In this law brief, I will discuss two cases that all stem from one series of incidents. First, Greene Jewelry Company sued its former employee, Jennifer Lawson, for breach of confidentiality. Ms. Lawson is countersuing her former company for wrongful termination. In order to discuss all aspects of the cases against Greene Jewelry, I will address the aspects of the case individually.
Application of the Law to the Facts
First, Ms. Lawson has sued Greene Jewelry Company for wrongful termination. Ms. Lawson, at the time of her firing, was an at-will employee, subject to termination for in reality what amounts to whatever reason the employer gives to fire someone. Muhl (2001) defined at-will employment as the right of the employer to terminate an employee at any time and for any (or no) reason. Just as the employer has the right to terminate the employment of an employee, the employee also has the right to terminate his or her own employment for any (or no) reason. This definition means that Greene Jewelry Company was well within its rights to terminate Ms. Lawson’s employment. However, merely thinking that the company will win is not sufficient to ease the minds of the owners. The following cases illustrate my assertion that Ms. Lawson can be terminated at the discretion of the company.
Guz v. Bechtel National (2000) was a case decided by the California Supreme Court. In Guz, the plaintiff worked for his company for over 13 years in varying capacities. However, in the early 1990s, the subsidiary of Bechtel National that Guz worked for was being disbanded. He was laid off, and placed on a “holding status”, which meant that he could seek additional positions within the company. In fact, three positio...
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...ation that supports women and families. Another suggestion could be to make a donation to the children’s wing of the hospital. If the legal team agrees, the company could even make the donation in honor of Ms. Lawson’s service to the company.
I would also recommend that Greene Jewelry change two aspects of its employment policies with regard to the lawsuit brought by Ms. Lawson that may prevent future litigation. First, although it was company policy that its employees sign both a confidentiality agreement and an agreement not to compete, Ms. Lawson only signed the confidentiality agreement. In the future, a requirement of employment needs to be that all new employees sign both documents prior to their first day at work. In addition, company policy regarding pregnancy needs to be added to any employment offer made, perhaps under its leave policy or medical policy.
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