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Employment Law Essay

A. Ms. Riyadh is employed as an account executive with ABC Advertising (“ABC”). ABC is a national marketing and advertising firm specializing in domestic and international advertising. ABC has its corporate headquarters in this state and represents many major public and private corporations throughout the United States. Ms. Riyadh began working with ABC as a summer intern during her senior year in business school, and was hired as a full-time employee after receiving her M.B.A., with honors, from the University of Michigan in 1978. Ms. Riyadh has been employed with ABC at its office in the state capital since 1978. During her employment, she has won three national awards for her work. For several reasons, Ms. Riyadh believes ABC has illegally discriminated against her and she now wants to sue the company.

She says the company’s practice has been to promote employees from within. Ms. Riyadh states that despite receiving “outstanding” performance evaluation ratings each year she has worked there, she has never been promoted since she was hired and has been repeatedly passed over for any promotions. She also says that all of the male employees who were hired between 1978 and 1988 in the same classification as hers have been promoted from one to four times and earn significantly higher salaries. In addition, none of these employees has won any national awards, and a few of these individuals are marginal employees. She notes that three women have been promoted since she was hired, but points out that men greatly outnumber women in all positions at ABC.

ABC responded to a preliminary inquiry by asserting that Ms. Riyadh was not promoted because she doesn’t “fit the image” that is right for the higher positions. ABC claims the higher positions have high visibility, require extensive travel, and have greatly increased client contact, including presentations before corporate and professional groups. ABC argues that Ms. Riyadh is a very plain woman, that she refuses to wear make up or adornments of any kind, other than a head scarf, that she is very religious and takes a daily “prayer and meditation” break during her lunch break, and that her religious beliefs prohibit certain types of “fraternizing,” such as drinking alcoholic beverages and eating certain foods.

ABC officials state that while Ms. Riyadh is a good employee, they do not believe she is “qualified” to represent ABC in certain capacities. ABC argues that in the advertising field, it is essential that higher “administrative” employees project a polished appearance and engage in social and fraternal activities in order to obtain and conduct business. Ms. Riyadh states that ABC is discriminating against her.

She argues that these factors are not relevant to her ability to perform in any of the higher positions, and that ABC is simply using other rationales as a ploy to justify discriminating against her. She further states that when ABC hired her, she was advised that if she did a good job, she could expect to be promoted to the position of account vice-president within two years. Ms. Riyadh seeks damages for lost wages and benefits. She also wants a court order directing ABC to promote her to a higher position. Analyze Ms. Riyadh’s case. Identify all potential claims and any defenses available to ABC.

QUESTIONS B: (4 points each) Make sure you clearly state the applicable law 1. Unified Postal Services (UPS) is a private corporation which provides mail services to the public. UPS has been sued by a class made up of all deaf employees. These employees claim to have been discriminated against based on their disability. UPS provided training to all employees on security and safety in handling mail, including packages. The training included several videos on Anthrax, after several workers were injured by packages containing the lethal substance. The deaf workers claim that UPS never provided interpreters or videos with subtitles. UPS claimed that it did not have to provide accommodation to the workers because they were able to view the videos and watch the demonstrations on handling packages.

The company claims that the workers are not disabled for the purposes of handling packages. Will the employees win the case? Yes, the employees will win this case. I believe that Unified Postal Services could and should have provided the proper accommodations that are consider reasonable under the America with Disabilities Act. In the case of Bates v. UPS it is stated that discrimination was founded on the basis of alleged hearing or hearing-related disability. It was also founded that the “UPS has engaged in systemic discrimination on the basis of disability against the Plaintiffs and similarly situated hearing-disabled employees and applicants, by failing to reasonably accommodate their hearing disabilities, failing to engage in the interactive process with them, failing to provide them with equal terms and privileges of employment, discriminating against them in promotions beyond entry level positions and by adopting policies and practices that illegally screen them out from promotion to delivery driving positions on the basis of their disabilities.”

Both Bates and UPS came to an agreement, which they agreed to a comprehensive accommodations program to be implemented throughout the country. This accommodations program is designed to ensure that deaf applicants and employees have full access to workplace information, equal workplace conditions and opportunities for promotion, and basic workplace safety. UPS had begun to implement some of the accommodations required under this settlement on the eve of trial. The agreement submitted to the court today obligates UPS to follow through on these initial efforts and provides for outside monitoring and enforcement by the court to ensure that UPS provides equal workplace treatment and equal opportunities to deaf workers now and in the future.”

The UPS settled with a 5.8 million dollars in damages. UPS has now recognized that deaf employees should be treated equally and be afforded the opportunity to excel within the company. I am pleased that this giant company has now committed itself to correcting the many barriers that I and other deaf people throughout the country have faced in the workplace.” 2. Bob Smith, a member of the electrical workers’ union employed at Saturn Company, had a history of tardiness and absenteeism. One morning, he had car problems which delayed his arrival at work. When he finally arrived at work, Bob was told that he was fired. The union filed a grievance on Bob’s behalf, objecting to the discharge. In accordance with the collective bargaining agreement, an arbitration hearing was held.

The arbitrator, after weighing testimony and evidence, ordered Bob reinstated with back pay. The arbitrator found that Saturn had not properly and objectively investigated Bob’s car problems and therefore did not have just cause to fire him. Saturn refused to reinstate Bob in compliance with the arbitrator’s award. Bob and the union petitioned the U.S. District Court to enforce the arbitrator’s award. Saturn petitioned the court to overturn the arbitrator’s decision, claiming that, based on the evidence, the dismissal was unquestionably for just cause under the labor agreement. Should the court grant Saturn’s request and overrule the arbitrator? Explain your answer. There are no laws that will prevent an employer from writing an employee up as long as they are aware of the policy concerning employee attendance in the workplace.

Employers, who publish their workplace policies such as in the employee handbook, usually set out the rules and guidelines to which they expect employees to follow. 3. Martha has applied for a job as a stock clerk, at Good Food Supermarket. During her interview, she reveals to the interviewer that at some point in the next ten months she will need to undergo surgery to remove a tumor in one of her vertebrae, and that even if the surgery is successful, her post-operative range of movement could be severely limited. The job requires a good deal of lifting and a wide range of movement, in order to place goods on the shelves. The interviewer decides not to hire Martha because she may not be able to perform the job after the surgery. Martha files a claim against Good Food Supermarket. Does she have a valid claim? Explain your answer.

No, Martha does not have a valid claim. Based on the interview process employers want to hire workers who can actually perform the duties needed. The employers need to explain the job description without violating discrimination laws. When writing specific job description, we must consider any discrimination issues that may arise, such as being very specific about the task at hand. Ensuring that the applicant is well aware of what he or she would have to perform on a daily base. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is charged with enforcing anti-discrimination laws and also enforcement of the American with Disabilities Act requirement.

4. Muhammad, an Arab-American high school student, had a job after school in a fast-food restaurant, Eddy’s BBQ. A few co-workers started asking him why his “cousins” bombed the World Trade Center. Muhammed ignored their taunts. Then a manager began to add comments such as, “Hey, Muhammed, we’re going to have to check you for bombs.” Muhammed felt humiliated and angry. Soon after, he was terminated for accidentally throwing away a paper cup that the manager was using. Muhammed suspects that his religious and ethnic background was the reason he was fired. Muhammed has filed a claim with the EEOC. What will be the result in this case? First of all, Muhammad have a strong case against Eddy’s BBQ. In fact

5. Patsy is a waitress at Tom’s Irish Pub. She complains to her boss, Tom, that Simon, a frequent patron of the restaurant, has been making comments to her with sexual innuendos. Patsy details Simon’s activities to Tom, and requests that Simon be asked to stop. She also requests that another waitress be assigned to Simon’s table. Tom, the restaurant owner, says he will look into the matter. Tom is afraid to upset Simon, who is one of the restaurant’s best customers.

Tom puts the matter off for a few weeks. When he finally gets around to dealing with Simon, he politely asks Simon if he can “…go a little easier on Patsy.” Tom ignores Patsy’s request to be relieved of any obligation to wait on Simon. Does Patsy have a claim against Tom’s Irish Pub? Explain your answer. In the case of Patsy v Tom’s Irish Pub, Patsy has two claims that I can see and they are sex harassment and hostile work environment.

8. Sam has been turned down for a job as an ambulance driver because he is age 65. The rationale is that most individuals his age have certain health related characteristics that legitimately exclude them from effective service as ambulance drivers. Sam was never individually evaluated to determine whether he possessed the disqualifying characteristics. Does Sam have a claim against the hiring company? Explain why or why not.


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