Legal Environment of Business Decisions Essay Questions – –

Legal Environment of Business Decisions Essay Questions –


**Answer each of the following ten questions in essay format on separate pages. This should be 2-4 paragraphs.  Each question is worth ten points. There is no minimum or maximum word-count requirement. Your responses will be graded on the quality of your answers rather than the length.

**You may consult your text book, class notes, the recorded lectures and the PowerPoint slides posted on Blackboard. There is no need for you to consult or cite other outside sources,

**Point reductions will be made for things such as cursory responses without a reasonable explanation, and grammatical and spelling errors. 

**Make sure your name is included on at least the first page of your responses.


You have recently been appointed as the Vice President for Human Resources at Braxton Manufacturing Corporation (the “Company”). The Company is a parent corporation headquartered in Augusta, Georgia, with a wholly-owned subsidiary located in Canada. The Company designs, manufactures and sells various highly sophisticated aircraft engines, primarily to commercial airlines in the United States.

The Company employs approximately 750 employees, mostly in the at the Company’s headquarters, but about 50 employees at the Company’s subsidiaries in Canada. The company also has written independent contractor agreements with several companies to act as sales representatives for the Company’s aircraft engine.

The Company has been profitable since being founded 10 years ago by the Company’s president, Bill Braxton in spite of the fact that he prefers to spend most of his time as an engineer designing engines rather than managing the rest of the Company’s operations. Consequently, although the Company has succeeded due to its design and manufacturing excellence, its administrative and managerial performance has been somewhat haphazard.

Mr. Braxton, a brilliant but humble man, often says he would “rather be lucky than smart”. He told you when he offered the job to you that the Company needs your expertise to help manage the company as it substantially expands its work force. Mr. Braxton explained that the Company has just received the largest contract in its history to sell thousands of engines to the U.S. military. This contract represents the first time the Company will do business with the U.S. Government.

Mr. Braxton and his immediate family owns all of the Company’s shares. 


1.    Should the Company adopt an Affirmative Action Plan? Explain the rationale for your decision.

2.  As we discussed in class, Affirmative Action has been controversial. Cite some arguments for and against the concept of Affirmative Action and your personal opinion. With regard to your personal opinion, please note that there are valid arguments on both sides of this debate, so there is no one “right” answer.

3.    The Company’s Vice President of Manufacturing advises you that the Company will need to hire 200 new technicians beginning three months from now due to the increased production requirements caused by the new government contract. He asked you to recruit as many German technicians because he believes “Germans are the world’s most gifted mechanical technicians.”  How do you respond to him with regard to recruiting for the 200 new technicians?

4.    The Vice President of Manufacturing also advises you that whoever the Company ultimately hires, the new employees need to speak only English in the manufacturing facility because the manufacturing process utilizes potentially dangerous equipment and he wants to make sure everyone on the floor can immediately respond to emergency directions to avoid serious injuries or death. What are your factors you consider regarding this “English-only” policy?

5.  Regarding the English-only policy to be adopted in the manufacturing facility, what is your ultimate decision?

6.  Mr. Braxton is an old-fashion gentleman and is very considerate of all his employees. He is concerned that women should not be employed in the manufacturing facility since the employees there regularly are exposed to high temperatures and very loud industrial noise. He proposes that all women have to pass a lifting test to demonstrate their ability to lift at 35 pound weight at least 10 times in two minutes while exposed to loud noise. What do you do, and why?

7.  During your first week on the job, a respected employee in the Marketing Department, Abdul-Qadir, tells you he would like to apply for one of the Company’s account manager positions responsible for interacting with the U.S. Army Aviation Command. He tells you that he’s “a natural” since his name means “Servant of the Capable” back home in Saudi Arabia. However, he also tells you that the Company’s Vice President for Sales, Bubba Johnson, has told him that the last thing the Army wants to do is to work with a “Muslim terrorist” and, on another occasion, a “Camel Jockey”.  Abdul is upset about being called these names but recognizes that despite these insults, he supposes that perhaps he should accept the fact that the Army’s purchasing agents may prefer not to deal with a Muslim.  What do you do?

8.  The Company has invested millions of dollars in research and development of its aviation engines, and many of its design drawings and manufacturing processes are protected as trade secrets. The Company’s Vice President for Engineering asked you to start requiring all employees who have permitted access to such drawings and processes to execute non-compete contracts with the Company. What factors do you consider in responding to the VP for Engineering’s request?

9.   Several employees schedule an appointment with you. They are all members of the Religious Society of Friends, or as the group is commonly known, Quakers. They explain that their group’s beliefs cause them to have a conscientious objection to war, or supporting the military in waging war. They are concerned that the Company new U.S. Government contract to sell aviation engines to the military violates their religious beliefs.  They ask that the Company refuse the new government contract and return to selling only to the commercial aviation industry. You decide to present their request to the Company’s board of directors. How do you advise the board of directors regarding this request?

10.  You have observed that the traditionally casual nature of the work environment at the Company has resulted in very casual approach to attire including torn jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and women wearing bare mid-drift tops. Some of the t-shirts contain language and images that you consider risqué, crude, or controversial (i.e., a t-shirt showing a Confederate flag with a slogan “Heritage – Not Hatred”). You believe that such attire is inappropriate and unprofessional for a growing company. You share your concerns with Mr. Braxton and he agrees. He adds that he is also concerned about several young male engineers who are members of a religion called Sikhism, which is the fifth largest organized religion in the world, wearing turbans as is the custom of Sikhism. He asks if you can draft a dress code for the Company and you agree to do so to make the workforce looks more professional and to eliminate the wearing of turbans by the young engineers. What issues will you consider in drafting a dress code?

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