Business Law Today Study Set 1

Business

Quiz 34 :

Employment Discrimination

Quiz 34 :

Employment Discrimination

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The following multiple choice question is representative of the types of questions available in one of the four sections of ThomsonNOW for Business Law Today. ThomsonNOW also provides feedback for each response option, whether correct or incorrect, and refers to the location within the chapter where the coiled answer can be found. The most important federal statute prohibiting employment discrimination against members of protected classes is A. the Equal Pay Act of 1963. B) the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. C) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. D) the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
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The correct option in this case is option (c).
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a law which prohibits discrimination at any stage of employment on the basis of gender, race, sex or religion. It also prohibits discrimination in employment against any member who belongs to a protected class.

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Critical Legal Thinking. Why has the federal government limited the application of the statutes discussed in this chapter to firms with a specified number of employees, such as fifteen or twenty? Should these laws apply to all employers, regardless of size? Why or why not?
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The government has limited the application of some statutes for employers who have more than 15 or 20 employees because the government thinks that the organizations having more employees have specialized positions such as HR, corporate government committee etc. for preventing discrimination against employees at workplace.
Smaller companies cannot have such departments and therefore they are generally not kept under the purview of these statutes. However there are some other statutes which impact the companies having less than 15 employees. Some of these Acts are:
1) Fair Labour Standards Act (1938)2) Equal Pay Act of 1963
3) National Labour Relations Act (1935)4) Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974) img , these laws should be applied to all the employers regardless of their size because every employee must be provided the right to seek justice against all types of discriminations. Discriminations related to gender, colour, race and religion is quite prevalent in small companies also and therefore the Acts such as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission must be applicable to all employers.

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Answers to the even-numbered questions in this For Review section can be found in Appendix F at the end of this text. What are three defenses to claims of employment discrimination?
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Below mentioned are the four general types of defences in relation to employment discrimination claims:
• Authentic occupational qualification
• Business necessity
• Evidences of any employee misconduct
• Seniority systems

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Amaani Lyle, an African American woman, took a job as a scriptwriters' assistant at Warner Brothers Television Productions. She worked for the writers of Friends, a popular, adult-oriented television series. One of her essential job duties was to type detailed notes for the scriptwriters during brainstorming sessions in which they discussed jokes, dialogue, and story lines. The writers then combed through Lyle's notes after the meetings for script material. During these meetings, the three male scriptwriters told lewd and vulgar jokes and made sexually explicit comments and gestures. They often talked about their personal sexual experiences and fantasies, and some of these conversations were then used in episodes of Friends. During the meetings, Lyle never complained that she found the writers' conduct offensive. After four months, she was fired because she could not type fast enough to keep up with the writers' conversations during the meetings. She filed a suit against Warner Brothers alleging sexual harassment and claiming that her termination was based on racial discrimination. Using the information presented in the chapter, answer the following questions. 1. Would Lyle's claim of racial discrimination be for intentional (disparate-treatment) or unintentional (disparate-impact) discrimination? Explain. 2. Can Lyle establish a prima facie case of racial discrimination? Why or why not? 3. When she was hired, Lyle was told that typing speed was extremely important to her position. At the time, she maintained that she could type eighty words per minute, so she was not given a typing test. It later turned out that Lyle could type only fifty words per minute. What impact might typing speed have on Lyle's lawsuit? 4. Lyle's sexual-harassment claim is based on the hostile work environment created by the writers' sexually offensive conduct at meetings that she was required to attend. The writers, however, argue that their behavior was essential to the "creative process" of writing Friends, a show that routinely contained sexual innuendos and adult humor. Which defense discussed in the chapter might Warner Brothers assert using this argument?
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Religious Discrimination. Maly Tiano, a devout Roman Catholic, worked for Dillard Department Stores, Inc., (Dillard's) in Phoenix, Arizona. Dillard's considered Tiano a productive employee because her sales exceeded $200,000 per year. At the time, the store gave its managers the discretion to grant unpaid leave to employees but prohibited vacations or leave during the holiday season-October through December. Tiano felt that she had a "calling" to go on a "pilgrimage" in October 1988 to Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, where some persons claimed to have had visions of the Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church had not designated the site an official pilgrimage site, the visions were not expected to be stronger in October, and tours were available at other times. The store managers denied Tiano's request for leave, but she had a nonrefundable ticket and left anyway. Dillard's terminated her employment. For a year, Tiano searched for a new job and did not attain the level of her Dillard's salary for four years. She filed a suit in a federal dis-trict court against Dillard's, alleging religious discrimination in violation of Title VII. Can Tiano establish a prima facie case of religious discrimination? Explain. [Tiano v. Dillard Department Stores, Inc., 139 K3d 679 (9th Cir. 1998)]
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Video Question. Co to this text's Web site at www.thomsonedu.com/westbuslaw/blt and select "Chapter 34" Click on "Video Questions" and view the video titled Parenthood. Then answer the following questions. 1 In the video, Gil (Steve Martin) threatens to leave his job when he discovers that his boss is promoting another per-son to partner instead of him. His boss (Dennis Dugan) laughs and tells him that the threat is not realistic because if Gil leaves, he will be competing for positions with workers who are younger than he is and willing to accept lower salaries. If Gil takes his employer's advice and stays in his current position, can he sue his boss for age discrimination based on the boss's statements? Why or why not? 2. Suppose that Gil leaves his current position and applies for a job at another firm. The prospective employer refuses to hire him based on his age. What would Gil have to prove to establish a prima fade case of age discrimination? Explain your answer. 3 What defenses might Gil's current employer raise if Gil sues for age discrimination?
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Case Analysis Question. Go to Appendix G at the end of this text and examine Case No. 8 [Sutton v. United Airlines, 527 U.S. 471, 119 S.Ct 2139, 144 L.Ed.2d 450 (1999)]. This case has been excerpted there in great detail. Review and then brief the case, making sure that your brief answers the following questions. 1. What job were the plaintiffs applying for, and what dis-ability did the plaintiffs claim they had? 2. Did United Airlines refuse to interview the plaintiffs? Did United Airlines reject all applicants with less-than-perfect vision? 3. What did the lower court hold regarding the plaintiffs' disability discrimination claim? 4. Did the majority conclude that the plaintiffs were not dis-abled under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)1 Why or why not? 5. Did the dissent think that these plaintiffs were substantially impaired as defined by the ADA? What reasons does the dissent give to support its conclusion?
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Answers to the even-numbered questions in this For Review section can be found in Appendix F at the end of this text. What is the difference between disparate-treatment discrimination and disparate-impact discrimination?
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Title VII Violations. Discuss fully whether either of the following actions would constitute a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended. 1. Tennington, Inc., is a consulting firm and has ten employees. These employees travel on consulting jobs in seven states. Tennington has an employment record of hiring only white males. 2. Novo Films, Inc., is making a film about Africa and needs to employ approximately one hundred extras for this picture. To hire these extras, Novo advertises in all major newspapers in Southern California. The ad states that only African Americans need apply.
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Discrimination Based on Age. The United Auto Workers (UAW) is the union that represent the employees of General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. In 1997, a collective bargaining agreement between UAW and General Dynamics eliminated the company's obligation to provide health insurance to employees who retired after the date of the agreement, except for current workers at least fifty years old. Dennis Cline and 194 other employees, who were over forty years old but under fifty, objected to this term. They complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that the agreement violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. The ADEA forbids discriminatory preference for the "young" over the "old." Does the ADEA also prohibit favoring the old over the young? I low should the court rule? Explain. [General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline, 540 U.S. 581, 124 S.Ct. 1236, 157 I hEd.2d 1094 (2004)]
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Discrimination Based on Disability. Cerebral palsy limits Steven Bradley's use of his legs. He uses forearm crutches for short-distance walks and a wheelchair for longer distances. Standing for more than ten or fifteen minutes is difficult. With support, however, Bradley can climb stairs and get on and off a stool. His condition also restrict the use of his fourth finger to, for example, type, but it does not limit his ability to write-he completed two years of college. His grip strength is normal, and he can lift heavy objects. In 2001, Bradley applied for a "greeter" or "cashier position at a Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Supercenter in Richmond, Missouri. The job descriptions stated, "No experience or qualification is required." Bradley indicated that he was available for full-or part-time work from 4:00 EM. to 10:00 F.M. any evening. His employment history showed that he currently worked as a proofreader and that he had previously worked as an administrator. His application was rejected, according to Janet Daugherty, the personnel manager, based on his "work history" and the "direct threat" that he posed to the safety of himself and others. Bradley claimed, however, that the store refused to hire him due to his disability. What steps must Bradley follow to pursue his claim? What does he need to show to prevail? Is he likely to meet these requirements? Discuss. [EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 477 F.3d 561 (8th Cir. 2007)]
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Discrimination Based on Disability. Vaughn Murphy was first diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) when he was ten years old. Unmedicated, his blood pressure is approximately 250/160. With medication, however, he can function normally and engage in the same activities as any-one else. In 1994, United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), hired Murphy to be a mechanic, a position that required him to drive commercial motor vehicles. To get the job, Murphy had to meet a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulation that a driver have "no current clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure likely to interfere with his/her ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely." At the time, Murphy's blood pressure was measured at 186/124, but he was erroneously certified and started work. Within a month, the error was discovered and he was fired. Murphy obtained another mechanic's job-one that did not require DOT certification-and filed a suit in a federal district court against UPS, claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. UPS filed a motion for summary judgment. Should the court grant UPS's motion? Explain. [Murphy v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 527 U.S. 516, 119 S.Ct. 2133, 144 L.Ed.2d 484 (1999)]
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Question with Sample Answer-Disparate-Impact Discrimination. Chinawa, a major processor of cheese sold throughout the United States, employs one hundred workers at its principal processing plant. The plant is located in Heartland Corners, which has a population that is 50 percent white and 25 percent African American, with the balance Hispanic American, Asian American, and others. Chinawa requires a high school diploma as a condition of employment for its cleaning crew. Three-fourths of the white population complete high school, compared with only one-fourth of those in the minority groups. Chinawa has an all-white cleaning crew. Has Chinawa violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Explain.
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Answers to the even-numbered questions in this For Review section can be found in Appendix F at the end of this text. Generally, what kind of conduct is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended?
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Answers to the even-numbered questions in this For Review section can be found in Appendix F at the end of this text. What federal act prohibits discrimination based on age?
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Answers to the even-numbered questions in this For Review section can be found in Appendix F at the end of this text. What remedies are available under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended?
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Case Problem with Sample Answer. PGA Tour, Inc., sponsors professional golf tournaments. A player may enter in several ways, but the most common method is to successfully compete in a three-stage qualifying tournament known as the "Q-School." Anyone may enter the Q-School by submitting two letters of recommendation and paying $3,000 to cover greens fees and the cost of a golf cart, which is permitted during the first two stages but is prohibited during the third stage. The rules governing the events include the "Rules of Golf7 which apply at all levels of amateur and professional golf and do not prohibit the use of golf carts, and the "hard card," which applies specifically to the PGA tour and requires the players to walk the course during most of a tournament. Casey Martin is a talented golfer with a degenerative circulatory disorder that prevents him from walking golf courses. Martin entered the Q-School and asked for permission to use a cart during the third stage. PGA refused. Martin filed a suit in a federal district court against PCA, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Is a golf cart in these circumstances a "reasonable accommodation" under the ADA? Why or why not? [PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, 532 U.S. 661, 121 S.D. 1879, 149 L.Ed.2d 904 (2001)]
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A Question of Ethics: Discrimination Based on Disability. img Titan Distribution, Inc., employed Quintak, Inc., to run its tire mounting and distribution operation in Des Moines, Iowa. Robert Chalfant worked for Quintak as a second shift supervisor at Titan. He suffered a heart attack in 1992 and underwent heart bypass surgery in 1997. He also had arthritis. In July 2002, Titan decided to fire Quintak. Chalfant applied to work at Titan. On his application, he described himself as disabled. After a physical exam, Titan's physician concluded that Chalfant could work in his current capacity, and he was notified that he would be hired. Despite the notice, Nadis Barucic, a Titan employee, wrote "not pass px" at the top of Chalfant's application, and he was not hired. He took a job with AMPCO Systems, a parking ramp management company. This work involved walking up to five miles a day and lifting more weight than he had at Titan. In September, Titan eliminated its second shift. Chalfant filed a suit in a federal district court against Titan, in part, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Titan argued that it had not hired Chalfant because he did not pass the physical, but no one-including Barucic-could explain why she had written "not pass px" on his application. Later, Titan claimed that Chalfant was not hired because the entire second shift was going to be eliminated. [Chalfant v. Titan Distribution, Inc., 475 F.3d 982 (8th Cir. 2007)] (See page 693.) (a) What must Chalfant establish to make his case under the ADA? Can he meet these requirements? Explain. (b) In employment-discrimination cases, punitive damages can be appropriate when an employer acts with malice or reckless indifference toward an employee's protected rights. Would an award of punitive damages to Chalfant be appropriate in this case? Discuss.
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