Leg 500 assignment 1: employment-at-will doctrine

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As a manager and supervisor of an accounting department, discuss the following issues related to the employment-at-will doctrine and liability of an employer based on actions and responses to the employee’s behavior and actions. Jennifer, a recent graduate, has recently been hired by your accounting firm out of college. Upon being hired, she engages in a number of different behaviors that need your attention.


For each category of behavior, describe what steps you would take to address the situation. In your responses, you may want to consider the following:

1. Should the firm be legally allowed to fire her based on the employment-at-will doctrine? Why or why not?

2.  What are the legal implications for the employer vs. the employee in this particular instance?

3.  What preventive measures should the employer have in place in order to reduce any risk or Liability on its part?

4.  Are there any “exceptions” to the employment-at-will doctrine that would apply in this case?


Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

1. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving skills,

  • Competence and abilities:

The employee seems to be unable to learn the computer applications that are basic to  her job responsibilities, but, consistently “tells” her boss that she is “a good worker and a genius” and that he does not “appreciate her”. Even after a few months of training and support, she is unable to use the computer tools to be productive and efficient in completing the required tasks.


2. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving management,

behavior, and performance:

  • The employee tends to burst into a rage when criticized and is frequently late to work as

noticed by her boss and other staff members. When her boss attempts to address her behavioral issues and the company late policy, the employee’s response is that she “knows her rights and what to do” if she is wrongfully discharged. She also says she took a business law class in undergrad that taught her “everything she needs to know about exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine and wrongful discharge in violation of

public policy”.


3. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving labor and laws:

  • The employee takes a day off from work, without management consent, for her religious

holiday observance that falls on a day that is during “tax season”. The day off occurred during an incredibly busy period for the company during which the employer had notified all employees they were not allowed to take off without prior management approval. Also, there is no labor union for accountants. However, she begins talking to her co-workers during lunch breaks and sometimes during regular work hours, encouraging them to organize and form a union to “protect ourselves”.


4. Describe what steps you would take to address the following scenario involving policies and


  • The employee’s supervisor consistently asks her out on dates; the employee initially

refuses to go out on a date with her supervisor. The employee later discusses the issue with her girlfriend who encourages her to accept his offers. During her new employee orientation, the employee was informed of the company policy which prevented employees from dating their supervisor and was given an employee handbook with the written policy. The employee and her supervisor later begin having a consensual relationship


Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

1.  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.

2.  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:


1.  Assess how employment-at-will and Sarbanes-Oxley impact corporate whistleblowing.

2.  Use technology and information resources to research issues in law, ethics, and corporate


3.  Write clearly and concisely about law, ethics, and corporate governance using proper writing mechanics.


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