Business Law and the Legal Environment Study Set 1

Business

Quiz 40 :

Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Quiz 40 :

Equal Employment Opportunity Law

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Beth Faragher worked part-time and summers as an ocean lifeguard for the Marine Safety Section of the city of Boca Raton, Florida. Bill Terry and David Silverman were her supervisors over the five-year period of her employment. During this period, Terry repeatedly touched the bodies of female employees without invitation and would put his arm around Faragher, with his hand on her buttocks. He made crudely demeaning references to women generally. Silverman once told Faragher, "Date me or clean the toilets for a year." She was not so assigned, however. The city adopted a sexual harassment policy addressed to all employees. The policy was not disseminated to the Marine Safety Section at the beach, however. Faragher resigned and later brought action against the city, claiming a violation of Title VII and seeking nominal damages, costs, and attorneys' fees. The city defended that Terry and Silverman were not acting within the scope of their employment when they engaged in harassing conduct, and the city should not be held liable for their actions. Are part-time employees covered by Title VII? Was Silverman's threat, "Date me or clean toilets for a year," a basis for quid pro quo vicarious liability against the city? Decide this case. [Faragher v City of Boca Raton, 524 US 775]
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Refer to the case Faragher v City of Boca Raton to answer question as below:
Facts to this case
• An employee was sexually harassed by her supervisor over the course of her employment.
• The supervisor also made demands that the employee date him or she would be made to clean toilets.
• The employee resigned and sued the employer under Title VII for a sexually harassing work environment.
Case Issue
The issue is whether part-time employees are covered by Title VII and whether the employer is also vicariously liable for the supervisor's actions.
Relevant Terms, Laws, and Cases
Title VII Civil Rights Act - Prohibits discrimination in employment due to race, gender, religion.
Respondeat superior - This imposes liability (known as vicarious liability) on the principal or employer of liability caused by agent or employee during the scope of their agency or employment.
Opinion
Title VII also covers part time employees.
The Supreme Court found that:
• There was a Title VII violation since sexual harassment occurred in the workplace.
• The employer could have limited liability by disbursing their policy on sexual harassment in the workplace to all employees.
• They failed to do so.
Furthermore, the court found that the employer was vicariously liable as:
• Employers are vicariously liable for the harassment of their employees by the supervisors.
• The employer did not have an effective gateway to limit sexual harassment in their workplace.
• For example, the employees didn't have communication with higher management.
Thus, the employer was liable for Title VII and vicariously liable for their supervisor's actions.

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A teenage female high school student named Salazar was employed part-time at Church's Fried Chicken Restaurant. Salazar was hired and supervised by Simon Garza, the assistant manager of the restaurant. Garza had complete supervisory powers when the restaurant's manager, Garza's roommate, was absent. Salazar claimed that while she worked at the restaurant, Garza would refer to her and all other females by a Spanish term that she found objectionable. According to Salazar, Garza once made an offensive comment about her body and repeatedly asked her about her personal life. On another occasion, Garza allegedly physically removed eye shadow from Salazar's face because he claimed it was unattractive. Salazar also claimed that one night she was restrained in a back room of the restaurant while Garza and another employee fondled her. Later that night, when Salazar told a customer what had happened, she was fired. Salazar brought suit under Title VII against Garza and Church's Fried Chicken, alleging sexual harassment. Church's, the corporate defendant, maintained that it should not be held liable under Title VII for Garza's harassment. Church's based its argument on the existence of a published fair treatment policy. Decide. [Salazar v Church's Fried Chicken, Inc., 44 Fair Empl Prac Cas (BNA) 472 (SD Tex)]
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Refer to the case Salazar v Church's Fried Chicken to answer question as below:
Facts to this case
• S was a part time worker a restaurant.
• A co-worker G repeatedly sexually harassed S.
• G had supervisory powers and was the roommate of the restaurant manager.
• S sued the restaurant under Title VII for having a hostile work environment.
• Restaurant claimed it had a policy for sexual harassment in place.
Case Issue
The issue is whether S can state a Title VII claim when
Relevant Terms, Laws, and Cases
Title VII Civil Rights Act - Prohibits discrimination in employment due to race, gender, religion. Employers are liable to employees when they fail to maintain a safe work environment. For example, employer is liable when an employee's workplace has rampant sexual harassment and no company policy in place to stop it.
Opinion
The court held for S.
• They found that the sexual harassment policy was insufficient because S was first supposed to turn to the restaurant manager, G 's roommate.
• S would have perceived this to be unbeneficial to her.
Thus, S has a Title VII claim against the restaurant.

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Sylvia Hayes worked as a staff technician in the radiology department of Shelby Memorial Hospital. On October 1, Hayes was told by her physician that she was pregnant. When Hayes informed the doctor of her occupation as an Xray technician, the doctor advised Hayes that she could continue working until the end of April so long as she followed standard safety precautions. On October 8, Hayes told Gail Nell, the director of radiology at Shelby, that she had discovered she was two months pregnant. On October 14, Hayes was discharged by the hospital. The hospital's reason for terminating Hayes was its concern for the safety of her fetus given the X-ray exposure that occurs during employment as an Xray technician. Hayes brought an action under Title VII, claiming that her discharge was unlawfully based on her condition of pregnancy. She cited scientific evidence and the practice of other hospitals where pregnant women were allowed to remain in their jobs as X-ray technicians. The hospital claimed that Hayes's discharge was based on business necessity. Moreover, the hospital claimed that the potential for future liability existed if an employee's fetus was damaged by radiation encountered at the workplace. Decide. [Hayes v Shelby Memorial Hospital, 546 F Supp 259 (ND Ala)]
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Refer to the case Hayes v Shelby Memorial Hospital to answer question as below:
Facts to this case
• H a radiology technician was pregnant.
• H doctor told her that she can still work with X-rays.
• The hospital where H worked at fired her due to her pregnancy.
Case Issue
The issue is whether H has a discriminatory claim against the hospital for her termination.
Relevant Terms, Laws, and Cases
Title VII Civil Rights Act - Prohibits discrimination in employment due to race, gender, religion.
Bonafide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) - allows employers to impose rules that are reasonable to operate the business even though it may impact a group.
Opinion
The court held for H. Court found that:
• H has a Title VII claim against the hospital for discrimination due to her pregnancy. (A Title VII amendment added pregnancy discrimination as discrimination against the female sex).
• Hospital has a defense only if nonpregnancy was a BFOQ to being a radiotech.
• For a requirement to be BFOQ it must be necessary to promote safe and efficient operation.
• Pregnancy did not impact H 's ability to perform X-rays.
• Furthermore, the hospital made special arrangements for previous radiotech whom became pregnant and X-ray harm to the fetus was minimal.
Thus, the court found that the hospital made a Title VII offense for firing H due to her pregnancy.

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Mohen is a member of the Sikh religion whose practice forbids cutting or shaving facial hair and requires wearing a turban that covers the head. In accordance with the dictates of his religion, Mohen wore a long beard. He applied for a position as breakfast cook at the Island Manor Restaurant. He was told that the restaurant's policy was to forbid cooks to wear facial hair for sanitary and good grooming reasons and that he would have to shave his beard or be denied a position. Mohen contended that the restaurant had an obligation to make a reasonable accommodation to his religious beliefs and let him keep his beard. Is he correct?
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The EEOC notified North American Stainless (NAS) in February 2003 that Miriam Regalado had filed a charge of sex discrimination against the company. Three weeks later NAS fired her coworker Eric Thompson, a person to whom Ms. Regalado was engaged. Thompson had worked for NAS for seven years as a metallurgical engineer. Thompson filed his own charge with the EEOC and a subsequent lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, claiming that NAS fired him to retaliate against Regalado for filing her charge with the EEOC. The employer contended that because Thompson did not "engag[e] in any statutorily protected activity, either on his own behalf or on behalf of Miriam Regalado," he is not included in the class of persons for whom Congress created a retaliation cause of action. Thompson argued that the Supreme Court adopted a broad standard in its Burlington decision because Title VII's antiretaliation provision is worded broadly, and that there is no textual basis for making an exception to it for third-party reprisals. Decide. [ Thompson v. North American Stainless Steel, LP , 131 S.Ct. 863]
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Mazir Coleman had driven a school bus for the Casey County, Kentucky, Board of Education for four years. After that time, Coleman's left leg had to be amputated. Coleman was fitted with an artificial leg and underwent extensive rehabilitation to relearn driving skills. When his driving skills had been sufficiently relearned over the course of four years, Coleman applied to the county board of education for a job as a school bus driver. The board refused to accept Coleman's application, saying that it had no alternative but to deny Coleman a bus-driving job because of a Kentucky administrative regulation. That regulation stated in part: "No person shall drive a school bus who does not possess both of these natural bodily parts: feet, legs, hands, arms, eyes, and ears. The driver shall have normal use of the above named body parts." Coleman brought an action under the Rehabilitation act, claiming discrimination based on his physical handicap. The county board of education denied this charge, claiming that the reason they rejected Coleman was because of the requirement of the state regulation. Could Coleman have maintained an action for employment discrimination in light of the state regulation on natural body parts? Decide. [Coleman v Casey County Board of Education, 510 F Supp 301 (ND Ky)]
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Overton suffered from depression and was made sleepy at work by medication taken for this condition. Also, because of his medical condition, Overton needed a work area away from public access and substantial supervision to complete his tasks. His employer terminated him because of his routinely sleeping on the job, his inability to maintain contact with the public, and his need for supervision. Overton argued that he is a person with a disability under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, fully qualified to perform the essential functions of the job, and that the employer had an obligation to make reasonable accommodations, such as allowing some catnaps as needed and providing some extra supervision. Decide. [Overton v Reilly, 977 F2d 1190 (7th Cir)]
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List the major federal statutes dealing with the regulation of equal rights in employment.
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Marcia Saxton worked for Jerry Richardson, a supervisor at AT T's International Division. Richardson made advances to Saxton on two occasions over a three-week period. Each time Saxton told him she did not appreciate his advances. No further advances were made, but thereafter Saxton felt that Richardson treated her condescendingly and had stopped speaking to her on a social basis at work. Four months later, Saxton filed a formal internal complaint, asserting sexual harassment, and went on "paid leave." AT T found inconclusive evidence of sexual harassment but determined that the two employees should be separated. Saxton declined a transfer to another department, so AT T transferred Richardson instead. Saxton still refused to return to work. Thereafter, AT T terminated Saxton for refusal to return to work. Saxton contended she had been a victim of hostile working environment sexual harassment. AT T argued that while the supervisor's conduct was inappropriate and unprofessional, it fell short of the type of action necessary for sexual harassment under federal law (the Harris case). Decide. [Saxton v AT T Co., 10 F3d 526 (7th Cir)]
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Following a decline in cigarette sales, L M, Inc., hired J. Gfeller as vice president of sales and charged him to turn around the sales decline. After receiving an analysis of the ages of sales personnel and first-line management, Gfeller and his assistant, T. McMorrow, instituted an intensive program of personnel changes that led to the termination of many older managers and sales representatives. A top manager who sought to justify keeping an older manager was informed that he was "not getting the message." Gfeller and McMorrow emphasized that they wanted young and aggressive people and that the older people were not able to conform or adapt to new procedures. R. E. Moran, who had been rated a first-rate division manager, was terminated and replaced by a 27-year-old employee. Gfeller and McMorrow made statements about employees with many years' experience: "It was not 20 years' experience, but rather 1 year's experience 20 times." The EEOC brought suit on behalf of the terminated managers and sales representatives. The company vigorously denied any discriminatory attitude with regard to age. Decide. [EEOC v Liggett and Meyers, Inc., 29 FEP 1611 (EDNC)]
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John Chadbourne was hired by Raytheon on February 4, 1980. His job performance reviews were uniformly high. In December 1983, Chadbourne was hospitalized and diagnosed with AIDS. In January 1984, his physician informed Raytheon that Chadbourne was able to return to work. On January 20, 1984, Chadbourne took a return-to-work physical examination required by Raytheon. The company's doctor wrote the County Communicable Disease Control Director, Dr. Juels, seeking a determination of the appropriateness of Chadbourne's returning to work. Dr. Juels informed the company that "contact of employees to an AIDS patient appears to pose no risk from all evidence accumulated to date." Dr. Juels also visited the plant and advised the company doctor that there would be no medical risk to other employees at the plant if Chadbourne returned to work. Raytheon refused to reinstate Chadbourne to his position until July 19, 1984. Its basis for denying reinstatement was that coworkers might be at risk of contracting AIDS. Was Raytheon entitled to bar Chadbourne from work during the six-month period of January through July? [Raytheon v Fair Employment and Housing Commission, 261 Cal Rptr 197 (Ct App)]
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Connie Cunico, a white woman, was employed by the Pueblo, Colorado, School District as a social worker. She and other social workers were laid off in seniority order because of the district's poor financial situation. However, the school board thereafter decided to retain Wayne Hunter, a black social worker with less seniority than Cunico because he was the only black on the administrative staff. No racial imbalance existed in the relevant workforce with black persons constituting 2 percent. Cunico, who was rehired over two years later, claimed that she was the victim of reverse discrimination. She stated that she lost $110,361 in back wages plus $76,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. The school district replied that it was correct in protecting with special consideration the only black administrator in the district under the general principles it set forth in its AAP. Did the employer show that its affirmative action in retaining Hunter was justified as a remedial measure? Decide. [Cunico v Pueblo School District No. 6, 917 F2d 431 (10th Cir)]
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Dial Corp. implemented a "work tolerance test," which all new employees were required to pass to obtain employment in its Armour Star brand sausage-making department. Of the applicants who passed the test, 97 percent were male and 38 percent were female. The EEOC "demonstrated" that the facially neutral work tolerance test "caused" a disparate impact on women. The defending employer did not deny that the employment practice in question caused the disparate impact. Rather, the employer responded that the test was "job related" and "necessary" to reduce job-related injuries at the plant and submitted evidence that the number of job injuries had been reduced after implementation of the testing program. The evidence showed that the company had initiated numerous other safety initiatives that had an impact on reducing injuries at the plant. After they failed the test, 52 women were denied jobs. Decide this case. [EEOC v Dial Corp., 2005 WL 2839977 (SD Iowa)]
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Della Janich was employed as a matron at the Yellowstone County Jail in Montana. The duties of the position of matron resemble those of a parallel male position of jailer. Both employees have the responsibility of booking prisoners, showering and dressing them, and placing them in the appropriate section of the jail depending on the offender's sex. Because 95 percent of the prisoners at the jail were men and 5 percent were women, the matron was assigned more bookkeeping duties than the jailer. At all times during Janich's employment at the jail, her male counterparts received $125 more per month as jailers. Janich brought an action under the Equal Pay Act, alleging discrimination against her in her wages because of her sex. The county sheriff denied the charge. Decide. [Janich v Sheriff, 29 Fair Empl Prac Cas (BNA) 1195 (D Mont)]
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Continental Photo, Inc., is a portrait photography company. Alex Riley, a black man, applied for a position as a photographer with Continental. Riley submitted an application and was interviewed. In response to a question on a written application, Riley indicated that he had been convicted for forgery (a felony) six years before the interview, had received a suspended sentence, and was placed on five-year probation. He also stated that he would discuss the matter with his interviewer if necessary. The subject of the forgery conviction was subsequently not mentioned by Continental's personnel director in his interview with Riley. Riley's application for employment was eventually rejected. Riley inquired about the reason for his rejection. The personnel director, Geuther, explained to him that the prior felony conviction on his application was a reason for his rejection. Riley contended that the refusal to hire him because of his conviction record was actually discrimination against him because of his race in violation of Title VII. Riley felt that his successful completion of a five-year probation without incident and his steady work over the years qualified him for the job. Continental maintained that because its photographers handle approximately $10,000 in cash per year, its policy of not hiring applicants whose honesty was questionable was justified. Continental's policy excluded all applicants with felony convictions. Decide. Would the result have been different if Riley had been a convicted murderer? [Continental Photo, Inc., 26 Fair Empl Prac Cas (BNA) 1799 (EEOC)]
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