Bertha’s employer, Hawaii Healthcare Professionals, terminated her. Her manager said the reason for her termination was she “looks old and sounds old” and is “like a bag of bones”. Bertha is 54. Does Bertha have an Age Discrimination claim?
Yes, she was fired because of her age, and she is in the correct protected class.
The law requires an employer to provide __________ __________ to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer, also known as ________ __________
A: Reasonable accommodation, undue hardship
Two Jewish police officers, Stacey Gonzalez and Pavel Reznik, experienced religious discrimination from other officers. Evidence from the lawsuit shows that officers from the Police Department scratched the Star of David on one of their patrol cars with the words “Hebrew Hammer” and the anti-Semitic symbol of “SS” written on one of their lockers.
If you were the supervisor of the Police Department, how would you ensure discrimination like this does not happen again?
Make sure there is a public policy stating that no form of religious discrimination is allowed and inform all employees that religious discrimination is prohibited in the firm.
“2 Jewish Officers Claim Anti-Semitism, Religious Discrimination Against Philadelphia Police Department In Lawsuit.” CBS Philly, CBS Philly, 21 Nov. 2018, philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/11/21/2-jewish-officers-claim-anti-semitism-religious-discrimination-against-philadelphia-police-department-in-lawsuit/.
Five white and one black firefighters sued for race discrimination when the operating procedures for their unit got drastically changed, they alleged, because the unit was “too white”. Can the black officer bring suit for race discrimination on these facts even though he is not white?
Yes, because even if he is not the same color that has been discriminated against, he is a member of the unit being discriminated. Therefore, he is able to sue under Title VII for a discrimination occurred based on color.
Ref: Bennett-Alexander, D., & Hartman, L. P. (2019). Employment law for business (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
An Indian restaurant advertises for Indian-trained managers, because the employer has found that they are more likely to remain at the company for an extended time, to be loyal and devoted to the firm, and to react well to direction and criticism. An American applies for the position and is denied employment in favor of an equally qualified Indian-trained applicant, who happens to also be Indian
Both applicants have equal qualifications, so this is an example of disparate treatment as the American applicant is being treated unfairly because he is not from the same nation the company wants.
Marymount Manhattan College refused to hire a choreography instructor for a tenure-track assistant professorship because of her age (64), and hired a 37 year old less qualified candidate because “at the right moment of her life for commitment to a full-time position.” Does Bertha have an Age Discrimination claim?
An employee worked as a “solid waste equipment operator” (a physically demanding job) and suffered two work-injuries leaving him partially disabled. After returning to work, the company did all they could to reasonably accommodate the employee. After their efforts, the employee filed a disability discrimination claim due to the City’s refusal to meet his request of accommodation by only performing certain tasks, of which were essential functions of the role.
Is an elimination of an essential function a reason accomodation of an employee’s disability?
“Elimination of an essential function is not a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s disability.”
“The City argued that the ability to operate multiple different refuse collection vehicles was an essential function of the job of “solid waste equipment operator” because (1) employees could be required to “fill-in” for one another, operating different vehicles, in the event of an absence; and (2) a natural disaster may dictate that larger vehicles than the automated side loader would be required to adequately clear debris.”
A Jehovah’s witness employee at UPS requested a schedule accommodation to allow him to attend the annual religious service, however was denied by his supervisor. He was later terminated and placed on a do-not-rehire list.
What should the supervisor have done that is required by Title VII? If the employer cannot do what Title VII requires, what does the employer have to prove?
Title VII requires employers to reasonably accommodate its employees in regards to their religious requirements. If the employer cannot reasonably accommodate, the employer must show accommodation would cause undue hardship to him/her or to the company.
Alexandra Sanchez, who is of Hispanic descent, worked at the New York office of a Canadian law firm as a legal secretarial assistant. In January 2009 Sanchez began reporting to a manager who allegedly demonstrated a discriminatory bias against Hispanic employees by depriving them of the opportunity to work overtime, while assigning overtime exclusively to Caucasian employees. The manager also allegedly forced Hispanic employees to resign and replaced them with Caucasians. Sanchez complained about the discriminatory actions, but no investigation was undertaken. After the complaint, she alleged that her manager's hostile treatment toward her intensified and that she was ostracized. A couple months later she was fired. Does she have enough evidence to sue the company?
The court found that there was enough evidence to meet that burden of proof and there were enough triable issues of fact under the New York City Human Rights Law to proceed to trial.
Wali Telwar, a practicing Muslim, applied for extended vacation time, using earned vacation hours, to make a pilgrimage to Mecca as required by his faith. His employer, Southern Hills Medical Center, refused to grant his request for extended leave and instructed him to either work as scheduled or to resign his position and reapply. Telwar resigned and, upon returning from pilgrimage, reapplied to work at Southern Hills. He was not rehired. [EEOC v. Southern Hills Medical Center, No. 3:07-cv-00976] Does he have a case?
The only way the employee would have a case would be if he could prove that the company was interfering in a discriminatory way his religious practices and believes. He would be able to sue the company for adverse employment action.
The state of Minnesota has a policy regarding retirement that penalizes employees for retiring after the age of 55. Employees who retire at the age of 55 or younger, get more benefits. Is this a bad business practice? Why? What different policies could the state of Minnesota craft in order to fix this problem?
Yes this is a bad business policy because it instills discriminatory practices.
They could do away with the current age requirement
Have a number of years worked until retirement instead of age (30 years for example)
Employee claims she was discriminated against on the basis of disability due to an accident that occurred at work. The employer moved her to a different role, placing her in a light-duty role, that is only available temporarily (270 days), so that employees can work at full salary while they recover from illness or injury.
Despite seeing multiple doctors, the employee is only deemed partially capable of her duties, and has exceeded her light-duty days, and so is subject to a non-disciplinary dismissal.
Despite the employee requesting an indefinite extension of her light-duty status, another reassignment and failing to initiate an interactive process before her 270 days were up. Does she have a disability discrimination claim?
No, she lost.
Frazier was simply incapable of performing the essential functions of her job, with or without reasonable accommodation, and that the HCSO followed its well-established procedures in reaching its decision to terminate her. Moreover, Frazier must shoulder the blame for failing to obtain any alternate position, because she never sought to engage in the interactive process or apply for any open position despite having ample notice and opportunity to do so.
The company Abercrombie and Fitch refused to hire Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, because the headscarf that she wore pursuant to her religious obligations conflicted with Abercrombie's employee dress policy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on Elauf's behalf and prevailed in the District court. However, the Tenth Circuit court awarded Abercrombie and Fitch summary judgement.
Why did the Tenth circuit court provide Abercrombie and Fitch with a summary judgement?
Because “failure-to-accommodate" liability only occurs when the employee provides the employer with actual knowledge of her need for an accommodation. In this case, the employee did not inform the employer of the accommodation needed, so Abercrombie and Fitch were provided with a summary judgement, or, showing the employee had no case.
A New York City Chef, Julius Jones, is pursuing a discrimination lawsuit against the Roger Smith Hotel for the conduct of another chef who was also employed by the restaurant. The other chef, allegedly put on a white pillow case on his head in an attempt to resemble a Ku Klux Klansman. The other chef admits to putting on the pillow case, but states that he was attempting to resemble a ghost in the spirit of Halloween season. However, another employee recalled hearing the alleged perpetrator say to Jones: "Remember these days.". Mr. Jones sued the hotel for race discrimination. What would you recommend the Hotel to do in this situation?
- Fire/Discipline employee that was involved.
- Create new and improved policy regarding discrimination.
The management of Delano Regional Medial Center held a mandatory meeting for Filipino-American employees regarding the hospital’s English-only policy, which required employees to speak in English except when speaking to a patient who had other language needs, or during break time. The hospital’s chief executive stated that failure to comply with the policy would result in surveillance cameras being installed to monitor the languages spoken by Filipino workers. Supervisors, staff, and volunteers were asked to report any incidents of noncompliance and would reprimand the Filipino employees. The hospital employed a mix of bilingual employees speaking Spanish, Hindi, Bengali, and other languages, but only Filipinos were required to attend the meeting and non-Filipino staff who routinely spoke languages other than English- such as Spanish- on the job were not disciplined. Is this English-only policy a violation of Title VII or is it acceptable?
It is a violation of Title VII as the policy is only discrimination against a national origin group which is the Filipinos. English-only policies can be applied in a business; however, the employer must have a business necessity/reason.
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