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Ashford University Principal Agent Relationship Case Study Paper

Ashford University Principal Agent Relationship Case Study Paper

Question Description

Answer the 3 questions below and reply to each student.

Student Reply must be over 250 words.

Make sure all student replies you start it with Hello (Student Name),

Please upload each question in different word documents.

******Question 2 must be APA format and i have attached the GRADING RUBRIC and Guide. *************

Question 1:

Should the law allow an employer to fire an employee without a good reason? Conduct research to provide examples to support your position and use your own personal employment experiences when possible. Have you observed situations where an employee was fired? Did the employer give a reason? Do you believe the employer’s actions were legal?

Student Reply 1: Michelle

Many employees do not have property rights to their jobs; therefore, they are considered to be at will and can be fired without a good reason (Rogers, 2012). “California is classified as an at-will employment state. This means that an employer can terminate you for any reason and at any time of the employment with or without reason. This means that if your employer doesn’t like your personality, runs out of work for you to do, thinks you are lazy, or just doesn’t want any more employees, they can fire you at any given time” (Rivera, 2019). However, the company that is firing the employee needs to ensure that it’s not being done for any reasons of discrimination and should therefore work with their company’s legal office to ensure there are no violations. However, when an employee “becomes a union member, an employment contract is generally negotiated in which there is a provision stating that the member cannot be fired without just cause” (Gurney, 2016). In this situation, you would have to follow the company’s policy on performance management along with the union contract language.

In the two situations I described above they have both occurred in my place of employment. During a new hired employees’ probationary period (6 months) the manager was able to assess around the fourth month that the employee was not able to perform the work as stated. The manager worked with HR and wrote up a short letter stating that they were being released during their probationary review period. The employee had no recourse because they were not considered a career employee at the time and were released during the at will period for not meeting performance expectations.

In the other case, we had an employee that was represented by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees). This union is the largest trade union of public employees in the United States. The employee was not meeting performance expectations, but because they are protected by the union, we have to follow the current CBA (contract bargaining agreement) terms. Since the action was not egregious, the employee received a counseling letter as we are required to follow or disciplinary procedures. After a couple months the same issue was occurring and the employee then received a warning letter, shortly thereafter they received a final letter of warning that notified them if they continued to not meet performance expectations, they could be subject to dismissal. Eventually the employee was terminated following our progressive discipline process and upheld. During each of the cases the HR team works closely with Employee and Labor Relations (ELR) office and Legal Counsel’s office.

For both cases, I did observe the employee’s being terminated and did find the employer had valid reason which followed appropriate policy in both cases therefore both actions were within reason and legal.


Gurney, T. C. (2016, August 2). Terminating a Union Employee without Legal Backlash. Retrieved from… (Links to an external site.)

Rivera, J. (2019, August 1). Can I Be Fired For No Reason in California? Retrieved from

Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of Business Law [Electronic version]. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Student Reply 2: Elsa

Should the law allow an employer to fire an employee without a good reason? Conduct research to provide examples to support your position and use your own personal employment experiences when possible. Have you observed situations where an employee was fired? Did the employer give a reason? Do you believe the employer’s actions were legal?

The law should NOT allow an employer to fire an employee without a good reason. In the state of Texas unemployment guidelines play into employees getting fired without a reason for cause. As an employee we are guarded to a certain extent by The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and The Fair Security Act of 1935. By being protected be these laws an employer must follow proper guidelines for termination.

If an employee is not performing their task or not performing it correctly after being corrected may be grounds for termination in the filed that I work in. I have worked for many attorneys and if I see secretary’s and/or other attorney’s getting terminated it’s for valid reason. For instance, we had a client get arrested because an associate attorney did not approach the Judge on a timely matter to seek approval for travel. When a client is out on a personal recognize bond there are guidelines to be followed, one condition being not able to travel outside of Bexar county without the approval of the Judge. Me, as the secretary submitted for this approval however, the associate attorney did not seek signature from the Judge which put the defendant in violation of his conditions. Since our client’s PreTrial Officer got wind of the out of county travel the officer submitted a violation report to the Judge where the Judge signed off on the violation report issuing a warrant for our client. Since the associate attorney failed to meet her end of the job was grounds for immediate termination. The associate was well aware of the mistake and was terminated. In my opinion I do believe that the employer’s actions were valid and legal for grounds of termination. Not only did our client fire our office as counsel but also left a bad review which could have affected our office in the long run.


Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of Business Law [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Question 2:

Karen is shopping at Big Mart. She has with her an umbrella which is the same brand Big Mart carries. When a Big Mart employee, Steve, sees her leave with the umbrella without going through the checkout lane, he asks her to come back into the store. Steve says that he thinks Karen is shoplifting the umbrella. Karen tells him that she has had the umbrella for years and shows him marks of wear and tear. Steve apologizes and tells Karen she is free to go. Can Karen successfully sue for false imprisonment or defamation? From what you have learned about the relationship between a principal and an agent, analyze whether Steve or Big Mart could be liable because of Steve’s actions.

Student Reply 3: Matthew

Yes, Karen can sue for false imprisonment or defamation. However, I do not think she could win because her case would be weak. False imprisonment requires the intentional act of confining someone against his or her will, without justification (Rogers, 2012). Based on the description of events in the prompt, Steve asked Karen to come back into the store based on a reasonable concern of theft. Once she provided a plausible explanation, he apologized and released her. Honest mistakes like this happen all of the time, and if stores are not making an effort to curb shoplifting, then thefts rate will likely rise, and the costs are passed down to the consumer. Had Steve continued his questioning and confinement after the reasonable explanation from Karen, then I believe a case for false imprisonment could be made.

Similar to false imprisonment, I do not think defamation applies either. Defamation is making a false statement about someone that damages their reputation (Rogers, 2012). Steve had a suspicion of theft and investigated. Shortly after that, he and concluded that the item belonged to Karen. These actions are not false statements and would not qualify as slander. Alternatively, if Steve had posted a security camera clip on social media stating that he caught Karen red-handed, it would then rise to the level of defamation.

Finally, I want to cover my thoughts on whether Steve or Big Mart would be liable if Steve’s actions were considered false imprisonment or defamation. After reviewing our text, Big Mart would be responsible for Steve’s actions in this case. If we examine the tort liability tests, Steve was performing work authorized by the employer, was not on a detour, and was motivated to serve Big Mart (Rogers, 2012). Steve was within the scope of his job when the incident occurred and because of this, the principal would be liable for the tort of the employee (Rogers, 2012).


Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of Business Law [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Student Reply 4: Albi

Can Karen successfully sue for false imprisonment or defamation? From what you have learned about the relationship between a principal and an agent, analyze whether Steve or Big Mart could be liable because of Steve’s actions.

In this situation Karen has no grounds to sue Big Mart or Steve for imprisonment nor defamation. “False imprisonment is committed when the defendant does an intentional act that confines the plaintiff against his or her will (in other words, takes away the plaintiff’s freedom of movement)” (Rogers, 2013). Karen willingly goes back to the store when called by Steve, and after her explanation Steve apologizes and let her go. He was just doing his job and making sure costumers payed for their products. Steve used no force to confine her, nor psychological threats to Karen. As said on the book a lot of states have passed laws to protect shops from shoplifters and they have the right to detain you as long as they don’t hurt you, until the cops arrive. There were no fake or false statements made by Big Mart or Steve, so defamation is out of the question for Karen too. Her reputation was not harmed. If Steve would have started yelling and accusing her of shoplifting in front of everyone, then she might have had a case.

Steve and Big Mart would both be liable for Steve’s actions, because Steve was acting within the scope of employment (Roger, 2012). He was following company’s rules and acting on behalf of them. If the situation was different, and Karen indeed had a case of imprisonment or defamation, her lawyers would definitely choose to sue both. They will both been liable for paying a certain percentage in damages, however she would not be able to het more than what the damage would have been. This would be called joint and several type of liability. (Rogers, 2012).


Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of Business Law [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

Question 3:

Visit the Choose Your Business Structure (Links to an external site.) section of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.

If you were to start your own business, which business entity structure would you choose? Justify why your chosen structure is the best organizational form.

Explain the following business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and a corporation. In your analysis address the following for each business structure:

  • Steps to form
  • Personal liability for owners
  • Taxation
  • Advantages and disadvantages

Your paper must be three to five pages (excluding title and reference pages), and it must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You must cite at least two scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook. Cite your sources in-text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.).

Grading Rublic is attached for question 3.

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