Candice S Spears
Law, Ethics, and Corporate Governance
October 26, 2012
Introduction A person gets hired at a reputable firm. They are enjoying their job so far and everything is looking very promising. After reviewing the paperwork they have been given to sign, they notice verbiage about employment at will. This desirable job suddenly becomes something not so desirable. The employment at will doctrine has been in place for many years. It 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 & Ingulli, pg.49). To some, it may seem a bit unfair. To others it may have positive sides as well. The following discussion article will go over scenarios of an employee having issues in the employment realm. As we go over these scenarios, the employment at will doctrine will remain in the forefront.
Skills, Competence, and Abilities The first scenario outlines a situation with an employee who seems unable to grasp basic computer applications and concepts. The employee constantly tells her employer that she is a good worker and a genius. After months of training, the employee is still unable to use the computer and be efficient in completing required tasks. The steps that would be taken as an employer to handle this issue are very simple. It is important that each and every employee succeeds in the workplace. There are so many employees that go to work every day just to collect a paycheck and it shows. With this employee I would first gather what moves her. Why are you here in this position? What do you hope to gain out of this position? Those are some key questions that need to be answered. When thinking about competence at work you must consider what the term means. Competencies are the characteristics needed to succeed in a particular job or an assignment. Relevant competencies for a job or task are identified by observing incumbent employees who are regarded as excellent performers in the job or task at in question (www.moneyinstructor.com). In the case of the employee mentioned above I would want to take some time for a one on one session. In the discussion we would go over the competencies and abilities that the employee feels she has. Then we would go over what I as the employer has noticed. Before taking any immediate action such as dismissal, I would first find out a way that the employee could get specialized training/testing so that the competencies and skills could be enhanced. The employee would be placed under a probationary period while under observation. If it noticed that there is no change after specialized attention has been given to the employee, then it would be in best interest of the company and the individual that the employee is released of his/her position. This would only be done after much consideration and time devoted to the situation.
Management, Behavior, and Performance The next scenario centers around an employee who bursts into frantic rages when criticized. This employee has also been observed as being late to work by management and other employees. The employee has been approached about her behavioral issues and the late policy. Her response is that she knows her rights and what to do if she is wrongfully discharged. She also mentions that she took a business law class and knows everything she needs to know about the exceptions to the employment at will doctrine. The employment at will doctrine is one that was set in place for employers and employees. Despite what many may feel, this is not a law that is designed to hurt either party. There are some cases and states that offer tort law. Tort law offers a plaintiff a chance to convince a