Assignment 1: Employment-At-Will Doctrine
Law and Ethics in the Business Environment
July 28, 2013
Getting ready for an Initial Public Offering is a stressful time for any upper level position such as CEO or COO of a company. The part that makes it even worse is when employees are performing acts that are not positive for the company and are against the employment-at-will doctrine. This doctrine will help guide employees against wrongful acts and outline the consequences if these acts are done. On top of this, a whistleblower policy is important so employees feel at ease to report any illegal acts when witnessed. All in all, the employment-at-will and ...view middle of the document...
There are three main exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine that protects the employees and in which they can pursue legal action if terminated. The three exceptions are: discrimination, a well-established public policy already in in place, and an implied contract. This means that the employer must have just cause before terminating the employees as in the case with the implied contract. There will be no tolerance of discrimination of gender, race, religion, sex, and national origin.
John’s posting on his Facebook page would not be considered a just cause for termination under the employment-at will doctrine. He may be reprimanded at work, but termination shouldn’t be an option. There should be a clear cut policy on company loyalty in and out of work. The ethical theory that goes along with this is utilitarianism. In the case with Jim sending the email to other salespeople, this would be a situation in which he could be terminated and would have no coverage under this doctrine. He is using business property to send the email so that in itself is a just cause. Give him and every employee the company policy on business equipment usage. The ethical theory to back this up is virtue ethics. In the situation with Ellen, she may be terminated for her portrayal of the CEO and that no employees under the Director role have gotten a raise in a few years. This needs to be addressed to the specific persons in a professional manner. This would go against the policies in the employee handbook. The best ethical theory for this occurrence would be ethics of care. Bill’s use of his Blackberry to conduct and run his own business on the side is definite ground for legal termination. There are policies in place within the company that states that company issued products are used for the business only and not for any other use unless it’s an emergency. Make a clear cut policy of the do’s and don’ts of business equipment usage. This would be justified by virtue ethics.
In the situation with the secretaries getting fired legally for their protest with their dress, they can be terminated because the company policy states a given dress code must be followed. At this point, the employer would have justification that they have not done anything illegal. Ethics of care would be the best to use in this situation. Joe can be terminated for his use of his personal email on a company computer because while on company time, he may not act the way he did. He can’t sue the company because they didn’t invade his privacy because it was performed on the company’s computer. Joe’s termination would be legal. The ethical theory in place here would be the virtue ethics. The secretary can’t be fired for insubordination because it is her own right to not perform illegal acts at the request of her supervisor. The supervisor could be fired due to him knowingly wanting to commit an illegal act that would jeopardize the company. ...