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Firing Employees and Employment Law

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(1) Review the following case scenario and address the issues outlined in the scenario
(2) Identify and discuss all of the applicable laws and how they apply to each of the individual situations. (See employee descriptions below) You must fire 3

Reduction in Workforce Exercise

More Beer, Inc. is a 25 million dollar a year micro brewing company heavily involved in the direct marketing of its various micro brew products. In order to cash in on the internet selling boom, More Beer, Inc. opened two new marketing and direct distributions channels (www.morebeer.com & www.iamthirstyformorebeernow.com). Soon after these websites went live, technology problems, together with sluggish sales killed the company's profits. As a result, the company has decided to abandon its new direct marketing plan and to reduce its workforce.

You are the Vice President (VP) of HR for More Beer, Inc. The President of the company has asked you to terminate the employment for a number of employees. He has given you a list of people to consider and has charged you with writing a memo describing which employees to terminate, the reasons for each termination, what, if any severance is to be offered and what risks might be inherent with each particular employee in terms of post termination litigation.

Your job as VP of HR:

You must fire 3 of these employees. Two employees may befolded into existing openings in the rest of the company.Here are the employees:

Mike Williams

Mike is a 34 year old Asian male. His overall track record with the company is above average. His productivity is above the median although other employees complain that they have difficulty understanding him because he speaks English with a heavy accent. He has achieved no special honors or awards while employed with the company. He has a BS in IS from a good University. His job duties include maintaining existing computer systems which will be obsolete after the RIF. He has had no absenteeism. Mike recently came to you with questions regarding labor organization and there is a rumor that he is talking to others about joining a service union.

Phillip Price:

Phil is a 32 year old White male. His overall track record with the company is average. His productivity is average. He has been solely responsible for much of the quality programming which took place in the program being abandoned. He holds no advanced degree but his experience in the Navy has given him practice experience that goes beyond the abandoned programs. However, Phil seems to have an absenteeism problem, missing 17 days in the last two months. Phil has recently let you know that he is homosexual and he feels like others in the company have been treating him differently since he "came out."

Sally James:

Sally is a 55 year old White female. She is beloved at the company for her friendliness and willingness to help others. Sally is an administrative assistant assigned to the overall organization of the failed marketing endeavor. Although it failed, it is generally thought that Sally did a great job in her administrative tasks. Sally has been with the company for 20 years and is a single mother with a young son in college.Terminating Sally will cause almost immediate financial hardship for her. Sally has missed 13 days in the last two months.

Margaret Jones:

Margaret is a 28 year old African American female. She is a very dynamic salesperson. Although most of the new division's sales came from Margaret's hard work, she is generally perceived to be a ladder climber and puller and out only for herself. She is not perceived to be a team player although it is widely recognized that she is smart and talented. Margaret is very active in the local chapter of a civil rights group and, on several occasions in the past, has complained on behalf of other employees when she believed they were not being treated fairly. She has missed two months work in the last 12 months.

Jenny Smith:

Jenny is a 30 year old female. She is originally from South America, and is fluent in 3 languages in addition to English, which is very helpful to the company's marketing efforts. She holds a BS in PR and was the public relations person assigned to the team. When at work, Jenny does a very good job but she has missed multiple days
lately because she is early in a pregnancy. Jenny's husband has recently lost his job and she has expressed to you her concerns for her job and continued health care during her pregnancy. She recognizes her attendance problems and has promised to be better in her attendance just as soon as she gets past her morning sickness.

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Mike Williams

Mike would be fired because his services would be obsolete after the RIF. His services as an employee would be dulled following the RIF and this is the precedent for firing him although he has an above average track record as an employee. Because most of the companies in America operate under the banner of at-will employment and distinguish this form of employment from a union or "for cause" employee, the company can legally fire any one of its employees without facing legal problems because most probably Mike wasn't under any contract. Therefore, Mike would be relieved of his duties because he was expandable once his area of expertise would become obsolete.

Phillip Price:

Phil's ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines the firing employees and employment laws. The applicable laws and how they apply to each individual situations are discussed.

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3. Simpson worked for UEW Co., and recently joined a religion that forbids working on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. UEW has operation hours of 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Simpson requests to have his work hours changed to four day weeks, working from 8am to 6 pm, Tuesday through Friday. The UEW turns down his request, and Simpson fails to report for work on Mondays for several weeks and is fired. Does Simpson have a claim against UEW for religious discrimination? Why or why not?

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