The Pros And Cons Of Employment Contract

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Employment contracts are fundamental agreements used in the workplace to determine the guidelines of an individual's employment. There are three fundamental cases which have affected the guidelines of employment contracts during their respective times, Lochner vs New York (1905), Coppage vs Kansas (1915), and West Coast Hotel Co vs Parrish (1937). The rulings in each of the three cases has allowed for new interpretations of the law, by the governing body. Three philosophers Machan, Cohen and Fried have agreeing and opposing views on each of these court rulings. Each philosopher has a different understanding of each case and whether they strike down an individual's personal liberty or whether they promote it.
The first case, Lochner vs New
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The courts ruled in favor of Coppage, establishing that liberty of contract was a fundamental right, and it is not the right of government to ensure equal bargaining powers. Fried would disagree with this ruling because he believes that contracts are binding and have to be followed. Coppage added the clause banning labor unions to the already agreed upon contracts causing there to be a breach in contract. Under Fried’s understanding of contracts and promises, this would make Coppage unethical and dishonest. This breach according to Fried’s views would also allow the employee to receive some type of reparation for the breach in contract. Last this ruling doesn’t support freedom of contract under Fried’s view because it puts the employee at an unfair disadvantage while negotiating. Under Machan’s view of a contract, if the terms of the contract were altered, a new contract would have to be written up and agreed upon. Therefore under Machan’s view this isn’t a violation of an individual’s personal liberty, and individual can do as they seem fit. Employees have the liberty to make their own decisions with the new clause and decide if they want to quit the job or want to stay. Unlike Coppage vs Kansas the government sometimes does intervene on the side of the employee and …show more content…
Cohen would agree with this knowing that without restrictions on contracts those who are underprivileged could be taken advantage of. Cohen views the disadvantaged workers as not having bargaining power between them and their large employers. This intervention promotes general freedoms for those who are easily taken advantage of. In this case, the individual’s are either getting paid under minimum wage or they’re out of a job. He would view the government’s role in this type of situation as being one of protecting workers by ensuring that there is a standardized living wage. Fried, on the other hand, would view the ruling in this case as incorrect. He would argue that a contract was agreed upon by both parties, and therefore the West Coast Hotell should not have to pay minimum wage because the other party agreed to their current pay in the initial contract. This mutually agreed upon contract promotes future freedom for the employer because it decreases uncertainty. Fried would view this type of intervention by the government as an overreach of power on their

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