Reference no: EM131235455
DISCHARGE FOR OFF-DUTY ACTS
The following case illustrates the off-duty privacy claim of an employee and management's right to uphold the reputation of the company.
Before his termination on Monday, March 9, 2015, Carlos Hilliard worked as a senior sales representative for Davey Duck Publishing (DDP), a provider of educational books and supplies to secondary schools. During his ten years of employment, Carlos was recognized as an outstanding employee with close working relationships with the schools he served. His sales record was excellent. His discharge resulted from what DDP claimed was a serious breach of its code of conduct for employees.
On Saturday, March 7, 2015, due to a chance meeting between Carlos and his manager, Sylvia Green, Carlos was observed leaving an adult video store carrying what his manager described as pornographic magazines and an X-rated video. The following Monday, Sylvia discussed the incident with DDP's vice-president for sales and a representative from HR.
All agreed that Carlos's off-duty behavior constituted a serious violation of the company's code of conduct for employees, which read, in part, "Employee off-duty behavior in no way should reflect unfavorably upon the company, its employees, or sales of any educational materials:' AEM has traditionally held its sales representatives to high moral standards because the company sells extensively to public school administrators and teachers.
At his discharge meeting, Carlos vigorously opposed his firing. While he acknowledged making the purchases, he argued strongly that what he did on his personal time was "no business of the company's" and his behavior in no way reflected unfavorably upon AEM or the sales of its products. Besides he said "The purchases were made as jokes for a stag party."
1. Given the facts of this case, should Carlos have been discharged? Why or why not?
2. Should employees of DDP be held to a higher standard of personal conduct than ?employees for other types of organizations? Explain.
3. Should management have considered Carlos's past work record before deciding on ?discharge? Explain.