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Mgmt 383


Mgmt 383 Chapter 16 Employee Rights and Responsiblities Spring 2008 Rights v. Responsibilities Responsibility an obligation to be accountable for an action. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mgmt 383

Mgmt 383
  • Chapter 16
  • Employee Rights and Responsiblities
  • Spring 2008

Rights v. Responsibilities
  • Responsibility an obligation to be accountable
    for an action.
  • Right that which belongs to an individual by
    law, nature, or tradition.
  • Contractual Rights those conveyed by a specific
    written agreement between the employer and
  • Statutory Rights those conveyed by law.

Contractual Rights
  • Employment Contracts an agreement that outlines
    the details and conditions of employments. Binds
    both parties.
  • Terms and conditions of employment.
  • General job duties and responsibilities.
  • Compensation.
  • Confidentiality and secrecy of trade secrets.
  • Termination/resignation provisions
  • Non-solicitation of current employees upon

Contractual Rights
  • Separation Agreements an agreement in which a
    terminated employee agrees not to sue the
    employer in exchange for specific benefits.
  • Severance pay.
  • SUB

Contractual Rights
  • Non-compete Agreement An agreement that
    prevents an individual who leaves the company
    from competing with the employer in the same line
    of business for a specified period of time.
  • Non-piracy agreement not to steal customers.
  • Non-solicitation of current employees agreement -
    not to steal critical employees.

  • Employment-at-Will an employer can terminate an
    employee for a good reason, bad reason or no
    reason at all. Exceptions
  • Actual (explicit) employment contracts.
  • Title VII violations
  • Whistler blowers (retaliation) clauses
  • State Just Cause laws
  • Violation of state tort statutes
  • Public policy
  • Implied employment contract
  • Good faith and fair dealing

Public policy
  • Public policy termination contrary to public
    morals, laws, health, safety, or welfare.
  • Refusing to take part in illegal price-fixing.
  • Refusing to give false testimony during a
    government investigation.
  • Refusing to violate federal anti-pollution laws.
  • Refusing to avoid jury duty.

Implied Employment Contract
  • Implied Contract Theory an assurance has been
    made to the employee that he/she has continued
    employment in exchange for good performance.
  • Written assurance
  • Verbal assurance

Good Faith and Fair Dealing
  • The employer acts in an unreasonable manner
    (called outrage in some states)
  • Employer decides to discharge a 25-year salesman
    in order to avoid paying him a substantial
    commission(Fortune v. NCR, 36 NE2d 125).
  • About ¼ of the states recognize good faith and
    fair dealing.

Wrongful Discharge
  • Wrongful Discharge occurs when an employer
    terminations an employee for reasons that are
    improper or illegal (i.e., public policy, good
    faith and fair dealing, etc.).
  • Just Cause a reasonable or legitimate
    justification for initiating employment-related

Just Cause Terminations
  • Justifications
  • Financial exigency
  • Poor performance
  • Misconduct
  • Insubordination
  • Theft
  • Alcohol or drug use on duty
  • Violation of work rules

Constructive and Pretextual Discharges
  • Constructive Discharge deliberately making
    working conditions so intolerable for the
    employee that the employee quits.
  • Pretextual Discharges - Offering a legitimate
    reason for an unlawful termination.

Due Process
  • The opportunity to defend oneself against
    allegations of wrong doing and to confront your
  • Criteria for due process
  • Does the organization have written procedures?
  • Is the procedure reasonable?
  • Was the employee afforded the opportunity to use
    the grievance procedure?
  • Did the employee have help in preparing his
  • Is the employee protected against retaliation?
  • Was the final decision made independent of the
    original manager?
  • Would a reasonable person find the process fair?

Due Process
  • Concerns for justice
  • Distributive Justice perceived fairness in the
    distribution of outcomes.
  • Are people treated fairly?
  • Is the treatment consistent?
  • Does the punishment fit the crime?
  • Procedural Justice perceived fairness of the
    procedure used to make the decision.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Arbitration process by which a neutral third
    party makes the decision.
  • Common in CBAs.
  • Disliked by trial lawyers.
  • Peer Review Panels panel of employees who hear
    appeals from disciplined employees and make
    recommendations or decisions.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Ombudsman (Ombuds in the politically correct)
    often operate as in-house arbitrators. They are
    individuals who are outside the normal chain of
    command and act as a problem solver for both
    management and employees.
  • A Swedish government official (created in 1809)
    who investigates citizens' complaints against the
    government or its functionaries
  • From Old Norse umbodhsmadhr, deputy or trusted

Privacy Rights and Employee Records
  • An employees right to review his/her personnel
    records usually applies only to public sector
  • Right to access to personal information
  • Right to respond to unfavorable information
  • Right to correct erroneous information
  • Right to notification when information is given
    to a third party.
  • Privacy Act of 1974
  • Federal agencies.
  • Federal contractor and subcontractors.
  • Recipients of federal grant and aid money.

Security of Employee Records
  • Private sector advice
  • Keep employment records under very restricted
    access to avoid public disclosure
  • Defamation
  • Identity theft
  • Use confidential pass words for accessing
    records from HRIS.
  • Set up separate files and restricted databases
    for especially sensitive information
    (investigations, medical records, etc.)
  • Purge outdate files/information
  • Release employee information only with consent.
  • Inform employees of data retained.

Privacy Rights Personal Behavior
  • Body piercing
  • Appearance Policies
  • Requiring employees to take nicotine tests.
  • Using competitors products
  • Weight gain
  • No political bumper stickers on your car if
    parked in company parking lot.

Workplace Monitoring
  • Legal for private sector employers
  • Video monitors
  • One-way mirrors
  • Ethical consideration employees should be
    notified that they are being watched

Workplace Monitoring
  • Computer and Internet monitoring
  • Computer files
  • Email
  • Should have appropriate use policies in place.
  • Ethical consideration employees should be
    notified that they are being watched

Employee Discipline
  • Progressive Discipline
  • Objective Behavior modification correction not
  • Example
  • 1st Offense verbal warning (make a record)
  • 2nd Offense written warning
  • 3rd Offense suspension without pay
  • 4th Offense termination
  • The best discipline is self-discipline.

Documentation for Employee Discipline
  • Documentation (adverse counseling)
  • Reason for disciplinary action
  • Corrective Action
  • Consequences if behavior is not corrected

Situations Calling for Immediate Termination
  • Substance abuse at work
  • Fighting on company property
  • Possession of weapons
  • Theft
  • Destruction of company property
  • Falsifying employment documents
  • Certain off duty criminal activities

Reasons Discipline is not Enforced
  • Organizational culture regarding discipline.
  • Lack of support by higher management.
  • Guilt (manager may have previously violate the
    same work rule).
  • Loss of friendship or conflict avoidance.
  • Time loss (bigger fish to fry).
  • Fear of litigation.

Employee Handbooks
  • Guidelines
  • Readability written at employees reading level
    (if they cant be understood they are worthless)
  • Use will it be used by the employee
  • Distribute at orientation
  • Discuss major provisions
  • Test employees retention of information

Legal Considerations for Employee Handbooks
  • Maybe implied contracts
  • Failure to have a handbook may expose employers
    to even greater litigation (sexual Harassment,
  • Areas of concern
  • Avoid controversial phrase that implied
    guaranteed employment
  • Permanent employee
  • Continued employment

Legal Considerations for Employee Handbooks
  • Provide disclaimers
  • Not a contract
  • Not intended to create a contractual
  • Management reserves the right to change or modify
    policies without notice
  • Keep the handbook current!

Drug Testing
  • Drug Testing
  • Should serve legitimate business purposes
  • Accidents rates
  • Illness rates
  • Absenteeism
  • Workers compensation rates
  • Turnover rates

Drug Testing
  • Drug Testing
  • Recommended policy guidelines
  • Drug testing when there is probable cause
  • Random drug testing of every employee at periodic
  • Drug testing after accidents
  • Department of Transportation requires regular
    testing of employees engaged in the interstate
    transportation of goods.
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