Liability, Rights, and Legal Principles
TNT Corporation hired Jason Black as a manager to maintain leased office space units. Jason supervised 30 employees and low-level managers. For this position, Jason moved from D.C. to Dallas TX selling his home and moving his family.
After being on the job for 3 months his boss said things seemed not to be working out. They told Jason he would be discharged with 30-day severance pay. Jason was shocked because he was given no indication that there was a problem at the job. The Personnel manual given to Jason outlined processes for dealing with unsatisfactory employees. The manuals read:
“If the job performance of an employee is unsatisfactory, the employee will be notified of the deficiency and placed on a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). If the employee performance does not improve to a satisfactory level within the specified period of time, termination will follow.”
Jason understood that when he signed on that he was working for a hire and fire “at will” company. He believed that the provision above would prevent him from being fired “at will.” He noticed that management was noticeably unfriendly after Jason voiced at a school board meeting that he did not like the fact that schools spend most of the athletic money on football and nothing on other sports. His position was unpopular and he believes that this was the reason he was fired.
- What liability and rights, if any, does TNT or Jason have in this situation?
- What legal principles (statutory or case law) supports those rights and liabilities?