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    Workers Compensation, Ethics, and Injury: Jake/Herman

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    In the scenario below, are Jake's actions in or out of his scope of employment. In the scenario is Herman responsible for Jake's injury. Should Jake be paid for the overtime? What rights do both Jake and Herman have in this scenario?

    Jake, the service manager, comes into the show room. (Note: Jake is a sixty-year-old man. He wears thick glasses, a Rally Motors cap, and the overalls of a service manager.) Jake takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. He's dirty, greasy. There are dark circles under his eyes. He's been working long hours-too long. Now Jake rubs his back. He has arthritis, and working under cars hurts it. Now Jake leans against one of the new cars and looks at his hand, which has blood on it.
    Herman What's happening? We've got twenty cars backed up, waiting for their free oil change. Now Jake has leaned against one of the new cars on the show room floor, and Herman has also noticed that Jake's thumb is bleeding. Shelly Oh Jake, what happened to your thumb? Jake I tried to tighten my thumb with a torque wrench. Herman moves Jake off the car while Herman pulls out his handkerchief and wipes the car. Herman You see those cars waiting for their oil change? Jake looks out the window. Jake Yeah . . . Shelly Well, what's the problem? Why you all are backed up? Jake Because I'm doing a thorough job. Any car leaves the shop; I want to make sure that there isn't anything wrong with it. So I'm also checking the basics . . . brakes, tires, transmission. Herman You're just supposed to change the oil, not prepare them for the Indy 500! Jake I've decided I should do the job the way it ought to be done: thoroughly and perfectly. Doesn't the law require it? Herman I don't require it. Do a lousy job, just do it quickly. Jake I can't do that. As a certified auto mechanic, I have certain standards to live up to. Herman Those standards are for aircraft mechanics, not car guys. You're involved in a work slowdown. Off Herman's remark: Jake is angry, and yes, he's involved in a work slowdown. Now Jake looks at his thumb. Jake Suddenly . . . my thumb feels numb. I should probably go see a doctor right away. There might even be a workers' compensation case here .Herman suddenly gets the picture. He spins and faces Jake. Herman You're trying to hold me up? Herman looks out the window at the cars. A BEAT-and a change of mood: Herman becomes practical. What do you want, Jake? Jake I've been working overtime for two days while this free oil change deal has been going on. You want to give away free oil changes, I want to be paid for my overtime. Herman You were just promoted to service manager. You're part of the Rally management team. We don't get paid overtime. Jake Yeah, but I'm still doing the same work. Herman Okay. I'll give you a couple of days off next week with pay. That satisfy you? Jake No, it doesn't. I want overtime pay. Herman All right, I'll pay you an extra five dollars for every car you service today .Jake looks at Herman-Jake has had it. Jake You know, I don't feel so good. I think I hurt my thumb because the manager forced me to work extra hours and I got so tired I couldn't tell the difference between my thumb and a spark plug. Herman You're trying to blackmail me. Jake No. You're blackmailing me! Holding my job over my head .Herman (over Jake's last line) No one blackmails me! There's an important principle involved here. If I have to, I'll change the oil on those cars myself. Jake Be my guest. Jake puts the torque wrench in Herman's hands and goes over and looks out the window, leaving Shelly and Herman alone.

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    Solution Preview

    Jake's actions are irresponsible and childish. He should not have gotten himself into the situation to begin with. Jake deserves overtime IF he is paid hourly. If he is on salary he is most likely not eligible but changes occur frequently in state and federal laws so it would be important to check out this individual state in which this occurred. Should Jake not be interested in working for the company any longer he might also have further fuel the fire by stating he believes he was promoted to service manager a week prior to the special as a way for the company to avoid paying overtime. Jake also has more inflammatory evidence against the company with Herman's remark "Do a lousy job, just do it quickly." This shows that Herman is not much of a person, a poor businessman, and most likely not someone for whom you ...

    Solution Summary

    This very detailed solution outlines the ethics of working overtime, filing worker's compensation, and general behavior at work. It deals with a detailed scenario of Jake and Herman at a automotive shop, an injury, unpaid overtime, and the threat of worker's compensation. It includes examples to help illustrate the solution better.