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Max Baldwin

A friend of yours knows that you are quite knowledgeable in
employment law, and he asks you if you would talk to his brother,
Max Baldwin. Max is a forty-five year old master electrician who
works for PECO Energy Company and is a longstanding member of the
IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) who
represent about 22% of PECO’s workforce. Max was warned repeatedly
in the past – and last Tuesday he was fired – for talking about
union business while on company premises, but on his break time in
the company break room. (Questions 1-5 concern your advice to

1.   Can they fire Max for talking about the union in
the break room on his break time?

a. Yes, under the doctrine of employment-at-will

b. No, under the public policy exception to the doctrine of

c. This is covered by labor law (not this class) because Max has
union representati

d. This is covered by contract law (not this class) because Max
has an individual contract of employmen

e. It is impossible to answer this question without knowing the
federal jurisdiction

2.   As a worker represented by a union, is Max
typical of American workers?

a. Yes, more than half of American workers are represented by a

b. Trick question! The American worker population is evenly
split between union and nonunion workers

c. No, only a small minority of about one in ten American
workers is unionized

d. No, only a small minority of about one in a hundred American
workers is unionized

3. Is Max subject to firing due to bad performance if he is
properly written up?

a.Possibly; Max can only be fired under the employment-at-will

b.Yes, but only if the company’s own policies and procedures are
followed exactly

c. Possibly; Max can only be fired for “just cause”

d. No, union members must be trained or transferred if they
exhibit poor performance

e. Yes, but only if the employer is able to prove a BFOQ

4. What would be a good summary of the “just cause” standard we
see in Montana and other instances in employment law?

a. A really good reason, like firing someone for stealing

b. A reason that management believes violates a written

c. A reason that management believes violates a company policy,
whether written or not

d. A reason that the employee understands and agrees is fair

e. None of the above

5. You inform Max that the terms and conditions of his
employment (including whether he can be fired and for what reasons)
are contained in a document agreed to by his employer and his
union. This document is called his:

a. Individual contract of employment (ICE)

b. Noncompetition agreement (NCA)

c. Collective bargaining agreement (CBA)

d. Independent contractor agreement (ICA)

e. Human Employment Letter of Legal Obligations (HELLO)