LEG 500-Law, Ethics and Corp. Governance
August 3, 2014
Employment-at-will is a legal rule that developed in the nineteenth century, giving employers unfettered power to “dismiss their employees at will for good cause, for no cause, or even for cause morally wrong, without being thereby guilty of a legal wrong” (Halbert, 2012). Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for whatever reason with no adverse legal consequences. However, based on Charles Muhl, a former economist with the BLS, he stated the exceptions to this rule:
1. “Public-policy- an employee is wrongfully discharged when the termination is against an explicit, well-established public policy of the State. For example:
a. Refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits-Refusing an employer’s request to commit perjury at a trial.
b. Reporting a violation of the law-reporting an employer’s fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor.
c. Engaging in acts that are in the public interest- joining the National Guard or performing jury duty.
d. Exercising a statutory right- filing a claim under the state workers’ compensation law” (NCSL, 2014)
2. Implied contract -is formed between an employer and employee, even though no express, written instrument regarding the employment relationship exists.
3. Covenant-of-good-faith exception-represents the most significant departure from the traditional employment-at-will doctrine” (Muhl, 2001).
4. Written contract of employment- which applies to top management and executives.
5. Constructive discharge when employer demoting an employee or change the work environment that may intolerable to an employee and forced to resign” (Calisi, 2012).
As a new hired manager, employment-at-will must be reviewed and make some recommendations to address with the following employees. The following personnel problems are here to discuss and some recommendations to take as new manager.
John posted a rant on his Facebook page in which he criticized the company’s most important customer. First, the bill of rights defines “freedom of speech in a self-governing society demands that citizens act with moderation, respect, and responsibility” (Bill of Rights). John obviously expressed his feeling without thinking his actions whether it’s going to affect his employer. Today, “Facebook is the largest social network service provider in the United States” (Halbert, 2012). In addition, Facebook has million active users; the United States alone has more than 1 million users and each day users update their statuses” (Halbert, 2012). Private companies have some ways to discipline or to handle like John’s case; he could be terminated by his actions. Nancy Flynn argued that “Management has a right and responsibility to monitor how employees are using social media at all times. If companies don't pay attention, they may end up facing any number of serious problems” (WSJ, 2014). As a new manager, I will give John his first verbal warning regarding his actions in posting business matter on Facebook and explain that his post could lead a great loss or consequences with the important customer in the business. Remind him that we care our customers and we should maintain good business relationship.
Bill has been using his company-issued BlackBerry to run his own business on the side. In 1896 congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act or ECPA which addresses questions in regards to legality of monitoring electric communications. In many cases, employers own the equipment for example: computers, phones, servers as well as software. And other cases employers provide car, etc. These equipment are provided for the use of business only. Therefore they have the rights to monitor in every activity for security as well as liability purposes. Bill obviously violated his company’s policy and he can be legally fired for his actions. He was hired to…