Essay Employment-at-Will and Whistleblowing

Essay Employment-at-Will and Whistleblowing

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As a recently hired Chief Operating Officer (COO) in a midsize company, multiple personal problems are quickly discovered that require immediate attention. As an astute manager, there is a need to analyze the employment-at-will doctrine and determine if there are any exceptions and liabilities before taking any action. In addition to the personal problems, it is discovered that the company has a no whistleblower policy. By the end of this paper, you will be able to review a summary of the employment at will doctrine, review scenarios of the personal problems of the company and determine if the employee could be legally fired, get an overview of ethical theories, identify whether or not the company should adopt a whistleblower policy, and review justifications of at least three (3) fundamental items that should be included in a whistleblower policy.

Employment-At- Will Summary
During recent years, the principle and practice of employment at will has been under attack. Employment-at-will has been a fixture in the United States employment law since the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800’s. In the simplest and earlier state, employment at will meant that an employee who worked for an indefinite period of time worked at the will of the employer. Absent a contractual provision to the contrary, either party could terminate the employment for any reason. At least 55% of all employees and managers in the private sector of the workforce in the United States today are “at-will” employees (Radin & Werhane, 2003). On the surface, employment at will appeared to be a neutral doctrine fiving both the employer and the employee a way out of an undesirable employment relationship. However, the doctrine in practice worked to the benefit of...

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... Whistle-Blowing Policies [Journal]. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(2), 283-295.
Murray, J. (n.d.). Difficult Employees: A Bad Apple in the Bunch. Retrieved from
Panza, C., & Potthast, A. (n.d.). A Snapshot of Key Ethical Theories. Retrieved from
Radin, T. J., & Werhane, P. H. (2003). Employment-At-Will, Employee Rights, and Future Directions for Employment. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13(2), 113-130.
Thiel, J. (2011). Monitoring Email: Is It Legal? Retrieved from
Zachary, M. K. (2012). Employment At Will and Public Policy . Supervision, 73, 21-25.

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