You will aid Vice President Dodger of Colossal Corporation by analyzing complicated issues that have arisen in different subsidiaries of the company. These situations require the company to make legal and ethical decisions. You will be presented with a number of readings to familiarize yourself with relevant laws and with resources that guide you in making ethical decisions. You will produce a report for the VP that includes specific recommendations based on what you have found in the readings
Review the competencies below:
Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
Create neat and professional looking documents appropriate for the project or presentation.
Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem.
Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks.
Develop constructive resolutions for ethical dilemmas based on application of ethical theories, principles and models.
Assess the implications of legal, ethical and cultural (national) standards on an organization’s operations in global markets and make recommendations for appropriate actions.
Resolve workplace conflicts using the optimal approaches and techniques for the situation and involved parties.
Analyze the implications of contract law and make recommendations to support business decisions.
Analyze the implications of civil or criminal wrongs and of product or service liability laws, and make recommendations to support business decisions.
Analyze the impact of international and foreign laws on US organizations acting domestically and abroad.
Analyze the utility of various forms of dispute resolution and make recommendations to support business decisions.
Apply the principles of employment law for ethical practices and risk mitigation.The Turnip Plaza Hotel
Notice: Contains Confidential Information
Mark Piper was employed for several years as a tour guide at the Turnip Plaza Hotel in Port Austin, Michigan. Turnip Plaza is one of Colossal Corporation’s luxury hotel holdings, strategically located near Lake Huron’s famous Turnip Rock. Over the years, Mark developed a reputation as one of the most skillful tour guides in Michigan. He would guide tourists through extreme kayaking, hiking, and camping adventures in and around the Great Lakes. He was often requested by name by tourists visiting the hotel and was featured on extreme sports television. His high adventure kayaking tours brought in significant revenue for the hotel.
One month ago, Mark was approached by Stacey Nguyen, the manager of the Huron Overnight Inn—a rival company of Turnip Plaza. Stacey offered Mark a substantial salary increase to leave Turnip Plaza and come to work for her. Mark agreed to think about this offer and get back to Stacey in 48 hours. When he returned to Turnip Plaza, he asked several of his colleagues what they thought about the offer. One of them immediately went to Turnip Plaza’s manager, Edward Griffin, and told him the details of Stacey’s offer to Mark.
Upon hearing of the offer, Edward called Mark into his office and said: “If you stay with Turnip Plaza, I promise that next month you will receive a promotion with a 50 percent raise and a guaranteed contract for a two-year term.” This sounded good to Mark, and he turned down the offer from Stacey to stay with Turnip Plaza. However, last week, shortly before Mark was to receive his new contract, he was dismissed from Turnip Plaza because of corporate restructuring due to concerns about the increased liability risks of managing high adventure tours through Colossal’s hotels. Although Mark has not taken any formal action at this point, the vice president is concerned that Mark might try to hold Turnip Plaza to Edward’s promise.
Your task is to research the legal and ethical issues associated with this situation and write a report to the vice president answering the following questions:
1. What legal theories might Mark use to try to legally enforce Edward’s promise? Explain the elements of these theories and how they apply to the facts of this scenario.
2. If Mark were to file a lawsuit and win, what sort of damages or other remedies might he be entitled to? Include your reasoning and any evidence that led you to your conclusions.
Finally, regardless of the legal implications, the vice president would like your view on the ethical issues. Does Turnip Plaza have an ethical obligation to fulfill the promise made by Edward to Mark? Is it right to lay off Mark under these circumstances? What should Turnip Plaza do from an ethical perspective? Use ethical theory and principles to analyze these questions.
by Robert C. Goodwin
Introduction to Law
There are many definitions of law, each of which focuses on a different aspect of the subject.
Black’s Law Dictionary (n.d), for example, defines law in a way that emphasizes it as applicable to people as well as physical phenomena: “That which is laid down, ordained, or established. A rule or method according to which phenomena or actions coexist or follow one another.”
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1961) is less broad, focuses on people, adds the enforcement concept, and emphasizes the notion of law as an expression of the customs of the people: “A binding custom or practice of a community. A rule or mode of conduct or action that is prescribed or formally recognized as binding by a supreme controlling authority or is made obligatory by a sanction made, recognized, or enforced by the controlling authority.”
An even more specific definition is, law consists of the entire body of principles that govern conduct, the observance of which can be enforced in courts.
Man-made law is necessary to provide not only rules of conduct but also the machinery and procedures for enforcing right conduct, for punishing wrongful acts, and for settling disputes that arise even when both parties are motivated by good intentions. In its broadest sense, the purpose of law is to provide order, stability, and justice. It is often said that procedure is the heart of the law. There are many instances where the substantive words of the law appear to give someone a right but they are unable to exercise that right for procedural reasons. Something as simple as failing to file a lawsuit within the time limits set by the local court rules can prevent someone from receiving the remedy they thought they had. We should always keep this distinction between right and remedy in mind as we review the various materials in this course.
The Legal System
Each nation has its own legal system. Thus, the institutions that create the laws (such as bureaucracies, courts, legislatures, a king) can differ significantly from country to country. So also will the scope of the substantive rules enacted by these institutions, which define the rights and responsibilities of the citizens of the nation. The rules relating to what constitutes criminal conduct, when a contract is considered to be formed, what activities of private parties are subject to government control, and myriad other substantive regulations of human conduct all differ from country to country. A final aspect of a nation’s legal system consists of the procedural rules that govern enforcement of the substantive ones. As noted, one doesn’t truly have a right without a remedy, and it is the remedy that is defined by procedural law. These rules encompass everything from the rules of evidence to the right to be represented by a lawyer and are a critical component of a legal system.
While it is a fact that each nation has its own Contract Formation and Execution
Contract law is a component of civil law that concerns the legal principles governing the exchange of goods or services between individuals or businesses. At its heart, contract law involves how legally enforceable promises are formed and executed.
A promise is a declaration by a legal person (called the promisor) to perform or forbear from performing specified act(s). The recipient of the promise (called the promisee), upon a promise being made, has rights to expect (and often to demand) that the promise be performed. Whether these rights to expect and demand performance are moral or legal rights depends on whether the promise was made in the context of a valid and enforceable contract. Only if the legal requirements of a contract are satisfied, or if other legal remedies are available, will a promise be enforceable in a court of law.
The law of contracts provides a means of distinguishing between types of promises that create moral obligation (e.g., a promise to meet a friend for coffee) and those that also create legal obligation (e.g., a promise to your bank to pay the mortgage acquired on your home).
Within the United States, there are two major sources of domestic contract law: the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the common law. Depending on the subject matter of the contract, such as if the contract involves the purchase of tangible personal property (“goods”) or the hiring of an individual for employment (“services”), one will look to specific sources of law to determine whether the legal promise is enforceable.
Contracts for the sale of goods are governed by Article 2 of the UCC. Most contracts that are not for the sale of goods—such as contracts for employment, real property, insurance, and so forth—are governed by the common law, which is generally summarized in the Restatement of Contracts (Restatement).
Once one identifies the applicable source of the contract law—that is, whether the contract is governed by the common law or by the UCC—then, one can determine if the particular promise is valid and enforceable under the applicable rules contained in that source of law. Although the UCC and the common law do overlap, there are many key differences between the two sources of law as regards many areas of contract law, including the formation and performance of a contract, the requirements for breach of a contract, the enforceability of a contract, and the remedies available for the victim of a breach.
The legal enforceability of a particular promise thus hinges on the rules contained in the relevant source of law that are applicable to the subject matter of that particular promise. The promise is, in many ways, the cornerstone of societal order. As stated by distinguished jurist Roscoe Pound, the “social order rests upon the stability and predictability of conduct, of which keeping promises is a large item” (Pound, 1959). Contract law provides the mechanism for determining when a promise is valid and7
Turnip Plaza Hotel Case
Mark Piper has been employed in position of a tour guide at Turnip Plaza Hotel for several years. He has been performing well in his job with his reputation growing among tourists for being skillful. He has also been requested as the preferred tour guide by many tourists. Stacey Nguyen, a manager at Huron Overnight Inn, which is a rival firm of Turnip Plaza gives Mark an offer. She requests him to leave his service at Turnip and join Huron and Mark promises to think about the offer. In exchange, he is promised a salary increase. Consequently, Mark seeks the advice of his colleagues at work. One of them informs his manager who makes a counteroffer to Mark that if he chooses to stay at Turnip, then he would receive a promotion that will involve a 50% increase in salary and a guarantee of a contract of two years at the firm. Mark agrees to take this offer making him cancel Stacey’s offer. However, Mark is dismissed from Turnip shortly after with reasons of corporate restructuring at the firm and the rising concerns of the increased liability risk of his tours. Turnip’s vice president is mainly concerned that Mark would sue Turnip because of the failure to make true the offer made by its manager, Edward.
Legal Theories available for Mark
Mark might apply different legal theories to legally enforce Edward Griffin’s promise to give him a 50% increase in pay and two-year term guarantee. Due to this offer, Mark put aside the offer given by the rival company. He was later to be dismissed from Turnip leading to the rise of a variety of legal and ethical issues attached to the action by Turnip Plaza and its manager, Edward. In this context, it is important to note that Edwin is acting in full capacity of Turnip as the company’s agent. He was exercising his authority as the manager, which in turn puts Turnip in the position of being legally bound by the agreement/contract between the two parties. In this context, the agency law theory can be applied to support Mark’s claim. According to agency law, there is a legal relationship when one party acts on behalf of another. The agent acts on behalf of the principal (Legal Responsibilities of Agents and Employees). In this case, Mark is Turnip’s agent, while Stacey is Huron’s agent. The two managers are entering into legally enforceable contract on behalf of their respective companies. In this view, the contract entered by Edward is legally binding and Mark can take the necessary action.
The validity of the contract between Turnip’s manager, Edward and Mark can be determined by examining its nature. On the one hand, Edward’s proposal amounted to a contract where the company made a specific promise to Mark. It was a bilateral contract where the promise was to be given in the future. The promise is the one that amounted to the offer, which was a 50% pay rise and a two-year’ contract guarantee. The diff
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