Workplace Privacy And Employee Monitoring
Focus of the Final Paper
The Final Research Paper should address a topic that is connected to the content of this course (elements and requirements of a valid contract; issues related to real and personal property; intellectual property; employment law; and/or, international law and the global marketplace.) This paper should focus on a legal issue or situation that relates to a business environment or activity with a focus on the legal impact technology has on this issue. Ideally, this topic would concern a matter that you have experienced or that you have knowledge of; however, this not a requirement, only a suggestion. Apply the legal concepts and ethical considerations discussed in this course to your chosen topic. At a minimum this paper should include:
- A detailed description of the topic.
- An analytical discussion of the legal issues that are involved. This would entail examining the issue from different viewpoints.
- A discussion of ethical considerations (Remember: What is legal may not be ethical).
- A discussion of the legal impact technology has on this issue.
- A well defined and logically stated argument to support your position. This would include any suggestion or ideas for improvement in this area of law.
- Four research sources, two of which must be from the Ashford Library.
- The paper also needs to meet the writing requirements that are set out below under “Writing the Final Research Paper.”
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
1. Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
2. Must include a title page with the following:
a. Title of paper
b. Student’s name
c. Course name and number
d. Instructor’s name
e. Date submitted
3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. That is, what is your response to the content, either positive or negative, and then defend your position. If multiple options/alternatives/positions are present and are being rejected you must also defend the reasons for rejecting an option
5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
6. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
7. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.
Final Paper Focus of the Final Paper The Final Research Paper should address a topic that is connected to the content of this course (elements and requirements of a valid contract; issues related to real and personal property; intellectual property; employment law; and/or, international law and the global marketplace.) This paper should focus on a legal issue or situation that relates to a business environment or activity with a focus on the legal impact technology has on this issue. Ideally, this topic would concern a matter that you have experienced or that you have knowledge of; however, this not a requirement, only a suggestion. Apply the legal concepts and ethical considerations discussed in this course to your chosen topic. At a minimum this paper should include:
· A detailed description of the topic.
· An analytical discussion of the legal issues that are involved. This would entail examining the issue from different viewpoints.
· A discussion of ethical considerations (Remember: What is legal may not be ethical).
· A discussion of the legal impact technology has on this issue.
· A well defined and logically stated argument to support your position. This would include any suggestion or ideas for improvement in this area of law.
· Four research sources, two of which must be from the Ashford Library.
The paper also needs to meet the writing requirements that are set out below under “Writing the Final Research Paper.” Writing the Final Paper The Final Paper: 1. Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 2. Must include a title page with the following:
a. Title of paper b. Student’s name c. Course name and number d. Instructor’s name e. Date submitted
3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. 4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. That is, what is your response to the content, either positive or negative, and then defend your position. If multiple options/alternatives/positions are present and are being rejected you must also defend the reasons for rejecting an option 5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis. 6. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 7. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.
grading rubric 1.docx
Ready Aim Fire: At-Will Employment
THIS IS AN FINAL PAPER BUT SOMEONE IS ALREADY USING THIS ON THIS CLASS AND THIS PAPER WILL BE PLAGIARIZED IF TURNED IN USE THIS AS GUIDE.
The at-will employment doctrine “employment at-will means that employers are able to terminate ones employment at any time, for any cause – with or without notice. (Rogers, S. 2012) was put into place to protect both the employee and the employer. By making the employment at-will both the employer and employee can void the contract at any time without repercussions.
The “Employment At Will” Doctrine was created in the US in the late 1800’s. This Doctrine was favored by employers since it gave them extreme freedom to run their business as they saw fit and protected them by the courts at the same time. As with most things that have too much freedom, abuses occurred that eventually gave rise to employee’s up-rising by joining unions. Due to this and the Civil Rights laws implemented in the 1960’s, companies started documenting their policies regarding how, why, and when an employee could be terminated. The courts then held companies accountable for following their employee manuals which in recent times have made companies scrutinize their manuals very closely and frequently” (Butsch, R., & Kleiner, B. H. 1997) Many people assume that with the at-will doctrine being put into place would stop employers from taking advantageand still fire people at any time, whenever they felt like it leaving that employee floundering with unexpected loss of income. That assumption is only half right; the At-will doctrine means that an employee can leave also whenever they want leaving that employee shorthanded and possibly causing that employer money as well as time. There are both pros and cons to both sides when it comes to the at-will doctrine and this paper will give you examples of for both sides.
For employers when dealing with the at-will doctrine there are so very basic benefits that all employers believe should just naturally be their right. When you hire a n employee with a contract you cannot fire them for a set period of time without having to worry about a lawsuit, so if that person is for instance a low producer in a sales department driven by production then the employee just has to wait out the contract before acting on their displeasure and terminating the low producer. With the at-will doctrine sales jobs that are driven by production would not have a hiring contract but would hire all sells associates to employment at will and can therefore make production a term of continued employment, and are therefore protected from any wrongful termination law suits. Employers are also able to use this doctrine in the event that the company is at a state that would cause them to have to make budget cuts, downsize or eliminate positions in order to stay solvent, they can do so without worry of a class action suit for wrongful termination. This benefit of the at-will doctrine has come in handy to large corporations suffering in a bad economy that need to downsize and let go of long time employees with good work records that have very large salaries. By being able to eliminate these high salaries without worry of lawsuit the companies were able to stay solvent.
For employees dealing with the at-will doctrine gives them the right to determine if they feel that their services are worth more than they originally thought and asking for a raise. If a person is hired with an employment contract the terms of time of hire and wages are set in stone until the contract ends. At-will employees have the ability to search out and except alternate employment if they feel that they are unhappy with their current employers and leave at anytime or shall I say at will. This is a bonus for employees in much the same way as it is for the employers, for instance if a company is floundering an a employee takes notice, they may start looking for alternate employment and leave the company before the company goes under. Under other circumstances employees are able to enhance their skills under the employment of one company in order to meet the requirements of another company and leave the company without any notice.
With all things there are pros and there are cons. When dealing with the at-will doctrine there are some things that both the employers and employees will find distasteful. While at first glance you can see where this doctrine benefits both sides, both sides can face some definite losses due to the doctrine.
For employers when they hire a person to an at-will contract then that employers has some hiring procedures that it goes through. For example when an employer hires a person they are already spending money on this employee by sending the employee to undergo drug screenings, training and if needed ordering uniforms for this person. Even something as small as doing incoming employee paperwork is a cost to the employer, so time and money are expended by the company before this person ever really begins work. If this person only works for a month and then quits unexpectantly then the employer takes a loss of revenue without any recourse of redeeming it. The at-will doctrine also works against employers that have employees that excel at their positions so much that other companies are headhunting them. The term headhunting means that other companies have noticed what a great employee you have, so they are making offers to this employee to leave one company to come to theirs. Because these employees are not under contract they are free to leave to go to the company that is headhunting them.
For employees the at-will doctrine puts them in a position to possibly become unemployed at any moment because their employment is not guaranteed. Simply being hire to a company does not mean that the company is going to keep you employed. For example an employer may hire you to get a new store up and running and does not have any obligation to tell you that they may only need you temporarily. You may be hired by an employer and doing a great job so expecting that because you are doing a great job the employer will keep you employed only to be fired without reason. The at-will doctrine allows employers to fire at will without cause. Employees with families that count on the benefits offered by employers are at risk of losing those benefits without reason at any moment, This reason alone is why most people with families in need of benefits search out contract jobs so as not to be left unprepared without benefits.
There are exceptions to the at-will doctrine, “The Industrial Revolution planted the seeds
for the erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine. When employees began forming unions, the collective bargaining agreements they subsequently negotiated with employers frequently had provisions in them that required just cause for adverse employment actions, as well as procedures for arbitrating employee grievances. The 1960s marked the beginning of Federal legislative protections” (Muhl, C 2001) State and federal laws came about that now offered protection to employees in certain circumstance that would protect the at-will employee from wrongful termination. “Even if you are an at-will employee, you still cannot be fired for reasons that are illegal under state and federal law. In these situations, the government has decided to make an exception to the general rule of at-will employment.”(Repa, K 2012) Wrongful termination can take place even if you are an at-will employee. There are several ways you can determine if you were wrongfully terminated. “There are actually many labor laws an employer can break in wrongfully terminating an at-will employee. Just because you are an at-will employee, does not give your employer the right to be discriminatory. As discussed below, state and federal law prohibits discrimination based on several categories, including race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, pregnancy status, and, in many states, sexual orientation or gender identity. If your employer has done anything to discriminate against you, she could face serious legal trouble.” (Glickman, S. 2010) Many employees are at odds over what they should consider wrongful termination so administrations were created to help employees to better understand what they can consider wrongful termination. If an employee feels that their termination is wrongful due to discrimination they can go to the EEOC (equal employment opportunity commission) to see if their case has merit. In most cases “. All of the laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require you to file a Charge of Discrimination with us before you can file a job discrimination lawsuit against your employer. (EEOC.Org) There are other exceptions to the at-will doctrine for instance an employee cannot terminate you if you refuse a request that you do something that you feel is illegal or immoral. In these cases the at-will doctrine will not protect them. “courts in most states have developed legal theories that effectively restrict an employer’s right to terminate employees at will, (36) The most frequently used theory is the “public policy” exception. (37) When application of the employment-at-will doctrine to a particular case would violate an identified public policy of the state, the doctrine will not be applied. For instance, employers have been found to have acted contrary to public policy if they terminate employees for refusing to violate criminal statutes(38) (such as engaging in illegal price fixing,(39) misbranding food products,(40) or illegally polluting the environment(41)) or for “whistle blowing.”(42) The contours of this exception depend on a given court’s notion of what constitutes a sufficiently significant policy deserving of its protection, There has been, therefore, no uniformity among the states adopting the exception as to the limits of its applicability, and the doctrine’s effect has not been predictable to any great degree of certainty within each state.” (Victory, F. 1992)
The evolving of the at-will doctrine in time brought about the need for exceptions to be set up when legally dealing with at-will employment. One such exception is the implied contract exception. “The second major exception to the employment-at-will doctrine is applied when an implied contract is formed between an employer and employee, even though no express, written instrument regarding the employment relationship exists. Although employment is typically not governed by a contract, an employer may make oral or written representations to employees regarding job security or procedures that will be followed when adverse employment actions are taken. If so, these representations may create a contract for employment. This exception is recognized in 38 of the 50 States.” (Muhl, C 2001) 37 of the States recognize this exception to the at-will doctrine. There are also Statutory exceptions, for example North Carolina has several “where the North Carolina General Statutes expressly prohibit dismissal: for filing claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act or the Occupational Safety and Health Act (in violation of the Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act for serving in the military or the National Guard, for participating in an unemployment compensation proceeding, for serving on a jury, and lastly for dismissal for reporting improper government activities.” (UNC Scholl of Government 2012).
With the at will law constantly evolving it has become more about personal privacy and what rights employers have in regard to an employee’s personal privacy. Whether or not employees can be terminated at will for not relinquishing these privacies has become a big issue. For example, with the progression of the internet and social pages such as Facebook and Twitter. The at-will doctrine comes into play here because “It may be granted that there are areas of an employee’s life in which his employer has no legitimate interest. An intrusion into one of these areas by virtue of the employer’s power of discharge might plausibly give rise to a cause of action, particularly where some recognized facet of public policy is threatened” (Deborah, A.B 2000). In most workplaces, employees are “at will.” Therefore, texting or tweeting workers can be fired simply because the boss does not think a post reflects well on the company or the individual. Lawyers and government agencies will successfully object if the firings violate laws governing discrimination, harassment, or other legal protections, such as the “concerted activities” cited in the above Facebook case. But if and until the law catches up with social media use, any worker concerned with job security, and any employer concerned with protecting an image online, should make sure they’re on the same page. Organizations need a social media policy that is specific and updated, and employees should know exactly what it says.” (Bacon/Wilson 2011)
In conclusion the at-will doctrine first created to keep employers from abuse of power has changed and evolved through the years and has become a safe haven for both employers and employees. With the world changing so rapidly and things such as social media coming into play the laws are not keeping up. Many cases are brought each year for wrongful termination and each case brings something new to the table regarding the at-will doctrine but because the doctrine and the statutory exceptions are in place it make it easier for law makers to determine whether or not the suit has merit. If a case has merit and the courts feel it is legitimate then new regulations and statutes are written and added to the at-will doctrine but this doesn’t happen without a lot of legal haggling on both sides. Neither side can complain that the doctrine favors the other and each side is equally represented so that both employers and employees can both get pros and cons out of it.
Bacon/Wilson 2011 Employment law bits http://bwlaw.blogs.com retrieved from the internet on March 6, 2013
Butsch, R., & Kleiner, B. H. (1997). New developments concerning the doctrine of employment at will. Managerial Law, 39(1), 54-59. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/196365992?accountid=32521
Deborah, A. B. (2000). Employment-at-will: The impending death of a doctrine. American Business Law Journal, 37(4), 653-687. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/203397796?accountid=32521
EEOC 2013 EEOC employee and job applicants http://www.eeoc.gov retrieved from the internet on March 6, 2013
Glickman, S. 2010 At-Will Employee FAQ’s http://employment.findlaw.com retrieved from the internet on March 6, 2013
Kepa, B 2012 Employment at will: What does it mean? Nolo law for all http://www.nolo.com retrieved from the internet on March 5 2013
Muhl, C 2001The employment-at-will doctrine: three major exceptions http://www.bls.gov
Retrieved from the internet on March 5, 2013
Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of Business Law. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
UNC School of Law 2012 Employment at will and its exceptions http://www.sog.unc.edu retrieved from the internet on March 6, 2013
Victory, F. (1992). The erosion of the employment-at-will doctrine and the statute of frauds: Time to amend the statute.American Business Law Journal, 30(1), 97-97. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/203422536?accountid=32521