Employment Relationship Risks
Legal Encounter 1:
In the situation in legal encounter 1, liability is on NewCorp. Many states consider policy manuals and similar documents to be enforceable, implied contracts for both employers and employees. In the personnel manual provided to Pat, the notice of unsatisfactory performance / corrective action plan stated that if the job performance of an employee is unsatisfactory, the employee will be notified of the deficiency and placed on corrective action plan (CAP). If the employee performance does not improve to a satisfactory level within the specified period of time, termination will follow. In this case, we are never told that Pat went through the above provision before he was given a discharged notice (Eshelman 2009). Many courts have implied the existence of a contract because of the presence of promises, procedures and policies in an employee manual. Personnel manuals have been held to constitute, both expressly and impliedly, employee contracts or become part of the employee contracts when they are given to employees at the onset of employment. In this situation, Pat might have a case against NewCorp.
Pat acknowledge that upon employment, he signed an understanding that the company observed “employment at will” which means that an at -will employee can be fired at any time and for any reason. If the employer decides to let you go, that’s the end of your job and you have very limited legal right to fight your termination.
Pat is aware of the term “employment at will”. When he signed the employment contract, he assumed the implied term in the personnel manual would absolve him from the “at will” situation. So, I would say he is also liable for his mistake or assumption of the terms of the contract.
If he is a union employer, he should find out if union collective bargaining waives certain at-will employment rights through contracts...