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Brendan Eich developed the coding language JavaScript and helped found the Mozilla Foundation, an open source wing of Netscape. In 2005, Eich became chief technology officer of Mozilla Corporation,...

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Brendan Eich developed the coding language JavaScript and helped found the Mozilla Foundation, an open source wing of Netscape. In 2005, Eich became chief technology officer of Mozilla Corporation, the foundation's profit making arm. In 2014, Eich was made CEO. After eleven days, Eich resigns under pressure from employees, consumers, and board members. Eich was forced out because of his support for California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative to change the state's constitution to include a provision that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."30

In California, donations to ballot measures in amounts above $100 are public record and the LA Times published a list of contributions for and against proposition 8. Eich contributed $1,000 to the campaign in support of restricting marriage to between one man and one woman. 31 According to Eich, his support for Prop 8 stems from a personal religious commitment and was separate from his role as CEO. Before his ouster, Eich tried to assuage concerns writing, "I am committed to ensuring that Mozilla is, and will remain, a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion."32

Proponents of marriage equality and gay rights advocates called for a boycott of Mozilla's flagship product, Internet browser Firefox. Internet dating site OKCupid answered the call for a boycott by blocking Firefox users from the site. When customers using Firefox attempted to access the site they received a message that read in part, "Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience. Mozilla's new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid."33 According to many, this is an example of free speech being used effectively to combat intolerant speech.

However, some journalists are "questioning whether the episode undercuts the well- groomed image of Silicon Valley as a marketplace of ideas and diversity of thought, and whether, in this case, the tech world surrendered to political correctness enforced through a public shaming on social media."34 Andrew Sullivan, a prominent advocate for marriage equality has objected to Eich's treatment writing, "When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance."35

30 Text of Proposed Laws,

31 Michelle Minkoff et. al. "Proposition 8: WHo Gave Money in the Gay Marriage Battle" LA Times,

32Brendan Eich, "Inclusiveness at Mozilla" Blog Presentation, March 26, 2014,

33 Mario Aguilar, "OKCupid Tells Users Not to Use Firefox," Gizmodo, March 31, 2014, XXXXXXXXXX

34David Crary, et. al., "Mozilla CEO resignation raises free-speech issues" USA Today, April 4, 2014, Sullivan, "Dissents of the Day" The Dish, April 4, 2014, Andrew 35


1. Who stands to be harmed and helped by Eich's dismissal? Who stands to be harmed and helped if other businesses adopt Mozilla's employment strategy?

2. What is the employment-at-will doctrine, and how does it serve to support Mozilla's actions in this case?

3. How does the for-cause/due-process doctrine regulate the employment contract? Explain how the firing of Eich is both consistent and inconsistent with this doctrine.

4. Provide a utilitarian analysis of the use of the at-will doctrine in the Eich case. Be sure to clearly describe the utilitarian theory, including the nature of the moral good it specifies and the decision-making model it offers, and to apply the theory to the case. Since utilitarianism requires consideration of alternatives, be sure to compare the utility of the at-will doctrine to the expected utility of the for-cause doctrine in the Eich case. Since utilitarianism requires consideration of all consequences, speak to the foreseeable effects of the doctrine both in the future and in increasingly less-related cases.

5. Provide a deontological analysis of the at-will doctrine in general and of its use in the Eich case in particular. Again, clearly describe Kant's theory, including the nature of the moral good it specifies and the decision-making model it offers, and apply the theory to the case. Be sure to highlight the ways in which the deontological and utilitarian accounts differ in theory and in practice.

6. What is your personal opinion of the at-will doctrine? What is your personal opinion on the use of the at-will doctrine in the Eich case? Which theory, utilitarianism or deontological ethics, best supports your judgment about this case, and why?


Answered Same Day Jun 22, 2021


Arunavo answered on Jun 27 2021
138 Votes

Table of Contents
Answer 1    3
Answer 2    3
Answer 3    4
Answer 4    5
Answer 5    5
Answer 6    6
References    8
Answer 1
Brendan Eich was a prominent figure in the technology industry and was the CEO of Mozilla. However, he was forced to resign from his post as he supported the campaign to change the California’s proposition for the only ma
iage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in the country. This kind of support has created an extreme pressure over Eich to step down as this was considered to be against the policies and rules of the company.
However, this move will harm the company a lot as that will be considered as the violations of the equal human rights and discriminating the person who is supporting the abolishment of old rules. In the news article, published by USA Today (2014), the resignation of the CEO raises the issues for the free-speech issues and thus it can be concluded that the move of CEO is going to harm the Mozilla and will benefit the campaign that is supporting the reformation of the ma
iage laws.
If this kind of strategy that Mozilla follows is adopted by other companies then the companies and the employees will get benefitted along with the users who are availing the services of that company as they will be considered to be the supporter of the changes that is taking place in the ma
iage laws.
As the situation occu
ed with Mozilla that the Firefox users were ba
ed from using the OkCupid online dating platform as the CEO has violated the equal rights of human (Gizmodo, 2014). Thus, the companies, which are not supporting these moves, will go to get benefitted and those organizations who are supporting for the equal rights and reformation of the ma
iage laws of California.
Answer 2
In every organization there is certain code of conducts that need to be followed by the employees as that will safeguard the company as well as the employees from any kind of discrimination and the legal aspects are being protected. Gao, Zhang and Zhang (2018) have further added that employment doctrine at will states that there is an employment agreement, which states that the employment is for indefinite period of time and may be terminated either by any of the two, which are the employer or the employee.
However, with respect to the present situation, the CEO of the company was forced to resign because according to the employment at will doctrine the employee Eich has violated the equal rights of human, which also supports the gay ma
iages and the equal rights from them. Thus the backlash the company has faced because of actions taken by Eich has created a huge criticism.
This has resulted in the downfall of the company’s business and that has led the company to force Eich to put down from his post as to create an example that the company always supports equal rights for all i
espective of gender, caste, creed and many more. Thus the actions taken by the company, Mozilla have followed the doctrine of...

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