hypothetical questions

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Chapter 1 Hypothetical Case 1

(Read below and answer using the IRAC Method)

  • John Harrison is the owner of Harrison Enterprises, Inc., a small metal fabrication shop located in Poughkeepsie, New York. Andrew Jameson, an employee of Harrison Enterprises, has approached John with a request. Jameson is the proud parent of a newborn son, and he would like to take the next two weeks off from work in order to bond with his new child. Harrison knows that Jameson does not have any accrued vacation time (shortly before his son was born, Jameson had taken a final two-person family trip to Florida with his wife, Sara). He also knows that Harrison Enterprises is not legally required to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), since the company only has seventeen employees (FMLA mandates that businesses employing more than fifty people provide their workers with up to twelve weeks’ unpaid leave every year for a host of specified reasons, including the birth of a child).
  • Harrison wonders whether his company has an ethical obligation to comply with the spirit of the Family and Medical Leave Act, even though it does not have a technical, legal obligation of compliance. Advise Harrison as to whether his company has such an ethical obligation. Should Harrison allow Jameson to take his requested two weeks of leave from work?

Chapter 1 Hypothetical Case 2 (Answer using the IRAC Method)

  • A group of attorneys, judges, and law professionals has collaborated to write a uniform criminal code. The code would create uniformity in criminal law across the United States, defining what constitutes a misdemeanor, what constitutes a felony, how crimes are defined, and what the punishment for particular crimes will be. The code also proposes that the death penalty be abolished, and that the maximum punishment for murder be life imprisonment.
  • Would you favor the adoption and implementation of such a code? What advantages would result from a uniform criminal code? What disadvantages would result? What is the likelihood that all states would favor its adoption and implementation, as opposed to the traditional practice of each state defining criminal law within its own jurisdiction?

Chapter 2 Practice Hypothetical Case # 3

• Yogo Apparel, a manufacturer of women’s athletic wear, has seen explosive growth in sales of its most popular yoga pant over the past two months, thanks to some very flattering publicity. Sales are so strong, in fact, that the company’s U.S.-based supplier cannot keep up with demand. The company’s president, Susan Keough, receives a bid from an offshore supplier that promises to make the pants in its own facilities at 10 times the capacity of the U.S. supplier and at two-thirds of the cost.

Keough asks one of her managers, Steven Little, to investigate the offshore suppliers’ history of workers’-rights complaints. The news is not good: Little reports that the supplier has been accused of multiple instances of worker abuse, including forced overtime, sexual harassment, and suppression of organized labor. Keough and Little approach several other vendors, but none can produce the quantity Yogo needs at the price it is able to pay.

• Imagine that you are in Keough’s situation. Apparel stores and Yogo’s own website are inundated with orders for the yoga pants. Yogo cannot keep up with the demand without looking elsewhere. Yogo’s stock has risen dramatically as a result of the surge in sales, and shareholders expect the growth to continue. What are the possible ramifications for Yogo if Keough chooses to use this supplier? What type of exposure does Yogo have—legally, in terms of potential damage to its reputation, and in terms of risk to profit?

What if you are in Little’s position, and Keough chooses to move forward with the offshore supplier? What would you do?

Chapter Two Practice Hypothetical Case # 1 Please IRAC your answer to the following ethical dilemma…

  • As hiring coordinator for Hennessey Networking Solutions, Inc. (Hennessey), Andrea Templeton knew that her position was of utmost importance to her company in terms of hiring candidates who were well-qualified, and who would best contribute to the company’s overall success. On her desk was the employment application and resume of Timothy Carraway. Templeton had just finished her interview of Carraway, who was the last in a long line of interviewees who had applied for an entry-level information technology (IT) position at Hennessey. Hennessey only had one opening available. During Carraway’s interview, the candidate revealed that seven years ago, he had been tried and convicted in federal court for selling a significant amount of cocaine. Carraway had also revealed the conviction on his employment application. Carraway went to great lengths to explain to Templeton that he sincerely regretted the indiscretions of his youth, and that he had spent the last seven years of his life paying penance and reforming his life. After serving three years in federal penitentiary, Carraway had earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Technology, graduating with honors.Carraway’s interview had gone very well. In fact, Andrea felt that in terms of his personality and education, he was the best fit for the position. Templeton was obviously concerned about Carraway’s criminal background, but she was also concerned about the young man should he not find an employment opportunity after graduating from college. Without a legitimate employment option, would Carraway revert back to his criminal ways?
  • Does Hennessey have an ethical obligation to hire Timothy Carraway? Should Templeton’s hire decision be based exclusively on Carraway’s qualifications for the job? Why or why not?

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