The Legal Environment of Business
I. Course Prefix/Number: BUS 225
Course Name: The Legal Environment of Business
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course presents deeper understanding of current business organization. Topic focus is on role of the federal government in balancing rights of the individual and business in a free enterprise system within framework of the U. S. Constitution.
IV. Learning Objectives
- To introduce the legal aspects of business.
- To recognize the general rights and duties of the individual in common forms of business.
- To understand the rights of persons as individuals and as members of business organizations.
- To explain and understand the general legal rules, guidelines, and restraints placed upon business by the Federal Government.
- To make the individual aware of the instances in which professional legal advice may be necessary.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
Unit One: The Foundations
Chapter 1 Business and Its Legal Environment
What is Law? The Common Law Tradition, Sources of American Law Civil Law versus Criminal Law, Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems; Accessing the Internet Finding and Analyzing the Law, Finding Statutory Law; Finding Administrative Law, Finding Case Law, How to Read and Understand Case Law.
Chapter 2 The Court System
The Judiciary's Role in American Government; Basic Judicial Requirements; The State and Federal Court Systems; Judicial Procedures: Following a Case through the Courts; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
Unit Two: The Public and International Environment
Chapter 5 Constitutional Law
The Constitutional Powers of Government; Business and the Bill of Rights; Due Process and Equal Protection; Privacy Rights; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
Chapter 6 Administrative Law
Agency Creation and Powers; Administrative Process; Limitations on Agency Powers; Public Accountability; State Administrative Agencies; Terms and Concepts to review; Questions and Case Problems.
Chapter 7 Criminal Law
Civil Law and Criminal Law; Classification of Crimes; Essentials of Criminal Liability; Corporate Criminal Liability; Types of Crimes; Defenses to Criminal Liability; Criminal Procedures; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
Unit Three: The Commercial Environment
Chapter 12 Torts and Cyber Torts
Torts Related to Business; Basis of Tort Law, Intentional Torts Against Persons and Business Relationships; Intentional Torts against Property; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
Chapter 15 Creditor-Debtor Relations and Bankruptcy
Laws Assisting Creditors; Suretyship and Guaranty; Protection for Debtors; Bankruptcy and Reorganization; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
Chapter 17/18 Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships Sections 1-3 of Chapters 17 and 18
Sole Proprietorships; Partnerships; Limited Liability Companies; Limited Liability Partnerships; Limited Liability Limited Partnerships; Other Organizational Forms; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
Unit Five: The Employment Environment
Chapter 19 Agency
Agency Relationships-Formation of the Agency Relationship; Duties of Agents and Principals; Remedies and Rights of Agents and Principles; Liability for Contracts; Liability for Agent's Torts; Liability for Agent's Crimes; Termination of an Agency; Terms and Concepts to Review, Questions and Case Problems.
Chapter 20 Employment Relationships
Wage-Hour Laws; Worker Health and Safety; Income Security; COBRA; Family and Medical Leave; Employee Privacy Rights; Employment-Related Immigration Laws; Wrongful Discharge; Statutory Protection for Whistleblowers; Terms and Concepts to Review; Questions and Case Problems.
VII. Methods of Instruction
- Lectures and Discussion by Instructor
- Assigned Readings with Class Discussion
- Use of Relevant Current Events
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
- Reading Assignments
- Attendance in Class
- Participation in class discussion
IX. Instructional Materials
Text: Cross and Miller, West's Legal Environment of Business, Fifth Edition, West Publishing Company, 2004
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
- Participation in class discussions
- Preparation of assigned materials
- Performance on exams
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.