Hrm 510 Employment Law Dillon V Champion

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Dillon v. Champion Jogbra


Date: December 11, 2011

Course Title: HRM 510 Employment Law For Human Resources Practice

Instructor: Craig Cleveland

Q1. What were the legal issues in this case?

There were two legal issues that I noted in this case. The first being the effect of an employer’s ‘employee handbook’, policy or practice has on the employment-at-will doctrine. The second is promissory estoppel, which may commit the employer to a binding and enforceable employment contract that would again undermine their ability to terminate employment for no cause, good cause or bad cause. Promissory estoppel requires an employee to have detrimental reliance on the written or oral contract.

In this case, the Supreme Court of Vermont found that Champion Jogbra’s employee handbook language regarding “The Corrective Action Policy” was in direct conflict with the disclaimer on the first page of the handbook. The first page of Champion’s employee handbook stated the following in all capital letters: “THE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CONTAINED IN THIS MANUAL CONSTITUTE GUIDELINES ONLY. THEY DO NOT CONSTITUTE PART OF AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT, NOR ARE THEY INTENDED TO MAKE ANY COMMITMENT TO ANY EMPLOYEE CONCERNING HOW INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYMENT ACTION CAN, SHOULD, OR WILL BE HANDLED. CHAMPION JOGBRA OFFERS NO EMPLOYMENT CONTRACS NOR DOES IT GUARANTEE ANY MINIMUM LENGTH OF EMPLOYMENT. CHAMPION JOGBRA RESERVES THE RIGHT TO TERMINAT ANY EMPLOYEE AT ANY TIME”AT WILL,” WITH OR WITHOUT CAUSE”1. There were two dissenting judges in this case.2 Where the majority of the judges found that the language in Policy 720 altered the employment contract, the two dissenting judges relied on the terminology in the opening page that referred policies as guidelines.

Q2. Explain what the implied contract was in this case.

The Implied contract in this case was contained in policy 720, which was included in the handbook. Policy 720 was a progressive corrective action policy for...