Hi Pat, as for the issues of the discharges at the Anderson Cost Club, my thoughts are as follows. The GM at the Anderson Cost is incorrect in saying that we as a company can discharge employees without a reason. There must be a legal reason for the discharge. Now, there are exceptions to the employment at will doctrine. The exceptions are as follows:
1. Bad faith, malicious termination in violation of public policy, 2. Termination in breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. 3. Termination of an implied contract term 4. Violation of the promissory estoppel where the employee relied on the employers promise.
There are other exceptions that are determined by the individual states concerning warnings issued by employers. If his reasons fall within the exceptions then the employee can lodge a claim for wrongful termination or discharge. Even though the Cost Club is non-union there are laws that we are governed by that were established to protect the employee.
Pat, my suggestion is that we hold a conference call and speak with the GM to establish if he had any other reasons other than downsizing his workforce. We should question the GM on any other motives for discharge that he may or may not have had. After the conference call I suggest that we immediately contact our legal team.
This is not to insinuate that we are guilty of anything. We should make sure that we cover ourselves and be ready for any legal fall out. Going forward I will make arrangements for some of our legal team to hold some workshops and trainings for our management employees on the guidelines and policies for the particular state that they reside and work in. This is just to ensure that our management team understands and is adhering to the laws that govern us.
Memo #2 Hi Pat, the idea that the CEO has to reduce cost of workforce definitely can be done legally. The contingent workers are the worker whose job is temporary differs from the norm of full-time employment. They are workers usually hired by employer through a staffing firm. There are also seasonal, part-time workers and those considered to be independent contractors rather than employees.
Using the contingent worker will provide a cost savings but I must warn that the savings is short termed. We must also realize that some contingent employees depending on classification may be entitled to protection under the employment laws and guidelines. There are straight temporary employees and then there are temporary to hire where the promise of employment is made after a certain amount of time has gone by. There are advantages and disadvantages to contingent workers. Some of the disadvantages are lack of commitment from the employee while many may lack particular skills.
There are often high turnovers where the contingent employee finds other permanent employment. Sometimes difficult to integrate and create a working relationship amongst permanent and contingent employees. There are some advantages to contingent workers. There is staffing flexibility and lower benefit cost. Instant staffing and rapid availability. Termination can be made without the cost of paying severance. Some employees can be screen for future hiring as a permanent employee. Pat, I believe that contingent workers can be a short term savings.
Memo #3 In this instance in the first scenario the customer certainly has a right to be angry. We as a company should never condone violence. There is some missing information that we should be made aware of. The first is was this incident witnessed by another member of our company or a manager? Did the customer suffer any injuries as a result of this incident? Is this a full-time employee or a contingent employee? The employee should be placed on suspension immediately until investigation is complete. This client may even have legal issues initiated by the customer. The question will also have to be asked if the act of the employee will affect the company in a negative manner. This will definitely be an issue for the legal team.
In this scenario the employee should be discharged. We as a company did not enter into an agreement to enter the customer’s home and make any kind of installation. This was a personal deal made on the behalf of the employee on the side with a customer. This is very sad for the customer but we are not responsible for his actions which are against company policy.
In this scenario we will need to find out if this real estate agent is employed by our company or a contractor. If he is a contractor is he authorized to close deals without permission from someone else? If he is an employee does he have the final say or was he acting on his own accord without permission. The deal was not yet signed so we should check with the legal department to see where we stand.
Memo # 4 In this scenario our company can set up a mediation team that employees can use. This team can help employees and employers settle their differences. This same team can help the employee to understand everything in the employee manual. Many times this is what the union is used for. There can be employee spokespersons that gather questions that employees need answers to and give to employer to address in meetings. I will forward any information needed to complete this task to you by next week.
Memo #5 There are not many laws that govern who you can hire. We must adhere to the laws set up by for certain people. Americans with disabilities is one of them. We must hire with regard to race, religion and gender. As long as we stay fair the law allows companies to hire people at will.