When you’re back at work on Monday morning, VP Kenneth Dodger stops by your office. “It looks like you’re cut out for this kind of work,” he says. “Great job on your last project. Are you ready for a couple more?”
Kenneth starts to explain the variety of issues Colossal’s subsidiaries have with both their domestic and international operations. Sometimes the legal ramifications and the right decisions to make are obvious; other times, they’re entirely ambiguous. This is especially true when it comes to contracts and international disputes and agreements. Kenneth begins to talk about the obscurity of some kinds of international agreements, but catches himself rambling.
“I’ll let you look at the case files first so you can become familiar with the issues at play here. At one of our US-based subsidiaries, we have a contract issue. I’m looking for a report on the legal and ethical issues associated with that case.”
“Abroad,” he continues, “a few of our subsidiaries are having trouble navigating international law, international contracts, and international dispute resolution. I’m going to loop in into a discussion with some colleagues about how best to handle these issues.”
Kenneth steps out into the hallway. “I’m looking forward to seeing your work,” he says. “Good luck.”
n this project, 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 and will engage in a discussion on international legal challenges.
Begin in Step 1, where you will review the first case.
Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.
- 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
- 1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
- 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
- 1.7: Create neat and professional looking documents appropriate for the project or presentation.
- 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
- 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
- 2.3: Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem.
- 2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
- 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks.
- 5.1: Develop constructive resolutions for ethical dilemmas based on application of ethical theories, principles and models.
- 5.2: Assess the implications of legal, ethical and cultural (national) standards on an organization’s operations in global markets and make recommendations for appropriate actions.
- 5.4: Resolve workplace conflicts using the optimal approaches and techniques for the situation and involved parties.
- 7.2: Analyze the implications of contract law and make recommendations to support business decisions.
- 7.3: Analyze the implications of civil or criminal wrongs and of product or service liability laws, and make recommendations to support business decisions.
- 7.4: Analyze the impact of international and foreign laws on US organizations acting domestically and abroad.
- 7.5: Analyze the utility of various forms of dispute resolution and make recommendations to support business decisions.
- 9.3: Apply the principles of employment law for ethical practices and risk mitigation.
Project 2: Making Decisions That are Legal and Ethical
Step 1: Review Turnip Plaza Hotel Case
Invigorated by your early success at Colossal Corporation, you open The Turnip Plaza Hotel case file Kenneth Dodger has provided to you. In the next step, you will gather the information you need to write the report.
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:
- 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.
- 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
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