The plaintiff, Elaine, has sued the defendant, Jerry, because the defendant fired her after the plaintiff was on the job for two months. The job offer letter that the defendant had sent her mentioned the great career opportunities at the company and stated that her annual salary would be $30,000. The company is an employment-at-will employer. The plaintiff was given no reason for the termination. After the termination, the defendant hired a man named Kramer, who had less job experience and education than the plaintiff, for the position.
The plaintiff is suing to get her job back. Based upon the readings and the case the legal issues that are raised are: Did the defendant (Jerry) act ethically in this case? Was the plaintiff wrongfully terminated? And did the defendant engage in sexual discrimination, which is a violation of the Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act? Plaintiff’s Argument: The Plaintiff can state that she was discriminated based on gender and seek damages due to a breach of contract through the contract exception under the employment at will doctrine (p. 415).
In regards to the wrongful termination on the basis sexual discrimination, the plaintiff can claim this because the male employee that replaced Elaine had less experience and education. Although the employer is an at-will employer it is does not need to have employment contracts. The plaintiff can argue that an implied-in-fact contract (p. 416) was enacted between them due to the job offer letter and falls under the contract exception to the doctrine. This implied contract was established with the job offer letter which stated “an annual salary of $30,000” and where Elaine has “great career opportunities”.
The annual salary, which at least classifies the contract for a year, and then also the use of the term career, both imply a long term commitment from the company. Also, the plaintiff can argue that she never received an evaluation or counseling regarding her performance, which would have given her a chance to see how she was doing and how she could have fixed any problems. Defendant’s Argument: The defendant’s argument would be that they are an at-will employer and that under the common law the plaintiff could be fired at any time for any reason (p. 415). My Decision as the Judge:
Based on the case and the facts given by the statues of the law, the defendant unlawfully terminated the plaintiff. Therefore, the plaintiff has won their case. In regards to the decision there were many factors involved. First, the defendant did not given a reason as to why the plaintiff was fired, which makes any argument on the defendant’s side shaky. Secondly, the defendant failed to comply with the laws in that they failed to supply the plaintiff with feedback regarding her performance and also by violating the Title VIII Civil Rights Act, with wrongful sex discrimination.
This is shown by the defendant hiring a male to fill in the plaintiff’s position with less experience and education then the plaintiff. Due to the wrongful discrimination and subsequent termination the plaintiff is entitled to be reinstated and to be compensated for any lost wages, such as back pay, and other remedies the courts deem necessary. My Own Opinion: The employer did not act ethical in this case and it is disheartening that the practice of sexual discrimination is still a concern for many.
As a woman myself entering a field mainly dominated by men, I appreciate that these laws are in place to protect me. I do believe that the Title VIII Civil Rights Act is fair and reasonable. Also the legalities regarding the termination of employment are fair and reasonable. This is true because even though the employer who is an at-will employer has the right to fire an employee at any time for any reason, a terminated employee is allowed to sue if they feel as if it was unfair or unlawful.
Although I do think the above laws are fair, I do believe they need to be more specific or at least more detailed in the overall context, so that both employee and employer are protected, especially with at-will employers. This will not only help those that are involved in the case, but the judges as well, who are reviewing and ruling on the case, as they have a better vision on the facts presented and precedents from other cases. This is my review of the case, and subsequent ruling.
Courtney from Study Moose
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