Legal Risks in Employment

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Legal Risks in Employment

University of Phoenix

Business Law - LAW 531

April 04, 2011

Paul Irving

Legal Risks in Employment

Legal Encounter 1

Pat was employed with NewCorp for three months before he was discharged. Pat believes he was wrongfully terminated because management was unfriendly to him directly after he was vocal at a school board meeting about how to divide money among athletic programs (University of Phoenix, 2011). Pat was provided with a personnel manual when he was hired stating employees would be notified if they had a deficiency and placed on a corrective action plan (2011). These two steps were never carried out in Pat’s case and he was not aware of any performance issues. "Vermont is considered an “at will” state.  An employer may terminate an employee for any reason as long as it is not one of the protected classes" (State of Vermont, 2005, p. 1). Pat signed an understanding that the company could fire him at will but believes he was discriminated against because the process in his personnel manual was not followed (2011). The personnel manual can be viewed by Vermont law as a binding contract since it may have induced Pat to accept the position, and NewCorp breached this contract (Watts Law Firm, 2011). Pat has adequate grounds to file a wrongful termination suit with an experienced attorney but will be required to have proof of his allegations. Wrongful termination is defined as “the termination of an agency contract in violation of the terms of the agency contract” (Cheeseman, 2010, p. 468). NewCorp is liable for breaching the corrective procedures related to employee performance evaluation before termination. To prevent further legal complications, NewCorp has some negotiation options which may help them prevent a lawsuit during mediation. One option is to reinstate Pat. If Pat’s work is unsatisfactory and there is clear evidence, NewCorp should follow their policy and procedures by providing him with a corrective...