Unformatted text preview: Chapter 20
Chapter 20 Employment Relationships Introduction
Introduction Historically, employment law was governed by the common law doctrine of “employment at will” where either employer or employee could terminate the relationship at any time, for any reason.
Today employment law is heavily regulated by state and federal statutes. Employment at Will
Employment at Will Traditionally, employment relationships have been by common law doctrine of “employment at will.”
Either party may terminate at any time for any reason. Exceptions to Employment Exceptions to Employment at Will Contract (union/employment), Statutory (discrimination/whistleblower), Public Policy (wrongful discharge).
Whistleblowing occurs when an employee tells a supervisor or the press that the employer is engaged in some unsafe or illegal activity – it is protected under federal and state law.
Wrongful Discharge Wrongful Discharge Four Wrongful Discharge Four Prong Test
To be successful, an employee bringing a wrongful discharge claim against an employer must be able to answer “yes” to 1, 2 and 4 and “no” to 3: Whether a clear public policy exists; Whether that policy will be jeopardized unless the activity in issue is protected; Whether the employer has an overriding justification of wanting to use the activity in issue as a factor affecting the decision to discharge; Whether the employee’s activity is the substantial factor in the employer’s decision to terminate. ...
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- Spring '08
- Law, supervisor, common law doctrine, discharge).