||Oracle Tips by Burleson
In addition to theft there are many other immoral
acts that can be grounds for firing. One example might be to
fire an individual for making false statements on their initial job
It is always a good idea to perform a background
check, which is easily obtained via national services. Many
companies require that a candidate not have any criminal convictions
, except for minor traffic violations. In some cases, a routine
background check can reveal arrests and acts of moral turpitude.
A computer programmer’s ongoing responsibilities
often include designing and coding mission-critical applications with
confidential data. Therefore, some companies require that all
applicants for computer programmer or developer positions demonstrate
the highest degree of personal and moral integrity.
In addition, background checks that reveal a
history of drug use, dishonesty, lying, cheating, and theft may be grounds
for immediate rejection. In some companies, all applicants are
expected to sign a waiver to disclose personal information and are
asked to submit to a polygraph exam.
The previously mentioned immoral acts as
well as several others that occur in the work environment are all
unacceptable behavior. These include:
Consensual and nonconsensual sexual acts.
Sexual intimidation of same-sex or opposite-sex
Extorting sexual or other favors.
Bartering benefits such as promotion or pay raise
for sexual favors.
Threatening or carrying out negative consequences
such as demotion, ridicule, or slander against an employee for
spurning sexual advances.
An employee’s character may be a deciding factor
in the outcome of a case.
Moral Turpitude Case 1
In McLean v
Satellite Technology Services, Inc., a terminated female
employee lost a suit of wrongful discharge after she refused her
supervisor’s romantic advances. The court found that the female
employee’s character was less than desirable, noting that “plaintiff
possessed a lusty libido and was no paragon of virtue.”
During the investigation of her time of
employment, it was found that she “displayed her body through
semi-nude photographs or by lifting her skirt to show her supervisor
an absence of undergarments.”
Moral Turpitude Case 2
In Cooper v.
Mumford & C.J.M. Properties, Inc., a female employee claimed
she was fired for spurning the sexual advances of the president of the
company. The position of the company was that the two individuals were
involved in a consensual dating and sexual relationship. They also
claimed that the female employee was terminated for cause. The jury
saw otherwise and awarded the employee $2,200 for medical expenses,
$75,000 for emotional distress, and $23,000 in punitive damages.
Moral Turpitude Case 3
Some cases have gone in favor of the employer’s
position regarding employment actions taken involving employees having
homosexual relationships with other employees.
In Endsley v.
Naes, a female road patrol officer was terminated based on her
relationship with another female officer. The court sided with the
Sheriff’s Department, explaining that the termination was justified to
protect the department’s public image and its relationship with the
community at large.
Moral Turpitude Case 4
Profanity and obscenity can create a hostile
environment in the workplace for employees. Various cases have
supported this determination including one in which a workshop had
obscene posters hanging in one particular individual’s workspace.
This employee would regularly use inappropriate
language in the workplace, which was usually sexually explicit. A
female worker was offended by all of these actions and filed for
sexual harassment. She won the case because it was determined that the
employer had not corrected a hostile working environment and the
obscene employee was discharged.
Moral Turpitude Case 5
Employees who are married must also not engage in
immoral actions related to their work activities. In
Staats v. Ohio National Life
Insurance Co., an employee was rightfully terminated when he
attended a company-related convention with a female who was not his
Another awkward situation that has previously
moved to the courts involved an employee who had a spouse working for
a competitor company. It was appropriate to fire the employee for a
conflict of interest since it would be very easy to pass proprietary
information between the spouses. The discharged employee’s wrongful
lawsuit was based on the right of
freedom of association under the public policy
provision, and was summarily rejected.
Moral Turpitude Case 6
Employees may be fired even for some immoral
actions that do not occur during normal work-hours. A teacher for
example has a responsibility to hold a higher standard of morals
because of the nature of the job, even more so than other job
In Pettit v. the
Board of Education, a teacher was terminated for unprofessional
conduct after being observed performing inappropriate acts at a strip
club, on her own time.
The previously outlined cases make it clear that
acts of turpitude are not only relevant in employment situations, but
they in many situations lead to the forthwith firing of the offending
employee. However, the final outcome is dependent on the Federal or
State statutes that apply.
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"