Rump Case Hypothetical
The Rump Organization (“Rump”), an SEC registrant, is a commercial real estate company that purchases and constructs commercial property. On the basis of the corporate restructuring plan, Rump’s CEO, Ronald Rump, and Rump’s board of directors approve a plan to terminate 100 of the company’s employees.
The plan provides for each terminated employee to receive a lump-sum cash payment equal to one month’s salary only if the employee voluntarily signs a waiver of any right to legal action against Rump. Consistent with Rump’s past practice, employees that refuse to sign the litigation waiver will not receive any of the severance benefits.
Consider the following additional facts:
The corporate restructuring plan identifies the number of employees to be terminated (i.e., 100), the job classifications and locations of each employee to be terminated, and the expected completion date of January 31, 2015.
The plan was approved on December 27, 2014, by Rump’s board of directors and Rump’s CEO, Ronald Rump.
The plan allows employees to leave Rump at any time, but no later than January 31, 2015. The employees must sign the waiver no later than January 31, 2015.
On December 31, 2014, each affected employee was e-mailed a summary of all the plan’s terms, which included the amount of severance benefits the employee would receive upon termination, subject to signing the litigation waiver by January 31, 2015. In addition, Ronald Rump personally visited all 100 employees just to tell them, “You’re fired!”
Rump believes it is unlikely that significant changes will be made to the plan or that the plan will be withdrawn before its execution.
Rump does not have a general policy regarding severance payments made to employees terminated without cause; however, it has in the past offered one-time severance benefits to employees being terminated as a result of workforce reduction plans. The amounts and terms of the past one-time severance benefits varied according to the specific facts and circumstances at the time of the
terminations and were limited to a specified termination event or specified future period.
1) As the attorney representing the 100 plaintiff employees, give the presiding judge three reasons why the company should be held liable for wrongful termination.
2) As the attorney representing the company, give the presiding judge three reasons why the company should not be held liable for wrongful termination.
3) After you have discussed the arguments for both sides, discuss the position you believed was easier for you to argue, and why.
Specifications: APA paper, double spaced, 12 font, 1 inch margin (top, bottom, left and right), and at least three (3) sources.
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