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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ethics in Action


This paper is about ethics in action wherein the concept of ethics is applied in topics about employment. The article entitled Public-policy exception to employment at will: innkeepers’ liability for wrongful discharge will be discussed in this paper to correlate the concept of ethics with the topic of employment at will. Every week businesses make decisions that have an impact on their employees. It should be noted that employment at will gives the employer the latitude of changing the employment arrangement by employee without the issue of collective bargaining. Employment at will also gives the employee the latitude of negotiating employment terms that are beneficial to the individual employee.


The main topic of the article is the legal effect that if an employee is dismissed from his work for the purpose of the exercise of a protected right, the term employment at will finds no application. Employment at will is an agreement between parties to an employment contract that either party may terminate the job at will with or without reasons (John, 2009, p. 1). Aside from that, employment at will can be considered a management prerogative which was considered to present employers with extensive latitude in increasing a faithful and well-organized work force, one not inundated with unskilled our reluctantly aggravated employees whose existence in the company might encourage poor performance by others and thereby put at risk the achievement of the business operation (John, 2009, p. 1). Basically, the objective of utilizing employment at will in employment contracts should be to defend the lawful right to direct the work force and simultaneously distinguish and value the right of an individual employee to obtain fairness and balanced handling.

Evaluation of the Decisions

The employment at will is a good legal measure and option in entering into a contract of employment because it’s working purpose is to give an employee wide latitude in deciding for and about his work without unnecessary constraints. It will also promote sound employment practices. In using the employment at will clause, good faith is a vital ingredient between employers and employees. In order to delve on the issue, the article also explained a case which tackles problems involving employer-employee relationship.

In connection, the main issue of the case is whether or not; the employer who runs a hospital business is liable to an emergency-room attendant. The attendant or the nurse involved in the case is an at will employee. She was fired by her female supervisor for reasons that she failed to participate on a nude bathing and drinking spree during a company outing. Subsequently, the said activity was translated by the female supervisor into a skit or a play in one of the events made in the hospital of which the nurse did not also attend. The Arizona Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower court in favor of the nurse. Hence, the hospital, the employer was found to be liable to the nurse who is involved in the said case. In line with that, the decision of the highest court in Arizona is very reasonable and reflects the idea that cases resulting out of personal disagreement must not be equated with inability to follow company rules and practices. The act of the nurse in not attending the nude bathing, drinking spree, and the skit in the hospital for reasons for disagreement with the female supervisor is not sufficient to find her unable to follow company policies and practices. Thus, the use of employment at will as the basis of governing employee-employer relationship must be done in accordance with law, morals, and public policy.


John, S. 2009. All Business Website. Public-policy exception to employment at

will: innkeepers’ liability for wrongful discharge. Retrieved May 31, 2009, from http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/330217-1.html.

1 comment:

Diane Gonzales said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful piece. Reading this essay reminds me of choosing the best hospital or clinic in times of need. I'm very happy because our dentist, for instance, is a graduate of Sharjah Dental School, one the best International School for Laser Dentistry. I'm impressed with her services and knowledge regarding laser dentistry.