Essay Homework Help on Employment-At-Will Doctrine

Employment-At-Will Doctrine

The employment at will doctrine indicates that the worker and the employer are at a will to end the employment contract for a given reason. The doctrine further states that in employment interrelationships that do not have formal written contracts and the period of employment is unclear, the employer has the right to conclude the employment interrelationship for a bad cause, good cause, or at no cause at all (Legal Information Institute, 2013). According to the law, employers have the freedom to implement the employment at will doctrine depending on their relations with their workers. Practically, the courts presuppose employment at will, only when the employer undoubtedly indicates that none of the workers will be terminated for a good cause. As a result, an employer can dismiss any of the workers from work for committing a small mistake or for no reason going against the state law. On the other hand, the doctrine specifies three key exceptions: the public policy exception, the covenant of faith agreement, and the implied contract exception.

Evaluating the Eight Scenarios

John is supposed to be dismissed for ranting, specifically if it is clearly shown in the policy of the company that he signed when he was being offered the job opportunity that ranting is not accepted. His action is an unacceptable because it has portrayed the company in a negative way in social media. His actions can be considered as fiscal sabotage given that he would have handled his grievances through the chains of commands that are available in the company. His actions would only be deemed right if he had exhausted all other options.

Ellen’s contract should be dismissed. Ellen has a right of freedom of expression given that he does not interrupt normal operation with the rights of other people. Nevertheless, her choice of words is most likely to malign the name of the Chief executive Officer. Therefore, he should be informed about using the correct words.

The actions of Bill give clear grounds for his dismissal. This is because business resources are supposed to be used for business reasons and not for private utilization. The COO is accountable for safeguarding the assets of a business from loss. Mishandling of the assets of the company indicates that he had gone against the policy of the company and it can be considered as an act of fraud. In such a situation, the COO should fire Bill. This situation shows the significance of employee handbooks (Falcone, 2002). It highlights the policy of the company on non-acceptable and acceptable workplace conduct. When a worker appends his signature to the handbook, he accepts to work according to the standards and policies indicated in the handbook, and it can be considered as proof that in deed the worker was informed that he was going against the law.

With respect to the secretary, who make a decision to protest by putting on black and white, the employers do not have the right to sack his workers. The secretaries are entitled to freedom of expression as long as it does not hinder with the rights of others or results in conflicts in the workplace. No person has a right to take any action against the secretaries because there is nothing that shows that their dressing has interfered with any activity in the workplace. Joe’s contract should end because he did not value that the company had given him a second chance after condemning a client. Furthermore, even though he used his own email account, he sent the mail while at his place of work using the computer of the company. The employer is entitled to question his privacy because the cause was not unreasonable. On the other hand, the secretary to the supervisor should not be dismissed. The supervisor accused her falsely because she was not willing to abet crime. Instead, the supervisor would report the issue to the appropriate authority.

Anna should be terminated based on the fact that her jury duty is against the law. If she is sacked because of failing to defy a statutory obligation, she can file a case stating that the company violated the public policy exception. In fact, if she failed to turn up before the jury, she would be in disrespect of the court and she would be subjected to jail or fines.

Limiting Liability

As the Chief Operation Officer, I will hold a meeting with every worker who has been recommended for dismissal. The aim of the meeting is to find out why they misbehaved and find an alternative solution. However, I will inform them that if any one of them misbehaves at any given time, they will be dismissed. Second, I will file any oral or written promises made by workers because they are enforceable law (Covey, 2000).

Adoption of a Whistleblower Policy

Yes, I would advise the Chief Executive Officer to adopt a whistleblower policy. This will be vital in safeguarding workers from mistreatment from senior workers. This policy can enable the secretary and Anna to blow their whistles for the wrongs committed by their bosses. The three key items that can be contained in the whistleblower policy include;

Protection of whistleblowers

There is a desire to safeguard those who blow the whistle. Consequently, enough protection should be put in place to protect workers. Protection can include several areas for instance, protecting their employment, protection from legal liability, and protecting them from any type of force, intimidation, or coercion.

Disclosure of Procedures

The whistleblower policy is supposed to give guidelines on how disclosures are expected to be carried out. This entails, when, to whom, and how to disclose, and the type of information that should be disclosed.

The Purpose of Whistle Blowing

All workers in an organization are supposed to have self-confidence when they blow a whistle, they carry out a noble role and that necessary actions should be taken to ensure that proper measures are taken (Covey, 2000).


Bowman, J.S. & West, J P. (2007). Lord Acton and Employment Doctrines: Absolute Power and the Spread of At-Will Employment. Journal of Business Ethics, 74. pp. 119-130.

Covey, A. (2000). Workplace Law Advisor: From Harassment and Discrimination Policies to Hiring and Firing Guidelines—What Every Manager and Employee Needs to Know. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus.

Deploy A., & Guerin, L. E. (2007). Dealing with problem employees: a legal guide. Berkeley, CA: Nolo.

Falcone, P. (2002). The hiring and firing question and answer book. New York, NY: American Management Association.

Legal Information Institute (2013). Employment-at-will doctrine. Retrieved on 30 January 2015from: <>