Assignment Instructions(AROUND HALF PAGE)
The United States is in a period of major transition from an economy where mass production manufacturing industries constituted the core to a one in which industries based on information and knowledge form the core. In addition to the shift from mass production to knowledge-based enterprises, both the workforce and consumer population has also changed significantly. These changes have stimulated changes in employment laws and regulations as well as in management and human resource policies and practices.
Muhl, C.J. The Employment-at-will Doctrine: Three Major Exceptions.
Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination
K. Reardon, “The Memo Every Woman Keeps in Her Desk. – The case study concerns a woman who believes that she and other women are being discriminated against in her company.
If Liz Ames at Vision Software sends the memo she has written to her boss and is subsequently terminated would any of the exceptions to the “employment at will” doctrine apply to her case? Would she be protected under any federal law? Explain your reasoning.
Josie Zaroft, a 56 year-old senior software engineer at FutureApp, has informed the human resource department that in advance of scheduled gender reassignment surgery, she would like the staff to refer to her using only female pronouns. The head of HR, Susan, once dated Josie when she was known as Joe, a biological male. Susan calls Josie in for a performance review and states that Josie will not receive a previously-promised promotion because her transition will make it difficult to manage the team of older male tech workers who just wont understand this she-male fad. Susan further states that Josie must be crazy and is too old to be performing drag in the office. Has Josie suffered from any discriminatory practice under federal law? Identify which federal laws prohibiting job discrimination might apply, and explain why.
THEN REPLY TO THIS PERSON’S RESPOND (3-4 SENTENCES)
1. Firstly, the employment at will doctrine states that if an employee doesnt have a written employment contract and the term of employment is indefinite, the employer can terminate the employee for a good cause, bad cause, or no cause whatsoever. However, there are some exceptions to this doctrine. The public policy exception states that an employee has been wrongfully discharged when the termination is against an explicit, well-established public policy of the State. Next, the implied contract exception is applied when an implied contract is formed between an employer and employee, even though no express, written instrument regarding the employment relationship exists. Lastly, theres the covenant of good faith exception which means either that employer personnel decisions are subject to a just cause standard or that terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice are prohibited. When looking at Liz Ames termination I believe that the public policy exception applies to her situation. It is now become commonplace to give women equal opportunity in the workplace and to respect them as equals. Her termination was clearly based on Clarks naiveness and unwillingness to accept the fact that theres discrimination in his company. By simply deciding to lay her off he is going against this policy or norm. Not only this but under the policies of Title VII, Liz is protected against discrimination or harassment based on her sex, something she had to endure while at Vision Software. And now it is only exasperated by Clarks retaliation to her complaint.
2. I feel that Josie is definitely suffering from discriminatory practice. Title VII can be applied here because Josie is being discriminated against on the basis of her sex. Just because someone doesnt identify with their biological gender, it doesnt mean that they are any less capable of completing the tasks at hand. And the older tech workers may not understand this sex change, but this is no reason to belittle Josie and take away an already promised promotion. Additionally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act can be applied here. There is no set age for when someone can or cant perform drag. This is completely opinionated and wrong. Josie may be older but she should not be made to feel as though she is less than or that she cant have her own autonomy in the workplace.
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