USA Toy Company
Elementary Division Manager
Companies Response to an Ex-Employee’s Claim of Constructive Discharge and the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Law How is Constructive Discharge Relevant to this Situation?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex . This law provides legal recourse for employees to seek Constructive Discharge for discrimination of their legal rights if they believe a change to a policy or procedure has violated their rights (Shaker, n.d.). The law specific to religious beliefs applies to this situation that has occurred within the company. On November 1, 2011, the Human Resource (HR) Department provided training to the each of the division managers regarding a change to the employee work shift schedule to begin on January 1, 2012. This change was a direct result of the company’s increase in growth and production demand. Following the meeting, each division manager scheduled a date and time that week for their employees to receive comparable training from the HR Department. The HR personnel also relayed to the employees that the change in work shift schedule was a necessary response to the company’s increase in growth and production demand. Employees were given the same opportunity as the division managers to ask questions, receive feedback, and allow the employee time to approach their department manager with any concerns as noted in company policy and procedure. Following the meetings, both employees and division managers signed an acknowledgement of the training which was then placed in their personnel file. The first of this week I was notified by the HR Department that a former employee who resigned on, January 23, 2012, has filed a claim against our company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 alleging constructive discharge. The former employee contends that the new shift in work schedule discriminated against their ability to attend religious holy day services. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act specifically forbids the discrimination to employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (Shaker, n.d.). The Company CEO has requested that I do some initial research regarding how our company should respond to the former employee’s claim to help keep legal costs down. Per the Anti-Discrimination League’s Religious Freedom Research Publication “Religion in the American workplace is among the most contentious and difficult areas for employees and employers to navigate” Wagner (n.d.) notes that “There have been more issues addressing discrimination on the basis of one’s race or ethnic background which may be associated with religion.” This will be an area to most likely to see an increase of activity within the upcoming years (Religious Diversity Accommodation, n.d., para. 1). Consequently, the risks to getting it wrong versus the rewards to getting it right are very powerful motivators for businesses to pay careful attention to Henceforth we must begin by examining the former employee claims to constructive discharge. By its very definition, claims of constructive discharge occur when the employer fails to accommodate an employee’s request. This then may result in the employee’s belief that they are forced to quit their job (Shaker, n.d.). However, keep in mind that the intent of the law requires employers to find reasonable accommodations for their employees. Hence, the company should make every effort to accommodate the religious practices and beliefs of our employees unless in doing so would present an “undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business” Obviously it is in a company’s best interest to try to accommodate the needs of their employees. To review the activities leading up to the claim of...
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