Employment At Will Essay

2866 words - 12 pages

Employment-at-will Doctrine
Whistleblower Strategy
Yasser Benadada

Strayer University
Professor Holeman

Table of Contents
Employment at will Doctrine 2
Public-policy exception 2
Implied-contract exception 3
Covenant-of-good-faith and Tort based exceptions 3
Evaluation each of the eight (8) scenarios: 4
Recommend whistleblower policy 7
Fundamental Items to Whistleblower policy 8
References 10

Employment at will Doctrine
According to Clarkson, Miller, Jentz & Cross (2004, p.235), employment at will is a common law doctrine under which either party may terminate an employment relationship at any time for any reason, unless a contract specifies otherwise. ...view middle of the document...

The public-policy exception is the most widely accepted exception, recognized in 43 of the 50 States.
Implied-contract exception
According to the to Clarkson et al. (2004, p.648), some courts have recognized that an employee and employer have an implied contract. If employees are fired outside of the implied contract, the employee may take action for violation of contract. In some cases, the employer’s manual or personal bulletin may have the matter of policy. The matter of policy states that workers can only be fired for a good cause. If the employee knows of this policy, the court considers this as an implied contract between the employer and employee. Oral promises made by the employer may also be considered as an implied contract. If an employee is dismissed under different concepts than the ones that were promised, the employer can be held for violation of contract and can be held accountable for damages. This exception is recognized in 38 of the 50 States.
Covenant-of-good-faith and Tort based exceptions
According to Sentell & Robbins, only 11 States recognize the covenant-of-good-faith exception. The exception for a covenant of good faith and fair dealing represents the most significant departure from the traditional employment-at-will doctrine. Rather than narrowly prohibiting terminations based on public policy or an implied contract, this exception— at its broadest—reads a covenant of good faith and fair dealing into every employment relationship. It has been interpreted to mean either that employer personnel decisions are subject to a “just cause” standard or that terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice are prohibited. Under the Tort exception, an employer is held liable for abusive discharge that results in emotional distress or defamation (Clarkson et al., p.648). Some courts have allowed employees to sue following false promises - the tort theory of fraud. For example, an employee can sue following termination that resulted from the employer inducing the employee to leave a lucrative job and making promises that cannot be kept while hiding important facts such as a merger that would result in the loss of the employee’s position.
Evaluation each of the eight (8) scenarios:
1. John, out of rage, posted a rant on his Facebook page criticizing the company’s most important customer. While many details about John’s rant are missing such as what specific language was used and who got a hold of it, it is clear that it was very unprofessional to say the least. As a result, John’s manager would be justified in firing him – meaning this is a situation that presents just cause for termination. Of course, under the Employment-at-will doctrine, the company would be able to legally terminate the relationship. Furthermore, there are not apparent breaches of implied-contract, tort law or public policy that would allow John protection under any of the doctrine’s exceptions. From a moral perspective, the manager should not...

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