Legal Risk and Opportunity in Employment Relationship


Legal Risk and Opportunity in Employment Relationship
University of Phoenix
November 23, 2009

To:           NewCorp Management
Date:         November 23, 2009
Subject:     Legal Encounters 1 - 3
            Legal Encounter #1
Pat Grey employed for three months at NewCorp as the manager of real property in Vermont. Pat is responsible for maintaining leased office space for NewCorp. Upon acceptance of his new role with NewCorp Pat signed that he agreed to NewCorp’s personnel manual, which stated that NewCorp engages in employment at will.   Employment at will means that employees work at the discretion of their employers, which means employers may terminate their relationships with employees without notice of cause. Pat did not expect his boss to displace him with 30 days of severance pay due to “things not working out.”

Pat directed his attention to NewCorp’s Personnel Manual and found that there is an outlined process for dealing with unsatisfactory employees as stated in the Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance/Corrective Action Plan. Pat’s boss never approached him
regarding any performance issues. Wrongful discharge suits can also warrant in situations in which an employer may retaliate against an employee for exhibiting a right that the public policy supported within the jurisdiction.   In Pat’s mind the fact that he had been vocal at a local school board meeting in which he was in favor on school sports funds being allocated equally among all student athletic programs and not just support for the boys’ football and basketball programs.   His position on this topic was unpopular and he believes that this contributed to NewCorp senior management discharging him.

Based on the information in the Personnel Manual may lead to inconsistencies with

employment at will and prove to be grounds for litigation.   NewCorp must review its

personnel manual to ensure that the language is...