Is 'Employment at Will' a Good Social Policy_

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					Is ‘Employment at Will’ a
      Good Social Policy?

             By: Courtney Thompson
             and Zane Crownover
‘Employment at Will’
   is a Good Social
  Whatcha Talkin’ Bout Willis?
Employment at Will:
  Employment relationship where either
  employee or employer can terminate the
  relationship without liability; provided:
 there was no express contract for a definite
  term governing the employment
 and/or the employer does not belong to a
  recognized bargaining group, like a union.
In Your Shoes

 Economic Status vs. Job Preference
     Employee Viewpoint vs. Employer
Richard Epstein
 “Freedom is Good”
   Individual liberty comparable to freedom of speech,
    religion, or selection of marriage partners.
   Where does the desire to choose one’s own employment
    fall? In comparison to other rights such as voting?

   Government regulation is inappropriate for personal,
    political, religious activities…
 Little old lady swindled by man
  with thin mustache
   Good intentions- Bad idea

 Vast majority of people affected-
  Competent enough for voting,
  marrying, pray, but not choose
Severance Pay
 Employees usually aren’t dropped cold
   In most contracts the employer is required to either give
    notice or pay damages in lieu of notice
     Damages paid often equal the wages the employee would have
      earned during the notice period.

    The provisions for severance pay allow for employees to have
      some sort additional protection against discharge without
      sacrificing a clean break between parties.
Gradually Getting Worse
 Employees are proven to often times fail to improve at
  work expectations, and this can turn into a worse
  performance as time progresses, and people become
  more comfortable in the work place. Tenure does not
  always mean productivity.
Administrative Costs
 Contract at will- cost much much lower than
  competitive options

 Effort for a ‘for-cause’ rule will allow all, or most,
  dismissals to generate litigation
Knowing What You Don’t Know
 We understand that we don’t know what the future
   Contract at will- allows to wait and see what happens,
    and the chance to deal with it accordingly
  “You can start Tuesday, and we’ll see how the job works
 Importance- ‘Contract at Will’ does not trump or justify
  firing employees for:
 discrimination
 for refusing to commit illegal acts
 family or medical leave
 Not following own termination procedures
   Many cases that go to court are due from this.
Power of the Problem People
 Barriers are crossed
   personal unethical attributes to people in power

 The problem is not within the governmental laws or
  regulations, it is within the people that are in the
  positions, and no government law will change their
  personalities or moral structure.
Rebutting the Rebuttal
 Employment at Will vs. Just Cause
   The empirical prediction of productivity losses with Just
    Cause is not supported by the evidence
     While there might be no evidence, the strength of EAW
      shouldn’t be judged by the occasional cases in which it is said
      to produce unfortunate results.
   The economic arguments based on ideal market analyses
    are fraught with difficulties
     Changing laws based on a market or economy would not be
      beneficial in the long term because the economy is always
      changing and the Constitution is supposed to serve long term
Rebutting the Rebuttal
   The appeals to property or contract right are insufficient
    to trump the claimed right of employees to freedom
    from arbitrary dismissal.
     1) The statement is a matter of opinion, not fact
     2) Employees entering into workforce should know from the
      beginning whether a Contract at Will is being utilized, or if
      there is a different termination process. By accepting the job,
      they accept the terms.
 John McCall- Europe
            Simple Speak for the
               Simple Minded
 1. We have freedoms; this is one.
 2. If you don’t like your job; you should be able to quit.
 3. If you don’t like your employee’s; you should be able
  to fire them.
 4. If you fire me, I would not mind at all being paid for
  the amount of work I missed in the dismissal period.
 5. I like you today, maybe not tomorrow.
   i.e. Long term contracts no bueno
            Simple Speak for the
               Simple Minded
 6. I don’t think you should know that working here was
  my 42nd choice for employment; nor should you know
  that I plan on leaving if options 1-41 will hire me in the
 7. If you fire someone without following your own
  rules about termination, do not be surprised to find
  yourself in court.
 8. This isn’t Europe.
 9. Employment at Will- Vote Yes
Works Cited
 Epstein, Richard A. 1984. “University of Chicago Law
  Review.” issue: Fall 1984.

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