Posted: March 30th, 2022

National Conference of State Legislatures

 ethical issues in the given case.


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Jane, Brad, Eddie and Greg are stakeholders, to some extent, in the given case. Brad owns an organization, Eddie is its general manager, Greg is employed as one of the organization’s many service technicians, and Jane is employed as the payroll department head. All service technicians, to a certain extent, are organizational stakeholders (LS312__FamilyBusiness , n.d). Therefore, all involved parties in the given case have some concern in the company or, were something to happen, a claim. Interest derives from business operations and task assignation.


Legal Analysis


This case involves the At-Will Employment law. In every state in the U.S., with the exception of the state of Montana, relationships with regard to employment are assumed as being “at-will.” America is one among the few nations in the world in which the nature of employment is principally at-will. A majority of nations across the globe authorize companies to fire their employees simply for cause. A few reasons underlying the at-will assumption’s retention include employer deference, respect for contract freedom, and the idea that employees as well as companies prefer at-will nature of employment to job security. This type of employee-employer relationship implies that organizations are free to dismiss their employees for all valid reasons, at all times, or even for practically no reason at all, with no incurrence of legal charges (At-Will Employment — Overview, n.d). Similarly, employees can freely quit their jobs any time they wish, for whatever reason (or even without citing any reason at all) without the fear of a legal backlash. Further, at-will implies that companies are authorized to change employment terms without any consequences or notice. Over time, legal courts have made exceptions to this presumption for mitigating its (seldom-occurring) harsh effects. The three key exceptions in common law are implied contract, implied good faith covenant, and public policy.


However, the at-will assumption is powerful, and it may prove complicated for any worker to verify that his/her condition lies within any of the above exceptions. In addition, all jurisdictions don’t recognize all exceptions. For instance, in the case in question, an organization may freely change wages, withdraw benefits, or decrease the number of paid holidays. In its pure form, the at-will policy of America leaves workers at risk of uninformed and unexpected dismissal, an on-call or limited work schedule that depends on company needs, as well as benefit- and pay-cutbacks without warning. The most popular exception to this at-will law, in the common law context, protects workers from harmful employment actions, which result in public interest breach (At-Will Employment — Overview, n.d). It resembles, and might, perhaps, coincide with, the exception of retaliation. A few courts have denied recognizing a discrete public policy violation when one can find statutory remedies to the issue. There is considerable variation in the extent of construal of public policy exception among states recognizing it. Most states only accept public policy mentioned in state statutes and constitutions. Very few also allow for supplementary sources, including administrative regulations and rules, professional ethical codes, and more general ideas of civic duty and public good. For instance, Eddie threatens Jane’s employment, when warning her not to mention what she witnessed to anybody. Jane is dismayed, as she understands that Eddie’s brother is receiving the high-commission-yielding, easy work. She further understands that Eddie, in fact, does possess the power to terminate her employment. Her situation is compounded by the fact that she is a new employee, whose probationary period has still not concluded. Therefore, the at-will rule’s public policy exception is applicable here, as is the retaliation exception — another statute-grounded exception. Employment law must protect Jane, as she could possibly report on perjury action by Greg and Eddie. Both state and federal laws forbid dismissal of workers as a form of retaliation for carrying out any legally acceptable, desirable, or essential activity (At-Will Employment — Overview, n.d). Protected activity examples include: claiming overtime compensation or minimum wage, participating in worker union activities, whistleblowing, going up against illegal discriminatory practices, and filing for compensation of workers.




Jane would be best served by retaliation protection. An organization is not authorized to harass dismiss, demote, or “retaliate” against a worker opposed to discrimination, files a discrimination charge, or takes part in any discrimination proceeding. These regulations also forbid discrimination on grounds of sex, race, nationality, color, age, disability, and religion, in addition to wage differences among male and female employees who perform equal work to a large extent, and also forbid retaliation against employees opposed to illegal discrimination or participating in any proceeding pertaining to employment discrimination. Aside from the protection from retaliation included in the different laws imposed by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act also provides protection to individuals against bullying, force, harassment, threat or interference when exercising their personal rights or encouraging somebody else’s application of Disabilities Act-granted rights.


Ultimately, how this case proceeds will depend on Jane’s actions. It is rather disrespectful to her that she had to face the treatment eventually meted out to her by Eddie, because of being witness to the dishonest workplace practice carried out by the brothers, Eddie and Greg. Jane mustn’t work at a place wherein unethical practices are carried out (Writer Thoughts). She mustn’t acquiesce because of Eddie’s threat of dismissal. She must speak about the matter with the company owner, Brad, and in this meeting, must convey clearly the organizational issues that he has no knowledge of. This is because, eventually, it will be his company that can potentially face charges if the dishonest practices continue and other technicians become aware of them.




(n.d.). EEOC Home Page. Facts About Retaliation. Retrieved December 19, 2015, from


(n.d.). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis — National Conference of State Legislatures. At-Will Employment – Overview. Retrieved December 18, 2015, from


(n.d). LS312_Unit2_FamilyBusiness


(n.d). Writer Thoughts

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