Employment At Will vs. Due Process

1468 Words6 Pages
In dealing with a person’s livelihood, and often, sense of self, it is of no surprise that ethical issues regarding employment practices are of great concern. The issues of employment at will and due process contracts in the workplace are among the most widely contentious in the realm of employment. Employment at will is the doctrine that employment may be ended, by either party, for good, bad or no cause at all.1 Due process, on the other hand, is the employment practice in which a person may appeal a decision as a means of receiving an explanation and the opportunity to argue against it.2 Employment at will is the standard in the majority of private corporations today and is argued for relentlessly by freedom of contract enthusiasts, however, it is becoming ever more apparent that employment at will contracts reflect the old corporate maxim where the single bottom line, profit, is accented and the well being of other stakeholders, in this case the employee, are of little or no influence. Due process should be accepted as the prevalent employment system as it shelters employees from the hostile actions of the more powerful employer, provides a stable, bilateral contract between both parties and portrays the growing ethical concerns of society. The process of carefully looking at every decision and the repercussions of that decision is simply good business practice. Every company audits its decisions to make sure its what is right for the company. Firing practices should be no different. To draw some arbitrary line at this point to allow for firing an employee without cause is unethical and egregious business conduct. Due process is simply a sound way of carrying out the practice of removing an employee from the services of a c... ... middle of paper ... ... for unproductive works to remain in their positions is inaccurate and the same rules of work apply to individuals in both at will and due process contracts. The two other main reason given by Epstein in his paper supporting employment at will contracts is morally impermissible. He argues that the administrative costs of employment at will are cheap. In other words, being able to fire anyone at anytime without the political process behind it is simply cheaper than treating employees with respect and dignity. In saying that administration costs for due process are too big of a burden shows simply that employment at will contracts treat employees as property to add and remove as the employer pleases. This idea can be dismissed based on ethical grounds alone and in todays business environment is not conducive to the cohesive units that many employers hope to become.
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