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Ethical and legal issues concerning at-will employment - Research Paper Example

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ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES CONCERNING AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT Student Employment-at-will “gives employers broad discretion to fire employees ‘for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all,” (Denton and Boyd 1990). Advocates of this mode of employment see it as a means of managerial efficiency and flexibility, and a motivation to employees to put more effort under competitive situations similar to private sectors…
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Download file to see previous pages Employers should be careful at every stage of the hiring process to avoid illegal discrimination of any applicant on grounds of color, gender, age, national origin, disability and religion. Applicants are aware that indication of bias in the hiring process may lead to severe legal repercussions. In contractual employment, the law considers the relationship between an employer and employee as being on equal ground in terms of bargaining power. The employment at will reflects the belief that people are free to enter into employment contracts of specified length of time, without obligations attached to either employee or employer. In this arrangement employees are able to resign from a position they no longer care about and employers are permitted to discharge employees at their pleasure. The law in general presumes one is employed at will unless they have proof indicating otherwise. Written documents detailing one’s employment or oral statements from their employer are means of proof. For this reason, employers go to pains to point out, in applications, handbooks, job evaluations, handbooks, or other documents related to employment, that their employees work at will. It is important to be aware of the status of one’s employment, whether it is at will or otherwise. Ethically, the employer could expressly indicate the terms in a written document that the applicant has the choice to sign. If no at-will agreement is signed, one can check the employee manual or any other written workplace policy document. If these documents state ; that one could be fired at any time, could be fired without cause or for any reason, even if the word at will is not expressly used then you are under an at-will policy. Professional ethics encourage the employer to have some written policies that call for good reason to fire. Such policies could provide an exclusive list of reasons for which employees can be fired or offer some job protections. Employees are entitled to rely on these kinds of policies if their employer has adopted them. Legally if the contract promises job security, then one is not an at will employee. This could be in form of a contract that clearly states that the employee is on a three-year contract and they could be fired in that time only for committing a crime. If in this event they are fired for any other reason not specified in their contract they may have legal claim for breach of contract. Employers often take this employment means as a measure of protecting their interests. With uncertain economic systems and means of sustenance companies feel the need to cushion themselves or have some weather room in the event of downsizing. In other instances, the employee may need an employee for particular tasks which may be for specific durations. In case the task is completed before the expiry of the contract the employee may feel the need to let go of the extra hands. It is unethical in the public for an employee to hire with the sole intention of covering their back. The result is that the new hires, will not be motivated or feel challenged in the work and may underperform. In a clear situation where the employee and employer both know the terms of the agreement, the law has little to do in case either party bailed out. Ethics encourage serving a notification ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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