Elysa Yanowitz joined L’Oreal’s predecessor in 1981. She was promoted from sales representative to regional sales manager for Northern California and the Pacific Northwest in 1986.
In the fall of 1997, Jack Wiswall, Yanowitz’s superior, ordered Yanowitz to have a female sales associate at Macy’s West store in her region fired. As justification, Wiswall explained that the associate “was not good looking enough.” The associate had dark skin; Wiswall preferred fair-skinned blondes. Wiswall told Yanowitz, “Get me somebody hot,” or words to that effect. Yanowitz did not carry out Wiswall’s order. When Wiswall asked her whether the associate had been dismissed on subsequent occasions, Yanowitz requested adequate justification for firing her. Yanowitz did not complain to Human Resources, nor did she tell Wiswall that his order was discriminatory.
Question: Does the pressure placed on a regional sales manager by her general manager to hire a sales associate who was attractive constitute sex discrimination? Explain.
In late October 1991, Oncale was working for respondent Sundowner Offshore Services on a Chevron U.S.A., Inc. oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. He was employed as a roustabout on an eight-man crew, which included John Lyons, Danny Pippen, and Brandon Johnson. Lyons, the crane operator, and Pippen, the driller, had supervisory authority. On several occasions, Oncale was forcibly subjected to sex-related, humiliating actions against him by Lyons, Pippen, and Johnson in the presence of the rest of the crew. Pippen and Lyons also physically assaulted Oncale in a sexual manner, and Lyons threatened him with rape.
Question: Does a victim of same-sex sexual harassment have a viable claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? Explain.
Dwayne Kelley began working for Crosfield as a laboratory technician on August 1, 1992. This position required Kelley to work 12-hour shifts for four consecutive days followed by three consecutive “off” days. Kelley was scheduled to begin a four-day work rotation on October 22, 1993, when he unexpectedly received a phone call from his mother. His mother informed him that the Brooklyn Bureau of Child Welfare was preparing to take custody of Shaneequa Forbes, an 11-year-old girl. Shaneequa was born into the marriage of Barbara and Michael Forbes, but Kelley had reason to believe that he might be the girl’s biological father.
Kelley told his supervisors at Crosfield that Shaneequa was his daughter. Kelley missed four scheduled workdays while attending to this matter in New York. On his first day back at work, October 29, Crosfield terminated Kelley’s employment. Kelley alleged that his termination violated the FMLA because he took leave from work in order to “obtain custody of my kids.”
Question: Is seeking custody of one’s own children covered by the FMLA? Explain.
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