Assignment 1: Employment-At-Will Doctrine
Imagine you are a recently-hired Chief Operating Officer (COO) in a midsize company preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). You quickly discover multiple personnel problems that require your immediate attention.
•John posted a rant on his Facebook page in which he criticized the company’s most important customer.
•Jim sent an email to other salespeople protesting a change in commission schedules and bonuses and suggesting everyone boycott the next sales meeting.
•Ellen started a blog to protest the CEO’s bonus, noting that no one below director has gotten a raise in two (2) years and portraying her bosses as “know-nothings” and “out-of-touch”
•Bill has been using his company-issued BlackBerry to run his own business on the side.
•The secretaries in the accounting department decided to dress in black-and-white stripes to protest a memo announcing that the company has installed keylogger software on all company computers.
•After being disciplined for criticizing a customer in an email (sent from his personal email account on a company computer), Joe threatens to sue the company for invasion of privacy.
•One of the department supervisors requests your approval to fire his secretary for insubordination. Since the secretary has always received glowing reviews, you call her into your office and determine that she has refused to prepare false expense reports for her boss.
•Anna’s boss refused to sign her leave request for jury duty and now wants to fire her for being absent without permission.
As an astute manager, you will need to analyze the employment-at-will doctrine and determine what, if any, exceptions and liabilities exist before taking any action. As you proceed with your investigation, you discover the company has no whistleblower policy.
Write a four (4) page paper in which you:
•Summarize the employment-at-will doctrine and evaluate each of the eight (8) scenarios described by determining:
◦Whether you can legally fire the employee; include an assessment of any pertinent exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine.
◦What action you should take to limit liability and impact on operations; specify which ethical theory best supports your decision.
•Take a position on whether or not you would recommend to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) that the company adopt a whistleblower policy. Support the position.
•Justify at least three (3) fundamental items that should be included in a whistleblower policy. Provide a rationale for your selection of each of the three (3) recommended items.
•Use at least three (3) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference and proprietary Websites do not qualify as academic resources.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
•Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
•Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
•Apply the concepts of freedom versus responsibility and ethical decision making.
•Compare the legal concepts of corporate governance with the ethics of corporate social responsibility.
•Analyze and evaluate the employment-at-will doctrine and exceptions, as well as the protections afforded whistleblowers.
•Explore the legal and ethical issues surrounding employee and consumer privacy.
•Use technology and information resources to research issues in law, ethics, and corporate governance.
•Write clearly and concisely about law, ethics, and corporate governance using proper writing mechanics.