Employment At-Will Doctrine
The legal doctrine called at-will clearly states that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason without incurring legal liability. It also means that an employer can change the terms of the employment relationship with no notice and no consequences. “For example, an employer can alter wages, terminate benefits, or reduce paid time off. In its unadulterated form, the U.S. at-will rule leaves employees vulnerable to arbitrary and sudden dismissal, a limited or on-call work schedule depending on the employer’s needs, and unannounced cuts in pay and benefits (Boone, 2012).”
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(c) This Code section shall not apply to an employee who is charged with a crime, nor shall it prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to abide by regulations requiring reasonable notification to an employer of the employee´s expected absence or delay in reporting to work in order to attend a judicial proceeding (State of GA, 2013).”
II. The secretaries in the accounting department decided to dress in black-and-white stripes to protest a memo announcing that the company has installed key logger software on all company computers.
An employer does not have the right to discriminate against an article of clothing worn by the employee unless dress code violates company policy. For example, if company policy states that a certain uniform is to be worn then employee must abide by these guidelines and not deviate. The secretarial protest is not verbal but based on a certain color being worn to work. The 2013 fall fashion magazines have supermodels sporting black and white stripes, these colors are in for this time of season.
III. 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.
Insubordination is a refusal to carry out orders given by a superior and there are several characteristics that must be present before a situation can be considered insubordination. The first is that the order must clearly be an order, in the form of a verbal or written statement that includes some variation on the phrase this is an order but the order must be proper and cannot violate the employee's contract or the law. If an order is not proper and violates the law, the employee is under no obligation to carry it out. The supervisor then would have an obligation to report this information to a higher authority or risk losing his or her job for withholding information that could violate company policy.
IV. John posted a rant on his Facebook page in which he criticized the company’s most important customer.
V. 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.
VI. Jim sent an email to other salespeople protesting a change in commission schedules and bonuses and suggesting everyone boycott the next sales meeting.
VII. Ellen started a blog to protest the CEO’s bonus, noting that no one below director has gotten a raise in two years and portraying her bosses as “know-nothings” and “out-of-touch.”
VIII. Bill has been using his company-issued BlackBerry to run his own business on the side.
“Private sector employees have common law privacy rights which are enforced through tort claims based on invasion of privacy theories. The most applicable theory to employer-monitoring of electronic communications is...