Note: Remember – we are looking for your understanding of the law and legal concepts we have learned in the class so explain first, demonstrate a thorough understanding and then, answer the questions of the assignment. Be informative and show what you know!
You have been hired as a management consultant by a large company to examine the company’s business decisions regarding employee protections and situations of wrongful termination. The applicable laws are federal and state anti-discrimination laws, federal and state health and safety laws, and employer firing practices related to the employment-at-will (EAW) doctrine.
In response to the three questions below, write a 4 to 6-page paper in which you do the following:
- Provide two (2) pieces of legislation that helps to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace today. Be precise as to the law and how it helps to protect employees and substantiate your answers.
- Explain the Employment-at-Will Doctrine – what it is and what it says and all the possible exceptions that help to keep employees from being fired wrongfully/illegally. Then, look at the scenarios below and determine first – should (ethically) the employee be fired and second – legally, is there an EAW exception that the employee could argue would save their job and what is it and justify your answer and argument:
- JoAnn, a manager, started a blog on the company website for employee grievances and problems. She noticed that a worker was protesting that allegedly, no Asian American employees had gotten a raise in two years at the company. Christine, the employee, also criticized how much CEO Elon had made last year and how he was “out of touch” with the realities of his employees. JoAnn reminded Christine that she was an employee-at-will. The next day, Christine talked to her fellow co-workers about forming a union. JoAnn fired Christine and Christine is suing for wrongful termination.
- Steven, a department supervisor, fires his secretary, Ann. Ann is a devout Christian and has been putting Right-to-Life flyers in the employee breakroom. Steven talked to Ann twice and reiterated her actions were not appropriate. Ann continued to leave the pamphlets and was also taking time away from work to pray at her desk during the busiest times of the morning. Ann is suing for wrongful termination.
- Brian, the head of the accounting department, refuses to sign Lori’s leave request for jury duty during tax season, specifically the week of April 15. Lori is a tax attorney in his department. Brian tells Lori it is the company’s busiest time of year, and she cannot be granted leave. Brian fires Lori when she fails to show up for work that week. Lori is suing for wrongful termination
- Paul has worked for Widgets Inc. for one year and has a rare form of liver disease. Paul works with chemicals that make his condition worse and he is coughing constantly in the workplace. Paul wants to continue to work but his boss, Jay is not happy with his performance or the progression his disease is having on him and fellow employees. Jay fires Paul for his “own good.” Paul sues for wrongful termination.
- Determine what employers must do when hiring new employees, in compliance with federal law, and whether your home state allows for worker’s compensation benefits to those undocumented who are not legally allowed to work in the United States. Advocate for or against this practice and substantiate your response with research to support your position.