Answered Essay: Sleepy Hollow Books (SHB), a company owned by Ichabod Crane, has stores nationwide and a distribution

Sleepy Hollow Books (SHB), a company owned by Ichabod Crane, has stores nationwide and a distribution facility in North Carolina.   One month ago, three employees, Katrina, Abbie, and Jenny filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for unsafe work conditions and the lack of protective clothing at the SHB distribution facility. Two days later, OSHA representatives conducted an inspection of the plant and found nine (9) violations of federal safety laws.   OSHA charged the company with violating federal law and assessed civil penalties in the amount of $25,000. Two days after the inspection, Ichabod Crane (SHB Owner and President) fired Katrina, Abbie, and Jenny. Ichabod told the three former employees that he didn’t trust their loyalty anymore.   Yesterday, Katrina, Abbie, and Jenny filed a lawsuit against SHB and Crane under the federal Whistleblower Protection Act.

The federal government investigated SHB’s safety and health practices and charged SHB with violating federal laws.   Would SHB and its owner be correct if they argued that any federal law governing their North Carolina business is unconstitutional?

Yes.   Only states have unlimited and exclusive police power to protect health and welfare of citizens, so federal law is preempted (not valid).
No. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court, the Commerce Clause of the Constitution permits the federal government to regulate activities that have a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and SHB engages in interstate commerce.
No. The federal government has absolute police power to regulate domestic businesses in every detail to protect health, safety, and welfare of citizens.
Yes. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court, the federal government may not regulate state businesses. Under federalism, such issues may be regulated only by the states.

Judge Mitchell recently decided a case about an employee who was fired immediately after she reported her employer (the company) to the federal authorities. She reported the company because she found out that the company had violated federal law. In deciding the case, Judge Mitchell determined that there was no prior state law case upon which to rely. To be more specific, there had never been a case like this in the state. Which of the following may Judge Mitchell use to decide the case?

A. Legislative purpose
B. Public policy
C. Her personal values and ethical beliefs
D. All of the above
E. Legislative purpose and public policy, but not her personal beliefs

Expert Answer

Answer

1. Answer is Option B – No. According to several cases decided by the Supreme Court, the Commerce Clause of the Constitution permits the federal government to regulate activities that have a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce, and SHB engages in interstate commerce.

2. Answer is Option E –

Legislative purpose and public policy, but not her personal beliefs

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