The goal of MGT 724 Legal and Ethical Environment of Business is to examine the common legal and ethical issues that a business manager might face. You will develop a basic understanding of the American legal system, civil procedure, the sources and functions of law. Additional focus is on the use of contract principles, theories of liability, and regulations of administrative agencies. Upon completion of the course, you’ll be able to read and understand contract law in order to negotiate a contract. You will also become familiar with the various types of business entities that you are likely to encounter as a manager. Finally, you will gain an understanding of the basics of arbitration, employment law, Sarbanes-Oxley, and environmental regulations.
Coursework is designed for deliberation and application. Here are examples of some assignments you may complete as part of MGT 724 Legal and Ethical Environment of Business.
- Articulate the differences between federal and state laws, including statutes, regulations and common law, applicable to business operations and the related ethical considerations and pitfalls faced by business managers.
- Evaluate and solve problems using the substantive areas of American business law, including, contracts, torts, personal property, and business organizations.
- Describe and explain the concepts of agency law, including the duties owed by agents to their principals and the liability of principals and agents to third parties with whom they do business.
Each week of this course focuses on a different theme. Your group discussions and assignments will align with the week’s theme as well as its primary objectives. All weekly course material is proposed and subject to change.
Week 1 – An Introduction to the Sources of Law and the American Legal System
During the introduction week, you’ll focus on creating a community of legal scholars and understanding the basics of how laws are made and enforced in the United States. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Research the foundation of a law to determine where it originated.
- Correctly prioritize where a law stands in relation to precedent and legal principles.
- File a legal action in the proper jurisdiction and venue for the issue that is facing the business.
- Utilize alternative dispute mechanisms to favorably resolve issues for a firm.
- Draft contracts and employment agreements with arbitration and mediation terms.
Week 2 – The Constitution, White-Collar Crime, and Business Ethics
In week two, you’ll look at developing a theoretical understanding of the United States Constitution in the context of business, plus explore criminal procedure and ethics. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Determine whether a business is limited by constitutional issues or concerns.
- Develop a strategy to help a company take full advantage of their constitutional rights.
- Identify the most frequent white-collar crimes for various businesses.
- Develop strategies to safeguard against white-collar crimes.
- Create a code of ethics for a business.
- Implement a set of ethical practices for a business.
- Foster a culture of moral conduct in the workplace.
Week 3 – Contract Law and E-commerce
Throughout week three, you’ll develop the skills to read formal contracts and understand when a contract is valid, enforceable, or breached. E-commerce is also examined. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Discern in a formal contract whether the terms essential to formation are included.
- Read and interpret the terms of a contract.
- Determine if any of the terms of a contract make it voidable or unenforceable.
- Calculate the remedies that would be available should a party choose to breech a contract.
- Recognize how defenses of impracticality and impossibility allow discharge of a commercial contract.
- Draft an enforceable electronic contract.
Week 4 – Intentional Torts, Negligence, Product Liability, and Malpractice
During the midpoint week of the course, focus turns to the different causes of actions for injured parties to obtain compensation based upon the willfulness of the conduct. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Apply the laws of Common Law Tort doctrine to an incident or event that caused injury.
- Determine what damages are legally available to the various parties in a tort lawsuit.
- Write a recommendation to a business manager about an incident or event that caused injury.
- Examine and apply the legal duties for each party and the appropriate standard of care.
Week 5 – Administrative Agencies and Environmental Law
As you progress to week five, you’ll develop a working understanding of the role of administrative agencies on the federal, state, and local levels. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Prepare a case for argument and evidence for an administrative hearing in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).
- Advise business changes required for compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental laws.
- Determine what oversight role the legislative body has over an administrative agency.
Week 6 – Business Entities - Partnerships, Corporations, and LLCs
In week six, you’ll review the different structures that make up various types of firms in the business world. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Prepare a business plan to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation.
- Discern the differences in decision-making for the different structures of an LLC, LP, Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation.
- Determine how the structure of the firm can shield personal assets from liability.
- Define the duties and responsibilities of the officers and the board of directors of a Corporation.
Week 7 – Employment, Labor-Management, and Discrimination
Throughout this week, you’ll explore the parameters of the employer and employee relationship and the various laws that limit and define that relationship. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Ensure that a business is compliant in the laws of Wage and Hour, the Family Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Civil Rights Act, and Equal Pay Act.
- Apply the laws of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) to the physical environment of the business to evaluate compliance.
- Understand laws preventing and defining discrimination in the workplace.
- Draft a workplace policy that guides all managers to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Week 8 – Property Law for Real Estate, Personal Property, Intellectual Property, and Cyberlaw
During the last week, you’ll examine the rights that accompany the different types of property in the United States, from land to intellectual property. Among many things, you will learn to:
- Determine what rights are held by the different types of primary estates in land.
- Establish guidelines to protect against claims of adverse possession.
- Apply the laws of eminent domain to determine when the government can condemn property for commercial and economic purposes.
- Draft a policy that guides all managers to prevent copyright infringement in the workplace.