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Abstract

While there is no universally accepted definition of a corporate ombudsman, many companies view a corporate ombudsman as a neutral manager within a corporation, who may provide informal assistance to both managers and employees in resolving work-related concerns and whose office is located outside of the management structure.2 Serious interest in utilizing a corporate ombudsman did not take a firm hold in the corporate arena until the 1900's.3 Reasons for increased interest in the corporate ombudsman include: an increasingly welleducated employee pool, changing laws and statutes, and stresses associated with huge increases in government contracting.4 Kientzy v. McDonnell Douglas Corp. introduces a new concept into the corporate structure-the ombudsman-employee privilege. 5 In Kientzy, a corporate ombudsman encountered the evidentiary law principle of privileged communication and established another privilege, the ombudsman-employee privilege, which is supported by Federal Rule of Evidence 501.6

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