The employment sector is open to numerous instances of ethical issues. It is natural that every employee has to worry regarding their job security. Currently, there is a continuing debate regarding the ethical status of the different policies that have given employers the right to fire their employees without a good reason (Roehling, 2013). Research has shown that the employment relationships in the United States are “at will” in all the states apart from the state of Montana. It is not only in the US that employment is at-will but also in other countries. The employment at will doctrine has been in existence for quite a long period. According to the English common law that was developed in the eighteenth century, the length of an employment is presumed to run for a year whether there is work or there is no work (Aamodt, 2015). According to the contemporary definition of the employment at will doctrine, employees and employers are at liberty to terminate employment at any time they wish to do so without the consent of the other and without provision of a considerable reason (Green et al. 2016). This paper explores the case study on the ethics of at will doctrine giving other ethical dilemmas that can be found in the at-will doctrine, evaluating the different scenarios within the provided case and examining the fairness of different laws for public and private sector employees.
What are other ethical dilemmas in the at-will doctrine?
It has been a common thing that when an employer fires an employee without a good reason, critics follow questioning the behavior of the employer. Another dilemma is that an employer is at greater risk in case of an underperforming worker, therefore, most of them argue that they need the at will doctrine since they are at a greater risk. Moreover, it is an ethical question when an employee is fired without their consent because many employees rely at their job for a living (Roehling, 2013). On the other hand, it is rare to see employees quitting a job, however, it is also an ethical question when employees quit their job without informing the employer. Find more resources from Passing Grades Here Furthermore, the doctrine violates several basic rights of employees. For example, the right to due process, speech and free speech is violated. The presence of this doctrine hinders employees from fully exercising these rights because they will be afraid of being fired when they say something that their employer finds objectionable (Green et al. 2016).
Which argument is credible: that of the doctrine’s critics or its supporters?
Evaluating the arguments that have been provided by the critics and the ones that have been provided by the doctrine’s supporters, both sides have sound reasons for supporting their argument. However, the critics seem to have more convincing arguments compared to the supporters (Green et al. 2016). It is true that the doctrine gives too much power to employers over the wellbeing of their workers. Within the society, there are many employees than employers, therefore, the at-will doctrine will make employers exploit the employees if not regulated. Also, the critics have asserted that the doctrine provides little protection to the workers who perform their jobs to their level best (Aamodt, 2015). There are numerous instances whereby employees can be fired just because they are not liked by a supervisor. On the other hand, supporters have asserted that the doctrine can be subject to lawsuits and it only acts to protect the interests of the business against employees that underperform. Furthermore, supporters have also asserted that the employees are at liberty on whether to sign the doctrine or not if they feel that the doctrine is not in their favor. Both the critics and the supporters have strong arguments that are sound only that the critics have more arguments.
Evaluate the fairness of different laws for public and private sector employees (at-will employment versus just cause standards of employment).
The fairness of the varied laws for public and private sector employees is questionable. Comparing the at-will employment laws with the just cause standards of employment, it can be asserted that just because standards of employment laws are fair than the at-will employment laws (Roehling, 2013). Most of the private sector laws offer their employees with the at-will laws. In most instances, this law does not give the employee the necessary job security. On the other hand, public institutions offer their employees with just cause standards. This law helps the employees to defend their job and thus they are assured of their job security (Green et al. 2016).
In conclusion, the employees and employers are bound with the different laws formulated to protect the interests of the individual parties. Even though the at-will doctrine offers both the employer and the employee the rights to do as they please, still much power is given to the employer. It is proper that at-will doctrine is not misused by either the employer or the employee. In situations where there are conflicts, a just cause standards of the employment should be sought.
Aamodt, M. G. (2015). Industrial: An applied approach. Wadsworth Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Green, R., Forbis, R., Golden, A., Nelson, S. L., & Robinson, J. (2016). On the ethics of at-will employment in the public sector. Public Integrity, 8(4), 305-327.
Roehling, M. V. (2013). The employment at-will doctrine: Second level ethical issues and analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 47(2), 115-124.