Employment At Will Doctrine – Sample Paper


The employment-at-will policy asserts that when an employee is employed without any written contract and the term of employment is of unspecified duration, the employer can end the employee job for bad cause, for good cause, or for no cause at all. In state of at-will, either the worker or boss may terminate the employment relation at any time, with or with no warning, and cause, except if there is a signed agreement with articulated terms and condition governing its termination (Muhl, 2001).

Evaluation of Scenarios

In the first scenario, John criticizes the most essential customer of the company on his Facebook wall. Although the specific customer may not access the post, this act mud the company’s image regarding its respect and honor to its customers. This act may make customers to shy off and consider substituting the company for the fear of being humiliated in the public via social media. This will definitely impact the financial performance of the company. This is an insulting act, and thus the firm has the right to discipline this employee either by termination or a warning. In the second scenario, Jim is angry with bonus and commission change in the sales department, and he attempts to mobilize the sales team to boycott the following sales meeting. In this case, Jim needs to understand that he is in the company at will and he is free to leave if he is not pleased with new working conditions. Otherwise, Jim should just a bid by the new rules and he should not be allowed to influence others since he can jeopardize the sales department. If he moves on with his plan, the company should consider giving him a warning or a termination.

In the third case, Ellen should understand that the firm’s issues do not need to be exposed to the social media. The company’s privacy and policies should be respected by using the right communication protocol to raise ones concern. In addition, the use of abusive language is totally unaccepted at any cost. Therefore, in this case, Ellen has gone against the company’s expectation and she can be given a warning or a dismissal. In the fourth case, Bills should understand that resources of a company are required to be utilized effectively and with a high level of accountability. They are only required to be used for the intended purpose, to promote prosperity and growth of the company. It is inappropriate to use company’s resources including time for personal growth. This is a form of theft and incompetence. Therefore, Bill should be charged for stealing from the company where he will be required to compensate the company and be terminated. Alternatively, he should be demoted and be made to serve the company where part of his salary will be taken to pay the damages he caused to the company.

In the fifth case, the secretary should understand that the company has all the right to use any possible means to monitor the performance of its employees. Therefore, the secretary should consider utilizing her company time well to avoid problems or quit if she feels that the supervision is beyond what she can take. On sixth case, Joe should understand that although the company is not required to interfere with his privacy, he is also not supposed to use his privacy to destroy the company. As long as the company learned of the email from the customer’s side, the company has not invaded Joe’s privacy and it has a reason to charge Joe for destruction of their business and to dismiss him since he is not acting at the best interest of the company.

In the seventh case, it is good that the secretary knows her role in the protection of the company’s interest. In this case, the supervisor should understand that being senior does not give him the power to molest juniors and to include them in his dirty deals.  In this case, the secretary should be congratulated and a warning or a termination should be given to the supervisor. Finally in the eighth case, the boss should understand that leave is a right to all workers which is protected by the employment law. Therefore, there is no boss who is required to undermine the rights of their juniors and thus, the boss should be warned and he should not be allowed to terminate Anne.

Firing of an Employee

Employment-at-will doctrine contains a limit such that, there are some federal, state or discriminatory law that govern job termination. The protected activities in comprise of filing a inequity complaint based on jury services, disability, refusal to collaborate in illegal acts, national origin, reporting violations of law, age, race or color, and filing workers compensation claim. However, the safeguarded activities are not limited to above issues (Tml.org, 2005). This is because, an upset employee may consider suing a company on protected activities, a firm is required to keep workers performance record to serve as a proof that any disciplinary action was not based on protective act. The status of employment-at-will can be altered by written agreement, state or local law (New York State, 2000).

Limiting Liabilities

Liabilities of a firm can be lowered by offering good human resource management. This includes making employees responsible for their acts, offering them incentives and training. Proper monitoring and performance assessment is also required to achieve this. The assessment will include monitoring on successful completion of tasks, utilization of working hours, employees output, and utilization of company’s resources. Employees should be given bonuses or salary increment based on their performance. The employed will have a code of conduct which they should adhere to. Reckless acts and destruction of company’s properties will be sued and individual responsibility taken for any such acts. Moreover, accidents from reckless act will not be compensated by the company. This is supported by utilitarian ethical theory that advocate for decisions that minimize harms and maximize on net benefit (Roehling, 2003).

Whistleblower Policy Recommendation

Based on the company situation, I would recommend the CEO to adopt whistleblower policy. This is because, a whistleblower limits manners in which employees express their complaints and support internal communication via the right channels. An important aspect of accountability and transparency in an organization is a technique to permit all individuals to voice their grievances internally, in a responsible and effective way, when they have a reason to believe that the information demonstrates serious malpractice. Whistleblower policy is significant to firm’s proficient integrity, and it strengthens values of company which ensure honesty and respect among employees of different or same level of professionalism (UK Government, n.d.).

Items to Incorporate in the Whistleblower Policy

There are three fundaments elements which require to be incorporated in whistleblower policy. This includes protection of employees from disciplinary action, victimization, or harassment due to information revelation, where the revelation is not malicious, not for individual benefit and is in good faith. The policy should allow full investigation via interviews where all probable witnesses will be regarded. The last element is anonymity where the information givers identity will be completely protected at internal level to avoid victimization, though the protection is not guaranteed if the revelation initiated legal actions involvement (Moskowitz, 1998).

Assignment 1: Employment-At-Will Doctrine

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 your attention. For each category of behavior, describe what steps you would take to address the situation.

Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

1. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving skills, competence, and abilities:

  • The employee seems to be unable to 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.

2. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving management, behavior, and performance:

  • The employee tends to burst into a rage when criticized and is frequently late to work as noticed by her boss and other staff members. When her boss attempts to address her behavioral issues and the company late policy, the employee’s response is that she “ knows her rights and what to do” if she is wrongfully discharged. She also says she took a business law class in undergrad that taught her “everything she needs to know about exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy”.

3. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving labor and laws:

  • The employee takes a day off from work, without management consent, for her religious holiday observance that falls on a day that is during “ tax season”. The day off occurred during an incredibly busy period for the company during which the employer had notified all employees they were not allowed to take off without prior management approval. Also, there is no labor union for accountants. However, she begins talking to her co-workers during lunch breaks and sometimes during regular work hours, encouraging them to organize and form a union to “protect ourselves”.

4. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving policies and procedures:

  • The employee’s supervisor consistently asks her out on dates; the employee initially refuses to go out on a date with her supervisor. The employee later discusses the issue with her girlfriend who encourages her to accept his offers. During her new employee orientation, the employee was informed of the company policy which prevented employees from dating their supervisor and was given an employee handbook with the written policy. The employee and her supervisor later begin having a consensual relationship.

Need a Professional Writer to Work on Your Assignments? We will deliver Unique and Quality Work. Good Grade Guarantee!!

Order Unique Answer Now