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Important Aspects of Employment Law

1. Explain the elements of the claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Quote the actual elements of the claim and cite your source. Try to use the "best" source for your citation. (The textbook is not the best source.) Add a follow-up sentence(s) in which you explain what one of the elements means in practical terms. Summarize a case in which that claim was charged. What was the result? (Use the textbook and/or the Internet to help you find additional information and a case.)

2. A research analyst for the Indiana Department of Corrections was told that she would have to submit to a psychological examination in order to keep her job. She took the exam, which lasted two hours and contained many questions related to details of her personal life. She sued, claiming that the test violated her constitutional rights. What should the court decide (your opinion)? Why? After writing your initial thoughts, use the Internet to look up the case. What was the actual decision, and why? (Greenawalt v. Indiana Department of Corrections, 397 F.3d 587 [7th Cir. 2005])

3. Performance evaluations are important tools for managing performance. However, they can also easily be mismanaged by supervisors and employees alike. The situation becomes more combustible when employees first do a self-evaluation followed by a formal evaluation from the supervisor.
Co. Sigma Inc. gives employees annual evaluations. The manager can rate each employee as Exceeds Expectations (EE), Meets Expectations (ME), Partially Meets Expectations (PE), or Horrible Employee (HE). Employee Bill turns in his self-evaluation and has himself as an EE in all 10-performance categories. Supervisor Mary reviews the self-evaluation and is troubled. She believes he is an EE in 2 categories, but is an ME in 6 categories, a PE in 1 category, and an HE in 1 category. She wonders how such a disconnect could exist between how he views himself and reality.
a) What could have caused this disconnect?
b) How should she go about remedying this situation?
c) If she just goes ahead and gives him all EEs even though he does not deserve them, what problem(s) might this create?

4. Should an employee have an expectation of privacy relative to electronic communications when sending personal emails from the company computer? What if the employee used the company computer to access his/her own Yahoo email account; should the employee have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding personal emails sent through his/her personal email? To take it a step further, should the employee have an expectation of privacy as it relates to text messages sent from a company issued Blackberry? Defend your response with references to at least two sources from the following: court case(s), articles from reliable/authoritative authors.

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Step 1

The elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress are (1) the defendant must act intentionally or recklessly. The defendant shows complete disregard for what the action will have on the emotions of the plaintiff. (2) The defendant's conduct must be extreme and outrageous. The conduct must be such that a reasonable person may say that the conduct is outrageous. There should be a pattern of behavior, the victim must be emotionally vulnerable and this was known to the defendant, the defendant had power, and the defendant owned fiduciary duty to the victim. (3) The conduct must be the cause. The outrageous action of the defendant was the cause of emotional distress. (4) Suffer severe emotional distress. The distress caused must be strong, intense, of reasonable duration, and there must be manifestations of the distress. A medical physician must certify that there is a emotional distress. A claim in which the claim was charged is GTE Southwest, Inc. v. Bruce, 998 S.W.2d 605, 15 IER Cases 509 (Tex. 1999) In this case the employees of sued and claimed that over many years they endured severe abuse from their supervisor. There was testimony that there was a pattern of abusive behavior. The jury found for GTE Southwest employees. This decision was affirmed by the appellate court. The Texas Supreme Court had to decide if the defendant's behavior went beyond the bounds of a tolerable work environment, leading to intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court affirmed the verdict. The court decided that GTE Southwest's supervisor's ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains some important aspects of current employment law. The sources used are also included in the solution.