Re-read Case Study A in Course Materials, and do Problem 3, which is reprinted for you here:
Problem 3. Hostile atmosphere for one gender
The atmosphere at Discrimina, due more to the influence of a few employees, not the owner himself, is markedly hostile to women. Rita Land and Shirley Baker are the only two women employees in the plant. Rita, who does billing and bookkeeping, needs to go onto the plant floor to tally up parts and make sure items have been shipped. She has warned Shirley Baker not to even go onto the shop floor. Unless the owner is present, Rita is at risk of being harassed with rude or suggestive comments. Rita maintains a tough exterior, but she has had to pay over $5,000.00 for counseling and medication to overcome the depression and fear that her doctor says is caused by the harassment.
Problem 4. English Only?
Be sure to refer to the Garcia v. Spun Steak Company case.
The job ad that Discrimina created to encourage legal immigrants to apply for jobs was successful. Three new machine operators are immigrants from Mexico, all who speak some English as a second language to their Spanish. They all have Vo-Tech training and are considered excellent employees. They are Luis, Carlo, and Benito.
Luis, one of the new employees, is married to Juana, an immigrant from Guatemala, who is very good with numbers. She was hired part-time to assist Eunice with inventory control and clerical tasks. After she started, Juana complained that the other two Mexican men were calling her names. Eunice is normally the only supervisor around when the name calling takes place, and she does not speak Spanish. Juana has asked for an English only policy and Eunice thinks it might be illegal to do that.
Problem 5. Safety First
Discrimina, Inc. recently received a number of correction orders from OSHA. The local Fire Marshall has also warned them that the welding area does not comply with the fire codes. In particular, the stairwell is not up to OSHA or state fire codes. It is an open stairs in the office annex next to the shop. The owner contends that it is not a problem, since it is not even in the same building where welding occurs, but the inspectors all say it is not up to code. Both OSHA and the fire inspector want an entirely new enclosed stairway to be built. They also want a completely fireproof wall between the shop and the office annex. The CEO has heard negative things about OSHA and doubts he needs to follow their recommendations.
Draft a memo to the CEO explaining that OSHA compliance saves lives. Use examples from the OSHA website. http://www.osha.gov. Check out OSHA Saves Lives within the site to illustrate your point.
Problem 6. Health Care Plan
Frank Oldburr is the oldest employee at Discrimina, Inc. He is now 62 and has some health problems. The company-wide health plan has been discontinued, partly due to Frank’s health problems. The premium kept going up. Some of the employees who don’t like Frank have asked Discrimina to fire him and then reinstate the health plan.
Problem 7. Dollars for Waiting?
Jeffrey Swift has been a messenger used by a couple of the local businesses where the Discrimina, Inc. machine shop is located. Sometimes he has done some extra errands inside the Discrimina building for a couple of hours. For the last several weeks, he has helped package items for shipment on Thursdays. Things have gone well, but Jeffrey is concerned because sometimes he has waited over two hours in the waiting room while waiting for the packaging to begin. He wouldn’t mind but Discrimina pays only for packaging time, not for waiting time. He can never be certain when the parts will be ready for packaging because final quality checking time varies wildly.
Jeffrey has his own delivery business, but Discrimina has only paid him cash. Each time, Jeffrey has given the company a receipt for the cash. While he waits, he sometimes goes out for donuts for the crew. At other times, he plays games on his PDA or makes cell calls to friends.
If Jeffrey Swift sues for the waiting time hours, what is the likely result and why? Write your answer in a Word document in 1-2 pages.
Problem 8. Help Wanted!
Evaluate the Want Ads below in terms of employment law.
Help Wanted at Discrimina, Inc.
In recent weeks, Discrimina, Inc. has advertised for the following openings. Evaluate the notices from the standpoint of employment law:
Problem 9. Americans with Disability Act
Discrimina, Inc. has no policy regarding disabled employees. The only disabled employee has the title of “inventory parts man” and is in a wheel chair. His name is Bob Yates. Bob has to go back and forth from the shop floor to the office annex. He is unable to access his computer on the second floor of the office annex without having to interrupt another employee to push him up the steps. Bob has become upset about this and several times has asked management for an elevator or for his office to be moved. He says he feels he has been treated as a second class employee.
The EEOC has decided not to require the company to provide an elevator for Bob or to mover his office, because it would create too much of a hardship for the employer. Bob belongs to a religion that prohibits him from “going to court,” except in extreme situations, so realistically, Discrimina doesn’t have to do anything. Nevertheless, Eunice is thinking about helping Bob. What advice can give her to help make this determination? What are the pros and cons for this decision?
Problem 10. Is alcohol abuse a disability?
The employee handbook allows discharge of an employee for any Driving Under the Influence conviction, or for alcoholism, whether job related or not. This is because the owner’s sister was killed by a drunken driver.
Is Discrimina, Inc. in compliance with laws in regard to alcohol use? Explain and cite support for your answer.
Problem 11. Union organization of a small shop
About 6 months ago, Arnold, one of the machinists at Discrimina, Inc., and Rita in the office, posted union signs in the shop and tried to organize the employees into the new Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Machinists Union. Mr. Discrimina hollered and tore down the posters and said that he would burn down the place before he would allow a union to organize his shop.
What rights do Arnold and Rita have to unionize? What are acceptable responses from the employer?
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