Does Paula have any legal claims against Capstone Corporation
Based on the presented scenario, Paula does not have any substantive legal claims against Capstone Corporation. He does not possess any legal rights or provisions that will enable him to file a suit against the company. This is because Paula has outrightly breached the company policy for violating the law that forbids the use of the company’s email for personal purposes. Disciplinary action by an employer is a form of response through which the employer handles a problem that has been identified at the workplace regarding the unacceptable performance or action of the employee (Colaiuta & Frame, 2018). It comes in various forms right from the verbal actions or written reprimand or at times through loss of the privileges accorded to the employee. It is intended at correcting the behavior and documentation issues. The reprimand acts as disciplinary action from the employer to the employee and adherence to the disciplinary process that is supposed to be followed.
However, in this case, scenario, Paula can raise a legal claim against Capstone Corporation for not being accorded a fair hearing before being fired. The fair hearing could be in the form of a formal disciplinary meeting as a step by which the employee could meet the HR representatives or manager to discuss the problem. At this point, the employee would be informed of his/her violation and from which one is notified of the punitive action to be undertaken (Levine, 2016). Otherwise, Paula was guilty of the violation whether knowingly or unknowingly. If given a chance, Paula would have defended herself for taking it upon herself to use the company email to send her mum the narration of the personal injuries, and maybe the company could have understood her situation.
Does Paula have a contract with Freddy to purchase the car? Do Paula and Freddy have a contract for the sale of the mustang?
There is no contact between Freddy and Paula for purchasing the car. To explain this, we begin with the evaluation of whether the basic elements that are required for an agreement to be legally valid or to validate enforceability of the contract were met. The basic elements include the mutual assent, expression of a valid offer and acceptance, adequate consideration, capacity, and lastly the aspect of legality (Schroeter, 2017). At times, the aspect of consideration could be satisfied through a valid substitute. In this case scenario, a promise was made between the two parties. An offer is the initial most step of validating a contract and Paula needs to purchase a car from which she meets Freddy and agrees to purchase his Mustang for $1000. The parties have agreed that Paula will bring Freddy the money for the car the following day when she will be expected to pick up the car.
For a contract to be legally binding, there must be a duty that has come into existence arising from a promise that has been made by either of the parties. To establish a legally binding effect, the promise must have been exchanged for adequate consideration. The bargain theory of consideration best explains the context of this scenario (Poole, 2016). It derives that there must be an adequate consideration that exists when the promisor has made a promise in return for something else and the essential condition would be that the promisor must have been given something superficially to induce the promise that has been established. The focus here is on bargain for exchange which emphasizes the motive of making the promises by the parties and the subjective mutual assent by the parties. In this scenario, the parties agreed verbally but there was no something else that was used to induce the promise that was being made and Freddy would as well sell the car to someone else who gave something in return for the promise.
Does Paula have a right to privacy when using the capstone email system?
The right to privacy is possibly the most controversial aspect that can be discussed especially regarding the relationship between an employer and an employee in this age of increased reliance on the usage of social media almost in all aspects. The rise in the popularity of emails at the workplace is not surprising (Clearinghouse, 2016). Employees are restricted from using the e-mails for persona use to avoid committing torts and crimes with mistaken keystrokes. Through such, confidentialities can be breached, trade secrets revealed and reputations harmed. In this case scenario, this category of violation falls in the inadvertent acts whereby an email is sent to a wrong person or a person, not within the company/workplace. The law of the rights attached to email privacy still evolves daily. The extent to which emails are monitored/protected is still being established. The right of privacy when using capstone’s email system could establish two possibilities of suing, that is, the tort of invasion of privacy and a claim under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
Under the invasion of privacy, Paula can sue under the unreasonable intrusion despite the existence of uncertainty. This applies since the case of Karraker v. Rent-A-center which provides that although uncertainty exists as to whether the tort of unreasonable intrusion on the seclusion of another is viable. Further, the case of Morris v Ameritech suggests that the four elements of intrusion have to be proved, that is, the unauthorized intrusion, an offensive intrusion, the matter was private, and that the intrusion caused suffering (Abdurrahimli, 2020). In the context, if the Electronic communications privacy act, the Act prohibits electronic communication intercepts. Paula would as such sue in the form of a private cause of action that makes it unlawful for any other person to intentionally intercept as was the case in DIRECTV, Inc v Childers, 27 F, Supp.
Alternatively, Paula might argue that there is a legal claim against the corporation based on the right of privacy. This is such that by using the company’s email, she could argue that having been in an unstable mental condition after being unconscious for several days, she could have forgotten the policy for work or maybe she had logged out of her mail in as much as it won’t change the fact that it’s a policy.
Can Paula be legally fired from her job for making negative comments about her boss and her company on social media? What about free speech?
Under this scenario, Paula having been legally fired from her job for making negative comments about the boss and company on social media, has a right to initiate a legal claim. This is because her right to privacy and protection from the punishment by the company for posting her sentiments on social media has been breached. The social media post relates to the right to privacy of the email system. Concerning the right of privacy, the verdict would be dependent on the national labor relations laws. The employers are authorized, to retain policies that prohibit the employees not to use the corporate email system for personal purposes, by the 2007 Registered Guard decision (O’Brien, 2010). The property rights in the system of the employer were used in determining the decision. The employers are permitted to manage the privacy of the email system as long as their regulation is not discriminatory, and since they also own the email system (Kuntz, 2016).
The reprimand is what triggered Paula’s action of going to social media to expose the situation of the boss and colleagues. The case of purpled communication however overturned the 2007 decision by ruling that employees were free to utilize the email as they wish during the non-working time (Kuntz, 2016). The employees are thus granted permission to use the email system as they wish and communicate effectively concerning matters of self-organization and condition of employment based on the national labor relations Act. The rights somehow outweigh the prohibition of employees’ use of email system for personal reasons. Thus, there arises the presumption that Paula has the right to use the company’s email in engaging the protected communications because she is granted access to the email system of her employer. More so, the employer has the option to refute this argument through the demonstration that bases on special circumstances in maintaining productivity and discipline while using the email system.
As such, Paula can be legally fired by her employer for posting negative comments regarding her boss together with the company on social media because she has tainted the image of her former company. However, this largely rests on various legal considerations. Where the employees openly use the name of the manager, they are granted the right of reviewing the posts at any time they come to the limelight (Kuntz et al., 2016). Factually, the manager has the responsibility of practicing a routine check of ensuring that the brand of the company remains high and it retains its reputation in al social circles. It is very wrong for the employer to directly target the posts put on the media by a specified employee. However, where the post of the employee is found to be highlighting the name of the company, it is upon the employer to seek verification of such a post to ascertain that it does not amount to a lawsuit against the employee (Lam, 2016).
The general rule is that the employee has the right to post any information regarding the working conditions and wages in the various online platforms as he/she wishes. The aspect covers broad categories thus the general grievance and complaints protection under the law. The employees are also protected by various state laws regarding the punishments for complaints regarding various situations at work (Lam, 2016). However, such aspects as disclosure of confidential information, harassment, racial epithets, hate speech, and threats of violence are not protected by the law.
The disparaging comments made by Paula in the current scenario signify negativity and the low opinions that lower the reputation of the employer that are essentially exempted from holding the employee legally accountable (Lam, 2016). Alternatively, Paula may be reprimanded if the post did include elements of defamation or slander. Conclusively, Paula’s fate in the present situation depends on the various elements based on the situation to be determined. As such, she may claim based on the most suitable context that may suit her to protect her from the legal lawsuit and the company’s dismissal.
Abdurrahimli, F. (2020). Big Boss is Watching You! The Right to Privacy of Employees in the Context of Workplace Surveillance.
Clearinghouse, P. R. (2016). Workplace privacy and employee monitoring. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
Colaiuta, V., & Frame, S. (2018). The Legal Consequences of a Wrongful Termination. Const. L. Int’l, 13, 53.
Directv, Inc. v. Childers, 274 F. Supp. 2d 1287 (M.D. Ala. 2003).
Karraker v. Rent-A-Center, Inc., 411 F.3d 831 (7th Cir. 2005).
Kuntz, J., Connell, P., & Näswall, K. (2017). Workplace resources and employee resilience: The role of regulatory profiles. Career development international.
Lam, H. (2016). Social media dilemmas in the employment context. Employee Relations.
Levine, B. (2016). Labor & Employment Law. Syracuse L. Rev., 66, 1027.
Morris v. Ameritech Illinois, 785 N.E.2d 62, 337 Ill. App. 3d 40, 271 Ill. Dec. 411 (App. Ct. 2003).
Poole, J. (2016). Textbook on contract law. Oxford University Press.
Schroeter, U. G. (2017). Contract validity and the CISG. Uniform Law Review, 22(1), 47-71.