This note will discuss first the duties demanded of a professional in the proper exercise of his ethical responsibilities, including conduct demanded both by criminal statutes and by professional codes of conduct. Secondly, an examination will be made of three alternatives for the enforcement of professional ethics without the necessity of a right to recovery in the discharged employee. Thirdly,the limitations of traditional master-servant theory will be discussed as they relate to a possible cause of action for an "abusive discharge." Finally, this cause of action will be proposed and a consideration will be made of the elements of the remedy. Among the elements considered will be: the standard of proof; the allocation of the burden of proof; the nature and extent of damages; prerequisites to recovery; and protection of the employer from vexatious employee suits.
Jon P. Christiansen,
A Remedy for the Discharge of Professional Employees Who Refuse to Perform Unethical or Illegal Acts: A Proposal in Aid of Professional Ethics,
28 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vlr/vol28/iss4/3