Michigan Court Case: Charles Toussaint vs BlueCross Blued Shiled

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In 1980, a precedent was set in a Michigan court case involving a man named Charles Toussaint who was suing his employer, BlueCross Blue Shield, for wrongful termination based on the guidelines set in the employee manual (Alfred and Bertsche 33). The manual stated that employees would only be terminated for just cause, and the court decided that Blue Cross had violated the agreements in the employee manual (34). The court also ruled that even with Blue Cross’s efforts to provide a document that “issued non-binding guidelines” the employee manual was a contract and Toussiant was wrongfully terminated (34). After the precedent set by this case many employers and employees for that matter were reviewing their employee manuals for the type of…show more content…
The writer should consider the language, audience, and tone when trying to convey a message in writing (Language, Tone, and Audience 1). Knowing the audience for an employee manual is simple to determine because an employer must simply consider the employees she or he already has, any future employees, and the type of business the manual is being written for. However when assuming an audience for a document that will be dispersed to many different people it is best to address a general audience so as not to offend anyone, and to save the company from any legal issues (Language, Tone, and Audience 3). Once an audience has been determined the language that will be used in the manual should be determined. Language consists of the words used to convey a certain idea. It should be free of bias, slang, grammatical errors, and ambiguity unless the document calls for it, but in the case of employee manuals this is not likely to happen. “Avoid using restrictive language such as ‘will’, ‘must’, or ‘in all cases’. These words may bind you to actions you don’t want to be forced to take” (Workplace-Dynamics). Considering the language of the document is an important step even more important than what information has to be included by federal law. Because an employee manual can be seen as a legal document, it must use language that reflects this purpose. Moreover, clarity and simplicity are important aspects to consider before drafting a

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