Employer Discrimination Legal Statutes Case Study

Instructions

Read the case studies. What legal statute(s) apply in this case? What issue(s) must the court decide in this case? If you were the judge, how would you rule? Did the employer discriminate unlawfully? Why or why not?

(i) Edward Roberts, a black truck driver, applied in person for a tractor trailer truck driver position at a trucking company on March 31, 1998, in response to a newspaper ad. Roberts’ application listed 22 months of prior experience as a road driver. He had an additional 10 years of experience which he did not list on the application due to lack of space of his application. In June 2005, Roberts saw an identical advertisement for tractor trailer truck drivers. Upon inquiry, Roberts learned that eight persons (all white) had been hired as truck drivers between April and June 2005. All of the hires had less than 22 months of driving experience. The company contended that Roberts was not hired because no opening existed when he applied. Roberts filed a discrimination complaint in District Court.

(ii) Elnora Williams, a black female teacher with 10 years of classroom experience and partial completion of her doctoral degree in education, applied for several vacant middle and secondary principalship in the Knox County school system. Each time she applied, she was told by the superintendent that “the school district believed that a “male image” is necessary for a middle or secondary school principal”. No females had occupied a principal position in the school district. Williams subsequently filed a lawsuit in District Court accusing the school of discrimination.

(iii) Frank Poole had been teaching hearing-impaired students in the Jackson County schools for six years when he was hospitalized with pneumonia and subsequently, was diagnosed as having AIDS. Despite the county medical director’s report that Poole’s condition did not place his students or others in the school at any risk, the Department of Education reassigned Poole to an administrative position and barred him from teaching in the classroom. Poole filed suit, alleging that the Department discriminated against him on the basis of his disability (AIDS).

(iv) Lia Lee, a Laotian-American, worked for Federal and State Bank for over three years as teller. She had always received outstanding performance reviews from her supervisors. Consequently, when a position became available at the customer service desk that handled customer inquiries and problems. Lia applied for the position. She did not get the promotion. The bank argued that she was not promoted because she did not have good enough English skills to calm irate customers. Lia Lee filed a lawsuit alleging that Federal and State Bank had overlooked her for a promotion because of her accent.

(v) Harriet Klondike, Cyndy Patton, Helen Waters and Margaret Double were employed as matrons at the Mailton County Jail. The county also employed male corrections officers and deputy sheriffs. The matrons guarded female inmates and spent majority of their time on clerical duties while the corrections officers and deputy sheriffs spent the majority of their time guarding male inmates. The salary of matrons ranged from $701 to $940 per month while the salaries for the male guard ranged from $877 to $1,116 per month. The four matrons filed suit and alleged that they were paid lower salaries for work that was basically the same and that the pay differential was attributable to intentional discrimination.

 
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