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Flashcards in Employee Rights and Discipline Deck (19):

Employee rights can be defined as the assurances granted by employers, the courts and legislation for ___ treatment of employees.


Fair treatment is the cornerstone of employee rights in balancing the needs of the employer and employee.


The ________ of alleged employee rights violations concern the right to privacy.


Privacy violations comprise the most common complaint regarding employee rights breaches.


The employment-at-will principle states that the employer has the right to _________ the employees employment at any time and for any reason and the employee too can quit whenever he or she chooses.


This is the definition of employment-at-will and is the established common law doctrine on this matter.


The employment-at-will principle has to be modified for employees in the public sector as they are afforded additional protection through the ____________.


Public sector workers have additional rights under the 5th amendment and state, county and local government workers are protected by the 14th amendment.


Some states recognize three exceptions to the employment-at-will principle and these are the implied contract, implied ________ and violation of public policy.


Employers cannot fire employees when it is viewed to be in the best interests of society as a whole.


The implied ________ exception to the employment-at-will rule refers to dismissal in spite of promises made regarding job security or contrary to set procedures, whereas the implied covenant exception describes the situation when an employer has acted unfairly.


In this situation, the employer has acted in bad faith resulting in the termination of the employee's position. This violates the implied covenant by causing harm unjustifiably. Hence, employees can seek damages for wrongful dismissal.


In order to avoid wrongful dismissal suits, HR experts suggest that employers give clear reasons when firing an employee, create and follow termination rules, ________ performance shortcomings and act in a consistent manner with all employees in similar circumstances.


Consistency will bear out that the employer is not treating an employee in a particularly unfavorable way and hence the employer should be able to fend off the charge.


____________ dismissal occurs when an employee resigns because of unpleasant or unreasonable working conditions placed on him or her by the employer.


This is the definition of constructive dismissal and arises when conditions are so bad that the employee is "forced" to resign.


The courts have held that employees in "sensitive" positions can be subjected to _________ drug-testing.


The sensitive positions refer to jobs such as flight crew members, police officers, firefighters and transportation safety crew.


As the laws relating to the drug-testing of employees in non-sensitive positions vary from state to state; some employers have turned to an alternative form of testing to determine the suitability of an individual to perform a job and this test is called the __________ test.


This test determines if the employee is sufficiently alert for work. The advantage this test has over drug-testing is that it concentrates on workplace behavior as opposed to off-work activities.


The majority of major US companies use ____________ to monitor their employees to prevent theft.


The US Chamber of Commerce has estimated that businesses lose $40 billion yearly from employee theft. Therefore, big companies use surveillance as a deterrent and to catch employees who steal.


Employee searches are conducted to assist in fighting crime but employers should have a clear HR search policy that is well publicized stating ________ or compelling cause as a justification for the search. It should be applied privately, in a discreet fashion, preferably with the employees consent and the penalty for failure to comply with the policy should be clearly stated.


The courts have determined that probable cause must exist for a search to take place.


Access to personnel files governed by the _____________ and state laws; about half of the states permit employees the right to view these files and correct inaccuracies.

Privacy Act of 1974

This is one of the rights normally granted to employees in the states that permit access.


__________ employee use of email, voice mail and Internet use is common practice for employers and they have great latitude when doing this as it covers their own equipment.


Since company equipment is used for generating email, voice mail and for surfing the Internet; employers have greater scope in monitoring such activity.


Generally speaking, off-duty conduct is not grounds for disciplining or firing an employee unless the employer can demonstrate a clear link between the employees misconduct with a ________ effect on the rest of the workforce or the company.


The general rule is that off-duty activities are the private business of the employee and nothing to do with the employer.


The ________ rule is one favored by HR experts in dispensing disciplinary action so that the punishment is meted out immediately after the infraction and the rule should be applied consistently to all employees in an unbiased and professional manner.



The two main approaches to disciplinary action are positive and ___________ discipline.


Positive discipline is also known as non-punitive discipline. This method requires cooperation from the supervisor and employee to solve the discipline problem as quickly as possible, with the employee bearing all the responsibility for the correction.


Progressive discipline is a method of disciplining employees by __________ them to correct the behavior themselves by applying just the right amount of corrective action after each infraction; although the amount of corrective action will increase progressively if the employee does not improve his or her behavior.


The employee is encouraged through the corrective action to modify their behavior. They will be made aware of the consequences if they do not. Typically, the employee is given an oral warning after the first infraction. This then progresses to a written warning, suspension and then finally, termination.


Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures such as step-review, open-door system, ombudsman system, arbitration and _________ are becoming increasingly common as a means of offering employees fair treatment in the workplace.


Mediation requires an impartial neutral person to arrive at a compromise solution in employment disagreements.