Employment at Will when used in any business context describes the meaning and the protection that is applied in the relationship that exists between an employer and employee. So to articulate, this relationship is protected in the matters that concern the termination of the relationship between the employer and the employees at any time. To be precise, an employer or an employee has the right to terminate the employment relationship at will at any time. In most cases however, the employer has more power in making the decisions of terminating the relationship. In connection to this point, 1995 Auto Corp. is presented to be experiencing tremendous growth both in production division as well as its two non-union satellite offices. Of great concern in this case is the manner through which the union and non-union employees are terminated.
So to speak, as the Human Resource legal consultant I would wish to ensure a solid understanding by the company in regard to the rights it has to terminate an employment relationship. By so doing, the company will not be exposed to a legal risk regarding the termination of employees from a general point of view. Apart from this point, I would wish that 1995 Auto Corp. becomes aware of the protection laws surrounding employment termination. Nonetheless, there is a great challenge arising from the environment created by the union. Basically, the union contract puts a requirement that employees should be terminated only for just cause (Bowers, 2001). Following this point, the union contract should be put into considerations in order to avoid legal risks.
As the HR legal consultant for 1995 Auto Corp., I would like to inform 1995 Auto Corp. to position itself for terminations that will not present legal risk yet enable the company to terminate employees who are not contributing to the success of the organization. At the same time, the recommendations made in this context will take into consideration the process that the company will follow as well as its preparedness to support a termination decision when it arises. In consistent with this, rights to terminate an employment relationship have a lot that need consideration while carrying out the process.
Fundamentally, employment at will is an employment that is usually carried out without a contract and may be terminated at any time by either the employer or the employee without a cause (Kerley, 2001, p. 29). In line with this, 1995 Auto Corp. should in particular understand that employment at will is not bound by the union contract (Kerley, 2001, p.32). Having noted that the union contract has presented a great challenge since it puts a requirement that termination should only be done on the basis of a just cause, it is worthwhile to bring into context the points of exception. In fact, employment at will does not apply in certain well stipulated cases. As such, they involve cases like those of employment contracts, collective bargaining and for civil servants (Kerley, 2001, p. 30). Therefore, the requirements put by union contract do not apply in the context of employment at will.
In the same line of thought, an employer is allowed to terminate employment relationship with the employment on the basis of a good cause. A good cause in this case when used brings out the meaning that the employee can be terminated if he/she fails to perform the duties that a person in the industry can perform under similar circumstances (Kerley, 2001, p. 51). Again in this context, termination may be carried out under the breach of fiduciary, unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets, fraud, theft or embezzlement, drug abuse, failure to follow safety regulations and the company policies, carrying of weapon sin the workplace, disloyalty and under performance of essential job functions among others as such. (Kerley, 2001).
Equally important for 19915 Auto Corp. is to be aware of the protection laws surrounding employment termination. In combination with this point, there are laws that are basically made to protect the employment termination. As such, if an employer such as 1995 Auto Corp. happens to violate them, legal risks may follow or rather may be realized. In this circumstance, the law allows an employer to give a notice to the employee prior to termination or the option of paying the employee wages instead (Guerin & DelPo, 2009).
A failure to meet these requirements grants the employee under the law to file a case against the company. Before terminating or firing an employee, it is required by the law that a six month probationary period is given by the employer to the employee. If this point is not met, the employee can sue the employer for compensation of benefits, lost wages and punitive damages. At the same time, it is illegal to fire an employee on the basis of discrimination, retaliation and public policies violations among others (Guerin & DelPo, 2009, p.34). Above and beyond, an employer is at a legal risk if an employee is fired on the grounds of a violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Also, it is illegal to fire an employee as a form of sexual harassment. At the same time, firing in violation labor laws and retaliation can translate to an illegal reason (Davenport et al., 2000).
With the information provided above, I would recommend that 1995 Auto Corp. applies it in order to correct the manner through which both union and non-union employees are being terminated. Just to mention a few, before terminating an employee, the cause must be justified by law just as it has been provided elsewhere in this context on order to avoid legal risks which may jeopardize the performance of the company. The process should first be tested with a probationary period of six months. Accordingly, reasons must be justified by law just as it has been stipulated. Generally, the given recommendations will work for 1995 Auto. Corp. if carefully taken into consideration.