Law 531 Legan Encounter

LAW 531 Legal Encounter
Legal Encounter 1
      Pat resigned his position, sold and purchased a new home and his wife left her employment when he accepted a position with NewCorp. Upon hire, Pat received a Personnel Manual that contained “Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance/Corrective Action Plan” (UoP, 2010 Legal Encounter).   The section provides the benefit of notification of unsatisfactory performance and a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for employee with dismissal if performance does not improve.
      When Pat accepted NewCorps offer there was a benefit in the reliance of the offer even though Pat was aware of at will employment and discharge. Three months later, with no performance warnings, Pat was told he would be terminated with severance.   According to Jennings (2006) one aspect that determines if a personnel manual constitutes a contract is the reliance of an employee on the manuals procedures and terms.   NewCorp employees rely on the personnel manuals content therefore the manual constitutes a contract.   NewCorp breached the contract when they did not provide Pat with examples of unsatisfactory or with a corrective action plan. Newcorp could avoid breach of contract and wrongful termination by placing Pat on a CAP.   If performance did not improve at the end of the CAP NewCorp would be within their right to proceed with termination. Pat could invoke promissory estopple, holding NewCorp for wrongful termination because he relied on the manual to his detriment.   In addition, Pat could make a case for disparate treatment if he can prove that his discharge was because of comments he made at the school board meeting.   NewCorp could prevent benefit of reliance by including a disclaimer that the manual does not constitute an employment contract and NewCorp exercises at will termination. Pat has the right to pursue litigation for wrongful termination based on NewCorp’s personnel manual for breach of contract.   Jennings (2006) cites case 8.7 Dillon versus...