Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Topics: Employment / Pages: 7 (2302 words) / Published: May 29th, 2014
• 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 fair dealing” (Muhl, 2001, p4). People cannot be fired based on the “individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012, p134). An individual can also not be fired based on a disability or due to filing a workman’s comp claim.

Imagine you are a recently-hired Chief Operating Officer (COO) in a midsize company preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). You quickly discover multiple personnel problems that require your immediate attention.
As an astute manager, you will need to analyze the employment-at-will doctrine and determine what, if any, exceptions and liabilities exist before taking any action. o Whether you can legally fire the employee; include an assessment of any pertinent exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine. o What action you should take to limit liability and impact on operations; specify which ethical theory best supports your decision.

• John posted a rant on his Facebook page in which he criticized the company’s most important customer.
John’s actions took place on his own time, and the information was posted on his personal site. The action from the company would depend on whether John made the post and none of his coworkers chimed in or agreed with him, or if someone did agree with him. Concerted activity is protected under the law but not grunts and



References: Barnett, T. (1992). Why Your Company Should Have a Whistleblowing Policy. Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://ethics.csc.ncsu.edu /old/12_00/ basics/whistle/rst/wstlblo_policy.html BizFilings Business Dictionary. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com Bussing, H Cornell University Law School. Legal Information Institute. Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/employment-at-will_doctrine. Eidelson, J. (2012). Can You Be Fired for What You Post on Facebook? Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/ jurisprudence/2012/07/getting_fired_for_what_you_post_on_facebook.html Gordon, C. (2012). Woman Allegedly Fired for Reporting to Jury Duty. Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/01/04/woman-allegedly-fired-for -reporting-to-jury-duty/ Halbert, T Muhl, C. (2001). The employment-at-will doctrine: Three major exceptions. Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2001/01/art1full.pdf National Conference of State Legislatures Newby, L. (2014). When Complaining about Your Job on Facebook Can Get You Fired. Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/ legal_blog_watch/2013/05/when-complaining-about-your-job-on-facebook-can- get-you-fired.html NOLO NOLO. (2014). Taking Time Off for Jury Duty. Retrieved May 4th, 2014, from http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/taking-time-off-jury-duty.html Rogers, K

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