Corporate Governance

Assignment 1

Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Cynthia Gomez

Professor Natalie Stratis-Malak

October 28, 2012

1. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving skills, competence and abilities.

The following steps that would be taken to address when an employee seems to be unable to learn the computer applications that are basic to her job responsibilities, but consistently “tells” her boss that she is “a good worker and a genius” and that he does not “appreciate her”. Even after a few months of training and support, she is unable to use the computer tools to be productive and efficient in completing the required tasks in my opinion are pretty basic. This is simply a case for termination with good case even though this does not legally need to be stated in an employment-at-will environment (Roehling & Boswel, 2012). As an employer working under the employment-at-will doctrine the employee would have first signed legal documents that she knew she was working under these circumstances. There would also have been a probationary period that this employee knew existed to ensure that she was properly trained and could perform the functions that she was assigned. This would have given the employer the right under this doctrine to terminate an employee who was not productive and could not perform her duties.

As a manager and supervisor I would periodically have done assessments on this employees performs, sat down with her to see where her weaknesses were, provided the needed training she required to perform her job and would have documented all this in her employee file. If after several months of training and support she was still unable to perform her duties then I would proceed with the process of terminating her. It is understandable that she is well educated and recently out of college but even with the proper training she was still unable to use the computer tools to be productive and efficient in doing her job. It is obvious that she is not qualified for the position she was hired for and should be terminated. Under the employment-at-will doctrine the documentation is not required but is necessary in my opinion to ensure any repercussions that might arise from her termination and would answer or justify any question that may arise from her termination.

2. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving management, behavior, and performance.

When an employee tends to burst into a rage when criticized and is frequently late to work as noticed by her boss and other staff members and when her boss attempts to address her behavior issues and the company late policy, the employee’s response is that she “knows her rights and what to do” if she is wrongfully discharged. Furthermore, she also says she took a business law class in undergrad that taught her “everything she needs to know about exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy then as a manager or supervisor of this individual I would again first try counseling this individual in the areas she needs counseling in before taking any actions. If to no avail I would then confer with our Human Resource department to see what are options would be concerning this individual. There may be certain conditions within her contract such as duration of employment or other such conditions that would prevent her dismissal or be considered wrongful dismissal. I believe that if stated in company guidelines or a handbook that her constant tardiness and unprofessional outburst were grounds for termination and if further investigation into wrongful discharge in violation of public policy I would proceed with the termination. Under the exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine she has no proper grounds for a suit...
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