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    The Definition of Employment at Will

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    Read the Donn Milton, Dr., v. IIT Research Institute on page 32-33 of the text attached. After reading the case, answer the following questions:

    1) What does employment-at-will mean?

    2) In legal terms, why did Milton lose her case?

    3) The court here expresses concern that, if Dr. Milton were permitted to win, it would open a "Pandora's box," with "every corporate officer fired in the wake of a disagreement over an employer's business practices" a potential successful plaintiff. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    4) Take a look at Montana's "Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act" found on page 44 . How do you believe Milton would have fared under this Act?

    5) Would the SOX law have protected Dr. Donn Milton? Why or Why not?

    6) Public policy tort actions for wrongful discharge have been allowed in a number of different situations. Discuss each of these situations.

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    Solution Preview

    1. Employment at will essentially means that an employer can basically fire an employee for almost any reason, which includes no explainable reason at all, and employers are not legally guilty of any wrong for the discharge of employees under this policy.

    2. In legal terms, the reason that Milton lost his case is due to the fact that Maryland courts have recognized two reasons for exceptions to the use of the employment at will policy. " An individual cannot be fired for his or her refusal to violate any law or legal statute, and an individual cannot be terminated for faithfully exercising a specific legal right or duty."(State of Maryland Legal Statute)(Halbert/Ingulli) In essence, the court found that Milton was not asked, coerced, or ordered to violate any legal statute in the performance of his duties, and that there was no specific duty for Milton to report the activities of his organization to the authorities, therefore, his employer is not legally guilty of any wrong for the discharge of Milton, or for the facilitation of ...