Mopak Corporation performed a search for drugs and guns on the employees and contract workers vehicles with the assistance of a private security company and drug detection dogs. In the search, guns were found, but not drugs, in several vehicles. At the completion of the search, five employees along with ten contract workers whose vehicles where the weapons were found were terminated, due to the corporation’s belief that the employees violated the company policy. The terminated workers immediately sued Mopak for wrongful termination.
Though mostly in the United States employees are “at-will” employees, the arguments for wrongful termination the employees from Mopak can make in their suit is that Mopak performed an unreasonable search of their vehicles, violating their expectation of privacy. The search was made without a warrant and violated their Fourth Amendment Rights. (Lawyer. com, 2013) The contract workers are bound by contracts that may have an at-will clause in it, in which case they, like the regular employees, can be terminated at-will.
Even though when there is a contract, written or oral, it’s based on a promise of job security, but with an at-will clause, contract workers may either leave a contract job or be terminated from a contract job at-will. ”Employers often, and legitimately, ask employees to sign contracts or agreements that document and enforce the terms of at will employment, usually in company policy manuals. ” (Lawyersandsettlements. com, 2013, para. )
The arguments that Mopak Corporation will make in response to the wrongful termination suit are that in the employees’ policy manual, handbooks or contracts reflect that the employee and/or contract workers must agree to random vehicle searches, random drug testing, and an at will clause for employment; that when signed by the employees and/or contract workers, it becomes binding, implied, or implied-in-fact contracts. In the 1988 decision of landmark case Foley vs. Interactive Data Corp. it brought to light that employees enter into implied-in-fact contracts with the acceptance of great merit reviews, promotions, raises, and with verbal assurances of job security. I believe the Mopak Corporation would win. I do not believe that a corporation with so much to lose would perform an illegal search of employee’s vehicles. They must have in the company’s policy manual that such an act would be permissible once the employees and contract workers sign that they have read and agreed to the terms and condition of the policy and/or contracts.
Courtney from Study Moose
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