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Employment at Will Doctrine

Essay by   •  February 16, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  872 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,688 Views

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Employment-At-Will Doctrine

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

As it is stated in a given scenario, Jennifer took a day off to observe a religious holiday with no manager consent during "tax reason" while being informed that she was not permitted without management agreement. This can be a basis for taking disciplinary actions against her. There was a chance that if she had spoken to management about her concern of taking day off for religious observance, she could get permission to take this day off.

Being Jennifer's supervisor, I would consider speaking to her about policies and procedures for time off, reminding her that there are times during a year such as "tax season" which is extremely busy, requiring previous arrangements for taking days off. In the future she should consult with her manager regarding plans for taking a day off for religious observance ahead of time. I would give her a warning if this performance happens again as it might be a cause of termination of her employment. All of the verbal warnings would be documented and placed in her file. In addition, I would also provide her a copy of the employee handbook with all procedures for calling in or asking for time off as well as the employment-at will doctrine (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012).

Regarding Jennifer's attempt to form a union, I would not take any actions excluding one: asking her not to do this during work hours, as adjustments to the employment-at-will gives the right to employees to organize and form unions (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012).

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

Since Jenifer took the day of due to her religious holiday, it is not clear if firing her should be a good action taken by her firm because of religious freedom guaranteed by Title VII. Based on the employment-at-will doctrine, an employer has the right to terminate an employment without any reason (Muhl, 2001).

As mentioned before, the religious aspect of the described above circumstances complicates the situation of firing Jennifer. According to the federal Civil Rights Law of 1960, there are legal liabilities for the discharge of an employee based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, or disability (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012). The employer can terminate Jennifer's contract but she can sue the firm for breach of contract with respect to her religious beliefs as everyone is protected from religious discrimination. She could also argue that she was wrongly discharged because of her attempt to organize a union since her as an employee has the right to organize and form a union for better protection (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012).

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