• Read the case study “Employee Rights Case Study” located in the unit Reading. Would firing Allen Lopez violate his civil rights? Explain why or why not using ethical reasoning and theory.

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Employee Rights Case Study For seven years, Allen Lopez had worked for ExtremeNet, a well-known, global, high-technology company that provides clients with Internet services such as e-commerce and Web development, online marketing, strategic planning, and research. Allen was well paid and performed well in a responsible middle-management position, which he found rewarding. However, as ExtremeNet struggled to manage the effects of an economic downturn, Allen became disenchanted with the company’s treatment of lower-level employees, including his own assistant. Among Allen’s concerns were gender and age discrimination during layoffs, as well as changes to personnel policies that he believed treated lower-level employees unfairly.

Allen’s frustrations grew after he raised his concerns in vain with his superiors. What he did next put his career in jeopardy: Working at home over several weekends, Allen created and published on the Internet a satiric website that inveighed against the abusive management practices of a fictional company that bore a striking resemblance to ExtremeNet. The site gained some notoriety among high- tech websites and in the business press.

The vice presidents of ExtremeNet were incensed to learn of the site’s existence and were concerned that the site generated so much traffic and publicity. Although Allen protested that he acted out of a sense of justice and asserted that his creative work was protected by his first amendment rights, this did not prevent the leadership team of ExtremeNet from hastily assembling an emergency meeting to decide whether Allen Lopez should be discharged, and whether ExtremeNet should file suit to have his satirical website removed from the World Wide Web.


Hi Everyone!
Allen began his campaign against unfair treatment of lower-level employees on the right track.  He followed his own moral standard and attempted to approach upper-level management to voice his displeasure with the treatment of those employees; nonetheless his efforts were ineffective. 

As we read the case study we either have to make certain assumptions about the policies and procedures in which the company operated or make assumptions about the policies and procedures Allen violated by creating the website.

The website Allen created was satiric or mocking.  It was meant to bring light to immoral acts by the company and to what seemed like, force them to acknowledge their wrong-doings and correct them. If Allen signed certain policy and procedure agreements as an employee he may have been the one in violation and his rights were not violated, as he agreed to the terms of the policy and procedures are part of his employment. 

Allen’s campaign was clearly Act Utilitarian (Thiroux, 2014).  He acted on what he thought was the best course to bring about the best consequences for everyone affected.  There would have been a lie, in this case, that would be the policy and procedure he may have signed to not slander the company, not use his skills outside of company work, or whatever the policy may have been.  This lie, in his mind, was the best action that could have been taken to initiate a better course of action from the company.


Thiroux, Jacques P., Keith Krasemann. Ethics: Theory and Practice (Updated Edition), 11th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 2014-12-01. VitalBook file.


Firing Allen Lopez would indeed violate his civil rights. “A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury” (Wex, 2016) Allen, as an employee, has a right to bring forth information regarding discrimination in his work environment. He states that he is well within his rights of the 1st amendment, but, technically, this is incorrect. Allen’s right to freedom of speech can only be justified if his speech is in relation to public concern. (Workplace fairness, 2016) Since Allen’s expression of speech was done about a personal matter within the workplace he cannot claim rights under the 1st amendment. However, in my opinion, Extreme Net has no legal right to fire Allen. Allen did not indicate in his website, his employers directly, therefore there is no proof of wrong doing. Slander cannot even be claimed, unless Allen’s writings were untrue of his employer. Firing Allen Lopez would be considered a form of retaliation for him coming forth with problems in his work environment. Employees who come forth with wrong doings of a work place have the right to be protected from retaliation in any form from their employer.

(P.S. All this business talk was a bit hard to follow so if I am incorrect in any point I made please feel free to correct me. Thank you.)


Legal Information Institute, (2016) Civil rights. Retrieved from:

NOLO, (2016). Workplace Retaliation: What Are Your Rights? Retrieved from:

Workplace Fairness (2016) Retaliation — Public Employees and First Amendment Rights. Retrieved from:


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