The Chief Operations Officer’s Essay
The Chief Operations Officer’s
The Chief Operations Officer’s role focuses on the execution of day-to-day operations and oversight of all the departments; to include morale, welfare, and employee conduct in the company. In order for the company to successfully prepare for an Initial Public Offering we will need to revise the employee handbook, resolve some specific internal employee matters and implement a whistleblower policy. Employment-at-will refers to common law which holds employees that work for an unspecified time period work at the will of their employers and employment can be dismissed any time (Zachary, 2012, p.
25), for good cause, bad cause or no cause, by either the employer or the employee. Some exceptions of dismissal for employment-at-will include discrimination against race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, and disability, other exceptions are wrongful discharge in violation of public policy or breach of contract, the promise of “good faith and fair dealing” in a contract of employment or suggesting contractual requirements based off of the company’s handbook or policy statement (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012, p.
50), and tort whether the policy is found in legislation, constitutions, legal hearings, administrative practices, or other sources (Zachary, 2012, p. 25). The tort law offers the employee the chance to convince a jury to award damages (money awards) for “wrongful discharge” (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012, p. 51). Some state and federal statutes may also prohibit the discharge of employees for their participation in jury duty, filing workers compensation claims, involvement in the union, conducting military duty or certain occurrences in whistle-blowing (Zachary, 2012, p.
21). Our company operates off of voluntary employment; therefore, general counsel reviewed the employment-at-will doctrine and exceptions mentioned above and legal termination is an option for all eight employees based off of either personnel misconduct or violation against our company’s rules and regulations cited in the employee handbook. Table 1, titled, “Employee Conduct and Rational for Termination or Continued Employment”, illustrates the eight personnel actions under investigation and the decision for termination or continued employment.
The decisions to terminate or retain the employees stem from a reflective approach that melds traditional theories and modern theories of ethics. Two particular theories that support the decision are the consequences-based approach which provides the greatest good to the majority of the people, in this case, the company as a whole and the Proactive theory decision based off of recommendations or actions are just from the very start (Harcourt, Hannay, & Lam, 2013, p. 312).
One of the decision rules from the Proactive theory used is the parity rule which ties all similar actions performed in a similar environment receive the same or similar consequence (Harcourt, et al, 2013, p. 313). If the company is to become successful with the launch of the public offering then employees must be accountable for their actions of misconduct or violations against the company employee handbook. In addition to personnel actions mentioned above, I recommend we adopt a whistleblower policy based off the internal allegations against the accounting department for falsified expense reports and before we take the company public.
Implementing a whistleblower policy will provide the employees a voice of the company, reduce monitoring expenses, stimulate additional decision-making (Moberly, 2012, p. 11) among employees, supervisors, and senior management, will protect against illegal conduct and provide greater oversight of company resources and assets (Shackelford, 2009, p. 3). Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange issued regulations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that listed companies must provide their Codes of Ethics to the public (Moberly, 2012, p.
19). Our commitment to the workforce is to implement a whistleblower policy that focuses on the three fundamental items of clear guidelines, policies, and procedures (Gould, 2009, p. 3) for reporting organizational misconduct. Our whistleblower policy and Code of Ethics should be included in the revised employee handbook, posted on the company website and a hardcopy distributed and signed by each employee. The policy guidelines should contain our objective and scope of the policy so we can address what
we want to accomplish (Shackelford, 2009, p. 3). Our policies will indicate that all employees, hourly to senior level management salary employees, are required to report organizational misconduct and to assist in any investigation by law enforcement or regulatory agency. Step-by-step reporting procedures will also be included in the policy. Employees will have the right to submit the report directly to their first line supervisor unless that individual is involved in the matter then report the situation to the next supervisor in the chain.
If employees feel uncomfortable using their direct reporting chain then they can submit the report through the company action hotline, anonymously or directly to the audit committee. The individual’s confidentiality will remain as confidential as practicable (Shackelford, 2009, p. 3). Our company encourages the employees to report the wrongdoing internally through the use of our open-door policy or through the various avenues aforementioned rather than blowing the whistle externally.
Our company will not tolerate retaliation against employees reporting wrongdoing or whistleblowing. In conclusion, as the Chief Operations Officer, I reviewed the employment-at-will doctrine, conducted and resolved eight thorough employee investigations that required my immediate attention, and provided background information that supports my recommendation on implementing a whistleblower policy prior to our public offering.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 24 May 2018
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