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MGT 434 FINAL EXAMINATION

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  • danny
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MGT 434 FINAL EXAMINATION

Welcome to the MGT434, Employment Law, final exam.  You are to answer 5 of the following 9 questions with responses of at least 200 words and post your final exam to the Assignments link.  Each response is worth 3 points.

1.         Jenner began working for Encyclopedia Britannica as a part-times sales representative in 1983. Her position required selling Encyclopedia Britannica’s educational products. Until 1995, she worked as a part-times sales representative and then a district manager for Encyclopedia Britannica.  In 1995, Encyclopedia Britannica decided to separate the parent division from the school and library division and reorganize its sales force by “outsourcing:” contracting with individual “regional directors” who would in turn contract with individual sales representatives.   The same people who had worked for Encyclopedia Britannica under the previous arrangement filled many of the positions under the new structure, in which branch managers became separately incorporated regional directors and district managers while sales representatives took positions with the newly formed companies.

Jenner signed a contract with Lee, a former Encyclopedia Britannica branch manager who had formed her own corporation and gathered a sales force comprised largely of former Encyclopedia Britannica sales representatives.  Jenner eventually became a territory coordinator, a position slightly above sales representative but still reporting to Lee.  In 1998, Jenner was told that she was losing her territory and would no longer be selling Encyclopedia Britannica products.  Jenner sued Encyclopedia Britannica, claiming that the loss of her territory was effectively a termination.  Was her suit successful, i.e., was Jenner an employee or an independent contractor?  Why?

2.  During the interview Gale had with Leslie Accounting Firm, Gale was asked whether she had any children, whether she planned to have any more children, to what church she belonged and what her husband did for a living.  Are these questions illegal? Why or why not.

3.   An over-forty employee of the New York Transit Authority is denied a promotion to station supervisor after he refuses to submit to an electrocardiogram (EKG) as part of a physical.  The NYTA required the physical, and therefore the EKG’s, for all supervisory position candidates who were under forty and who had problematic medical histories, as well all candidates over forty.  The NYTA contended that the examination and test were necessary because of the physical demands of the position.  It also argued that people over forty have an increased risk of heart disease, hence the EKG requirement.  How would you determine whether this employee should be required to undergo the test?

4.  Dave comes into the office and says to Sue:  “Good morning!  You look great today!  Oops, I’d better not say that.  That’s sexual harassment.”  Is Dave correct?  Explain.

5.  At the end of all her written communications, an employee writes, “have a blessed day.” One of employer’s most important clients requests that employee not do so, and employer asks employee to stop.  Employee refuses, saying it is a part of her religion.  If employee sues the employer for religious discrimination, then is she likely to win?  Why or why not?

6.  Betsy was an employee in a bank’s Demand Services Department.  She suffered from dysthymia, a form of depression, along with phobia and bouts of more intense depression. Over several years, she was absent from work on a relatively frequent basis. The employer discharged her after continuing absences following two periods of probation for absences from work. She was discharged the day after she had called in that she would be absent because of “depression again.”  Should Betsy’s condition be considered a “disability?” If so, what, if any, accommodations could have been made for Betsy? Do you believe her discharge violates the ADA?

7.   Answer two of the following questions:

a.  Can race or gender be the only factor in an employment decision?

b.  If race or gender can be the only factor in an employment decision, how long can it be a factor?

c.  What is the difference between an affirmative action goal and a quota, or is there one?

d.   What is the proper comparison to determine if there is an underrepresentation of women or minorities in the workplace?

 

8.  Michael Jamison was a police officer with the City of Jamesville, Missouri Police Department.  After working there for four years, he was appointed Jamesville’s Acting Chief of Police.  One year later, Smith was appointed Mayor and Robinson succeeded Jamison as Permanent Chief of Police.  Jamison and Smith did not have a good relationship; Smith instituted disciplinary proceedings against him and fired him on several occasions (but the Jamesville Board overturned the decisions each time).  After Smith heard a rumor that Jamison was associating with a reputed drug dealer, she ordered that Jamison undergo urinalysis testing and told him that failure to comply would result in serious disciplinary actions.  The Order requiring the testing stated that Smith understood this rumor to mean that Jamison was involved in “some type of illegal drug use and/or abuse.” Jamison complied with her order and all tests were found to be negative.  However, Smith’s Order remained in Jamison’s personnel file.  When he later left the Department and sought work elsewhere, Jamison was unable to find employment as a result of this Order in his file.  Jamison filed suit claiming damages as a result of the City’s wrongful and vengeful testing program.  Will he win?  Why or why not?

 

9.  Which of the following statements would be acceptable in a performance evaluation?  Why or why not?

  • “Even though Jacquie was out on a few religious retreats, she exceeded June sales goals by 10%.”
  • “Although a new, young college graduate, Spiro was very capable in leading the sales meeting.”
  • “Despite time off for medical leaves, Renee was able to surpass productivity of many of her colleagues.”
  • “Though a bit tough to understand, Margeaux has received excellent reviews for her customer service.”

2.During the interview Gale had with Leslie Accounting Firm, Gale was asked whether she had any children, whether she planned to have any more children, to what church she belonged and what her husband did for a living. Are these questions illegal? Why or why not?

The questions that Gale was asked during her interview with Leslie Accounting firm, regarding her children,future family plans, place of worship, and spouse’s career, would be considered illegal.  Questions asked during an interview must be job related and not to expose personal information about the candidate that is not pertinent to the job functions.  According to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws which protect against discriminatory practices, these type of questions can be perceived as discriminatory, and therefore should not be asked during the interview process.  Gales employment opportunity with Leslie accounting firmshould have no affiliation with how many children she has, or if she is planning on having more.  The amount of children Gale has could be viewed as a possible hindrance in her performance with the accounting firm, and therefore might jeopardize her chances of being hired.  Gale’s practiced faith could also be viewed as something negative and result in discrimination, as well as her husband’s profession.   The accounting firm needs to focus on Gale, and her qualifications for the job, such as her experience and education in order to make an informed decision about her future with the company.

 

4. Dave comes into the office and says to Sue: “Good morning! You look great today! Oops, I’d better not say that. That’s sexual harassment.” Is Dave correct? Explain.

Although Dave is commenting on the way Sue looks in a physical way, he is not making any sexual advances with his statement.  Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.   Therefore, Dave would be incorrect that his statement was sexual harassment.  However, the fact that he added that comment on to the end of the compliment may have made sue feel uncomfortable.  It is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to sensitive issues such as sexual harassment.

 

5. At the end of all her written communications, an employee writes, “have a blessed day.” One of employer’s most important clients requests that employee not do so, and employer asks employee to stop. Employee refuses, saying it is a part of her religion. If employee sues the employer for religious discrimination, then is she likely to win? Why or why not?

The employee has a right to exercise freedom within her religion based off of the guidelines of  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964 (“Title VII”)  which  prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. In addition Title VII also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer.  However, the employee does not have a definite win if she chooses to sue the employer. The employer could argue that this closing on the employee’s written communication puts the company at risk of losing a very important client which can translate to a financial lose within the company.  Therefore, allowing the employee to continue to put “have a blessed day” at the end of her written communication may cause a undue hardship on the company in that they will lose a very important client.

7. Answer two of the following questions:

a. Can race or gender be the only factor in an employment decision?

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity laws race or gender cannot be a factor in an employment decision because that would be discrimination. Candidates must be considered based on job related factors such as experience, and education.  If an employer takes into consideration the race or gender of a candidate then they are being bias.  An employer that seeks only to hire women is discriminating against gender. Likewise an employer that is seeking only a Asian candidate is engaged in racial discrimination to all other races that may be applying for the position.

 

c. What is the difference between an affirmative action goal and a quota, or is there one?

An affirmative action goal and a quota can be viewed as one in the same.  A company that is required to have a certain percentage of minorities on the payroll to ensure diversity in the workplace is in a sense being given a quota to meet.  They must ensure that they have a certain amount of staff that meets the guidelines. Likewise, an employer that has an affirmative action goal also must be sure they have given opportunities to candidates that fall within the description of the affirmative action law.  The law is in place to provide an equal opportunity to minority groups that can sometimes be under-represented in any given workplace.  Therefore, a goal or quota that is in place to ensure that minorities are represented equally in the workplace, serve the same purpose.

 

9. Which of the following statements would be acceptable in a performance evaluation? Why or why not?

  • “Even though Jacquie was out on a few religious retreats, she exceeded June sales goals by 10%.”
  • “Although a new,  young college graduate, Spiro was very capable in leading the sales meeting.”
  • “Despite time off for medical leaves, Renee was able to surpass productivity of many of her colleagues.”
  • “Though a bit tough to understand, Margeaux has received excellent reviews for her customer service.”

In the above question none of the statements are acceptable in a performance evaluation because all of them point to factors that are not job related, and can be considered discriminatory.  Under Title VII, the ADA, GINA, and the ADEA, it is illegal to discriminate in any aspect of employment, including: hiring and firing; compensation, assignment, or classification of employees; transfer, promotion, layoff, or recall; job advertisements; recruitment; testing; use of company facilities; training and apprenticeship programs; fringe benefits; pay, retirement plans, and disability leave; or other terms and conditions of employment.

Discriminatory practices under these laws also include: harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or age; retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices; employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities, or based on myths or assumptions about an individual’s genetic information; and denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.

In the first statement, including the reference to religious retreats was discriminatory. In the second statement using young college graduate refers to age and is therefore discriminatory language. In the third statement referring to Renee type of leave being medical, was not acceptable because it exposes her personal business. In the final statement, referencing Margeaux language barrier eludes to his race which is discriminatory language.

 


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