Employment At Will Doctrine Essay

2273 words - 10 pages

As a manager and supervisor of an accounting department, discuss the following issues related to the employment-at-will doctrine and liability of an employer based on actions and responses to the employee’s behavior and actions. Jennifer, a recent graduate, has recently been hired by your accounting firm out of college. Upon being hired, she engages in a number of different behaviors that need you attention. Within each scenario of the employer vs. employee situation, will contain a list of steps to address the situation. Considering the following informative legal outcomes to the Employment-at-Will such as: the firms allowance legally in firing the employee based on the ...view middle of the document...

Same goes for an employee; they are free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason at all and no confrontational legal concerns. Implication of the Employment-at-Will doctrine includes also that an employer can change the terms of the employment relationship with no notice and no consequence. The article found on the National Conference of State Legislatures website stated the following; “For example, an employer can alter wages, terminate benefits, or reduce paid time off. In its unaltered form, the U.S at-will rule leaves employees vulnerable to arbitrary and sudden dismissal, a limited or on-call work schedule depending on the employer’s needs, and unannounced cuts in pay and benefits” (www.ncsl.org, 4/28/13).
There is however three common law exceptions to the at-will rule and they are as follows: public policy, implied contract, and implied covenant of good faith. Under the public-policy exception to employment at will, an employee is wrongfully discharged when the termination is against an explicit, well-established public policy of the State. For example, in most States, an employer cannot terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim after being injured on the job, or for refusing to break the law at the request of the employer. The majority view among States is that public policy may be found in either a State constitution, statute, or administrative rule, but some States have either restricted or expanded the doctrine beyond this bound. The public-policy exception is the most widely accepted exception, recognized in 43 of the 50 States (Labor Journal, 2001).
The first scenario is as follows: The employee seems to be unable 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. Based on the Employment-at-Will doctrine, the firm has every legal right to terminate her for the reason of not being able to fulfill her required job duties. The firm took the correct steps in noticing the lack in productiveness and equipped her with the necessary training and tools to help her in these required areas of work. The fact that she is incapable to grow and learn, given the right training and tools does not cause the possible chance for her to file a claim of discrimination or a valid claim to receive unemployment wages. One thing that always helps and must be done by the Managers and Supervisors of the firm is to document all of this in her file, for the record to show the consistent lack in improvements in her required job duties. The employee needs to be made aware of such documentation as well as any verbal warnings or written warnings with both employee and manager signatures. These will assist in the grounds for dismissal.

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