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Korb v. Raytheon - Essay Example

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The case in the study goes against Korb as a former spokesperson of the Raytheon Corporation that supplied defense equipment to the Department of Defense; his right to freedom of speech could not be exercised (as it was a private corporation). …
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Korb v. Raytheon
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that Korb was a former Secretary of the Defense between 1981 and 1985, later he joined Raytheon Corporation, which supplied equipment to the army, navy and air forces of the US. For a short period, Korb was appointed as the Vice-President since he could strongly influence the Department of Defense and Congressmen whom he had worked with earlier. The President of Raytheon appointed Korb as the VP in Washington as he felt that Korb had a strong public image and his presence could politically and publically help Raytheon to develop itself. Korb also joined a nonprofit organization titled Committee for National Security (CNS) in December 1985 and this was the organization concerned with the prevention of nuclear armament. One day Korb spoke at a press conference related to defense budgets; he was quoted in the dailies which stated that he was critical of high defense budgets and urged the government to spend less for warships and carriers. His statement was not taken well by the Department of Defense and many of the high-end defense officials complained to Raytheon about Korb's statements. Korb wished to clarify on the statements but in March 1986 his company relieved him of his post. He was given the choice of remaining in office as a special advisor, but at all future speeches, he would have to obtain prior consent. Raytheon also made it clear that Korb would not work in coordination with the Defense Department anymore. Korb was never happy with the deal given by Raytheon, and, hence, in 1987 filed a case to Massachusetts state civil court for a wrongful termination. He cited both the Massachusetts state laws concerning civil rights and the First Amendment of the Constitution in support of his opposition. However, Raytheon wanted the case to be heard on a bigger platform and moved the case to the Federal District Court located in Boston. In order to ensure that he still could win the case, Korb changed his complaint and removed the references to the First Amendment. Since there was no federal involvement, the case was sent back to the Massachusetts state court. The Massachusetts court gave the judgment in favor of Raytheon, though Korb had the freedom of speech. Korb was in fact hired to work as an advocate and spokesperson of the company and if he brought the company in a bad light, then he was ineffective, and the company was right to have fired an ineffective employee. Here Korb was not acting privately as it was his duty to bring about a good public image of Raytheon and by posing that the defense budgets had to be lowered, he was, in fact, tarnishing the name of the company. A company can pursue any legal and ethical cause as it was seen that Korb was harming the name of his company. Korb could be accused of being inefficient and publicly spoiling the name of his company. Korb, in general, had a right to freedom of speech but in this case, his speech directly interfered with his role in the company, for which the court granted the case in favor of Raytheon. Challenges with freedom of speech The court agreed that any person, including Korb, had the right to deliver a speech on a matter of public concern, including nuclear spending. Korb was basically hired to be a spokesperson with Raytheon and if he spoke against Raytheon, it did not interfere with his freedom of speech but was in direct conflict with his role at Raytheon. Hence, Raytheon could dismiss him for being ineffective at his work and, thus, his dismissal could not be considered a wrongful termination. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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