Ceo, Toy Company, Inc. Re: Employee Constructive Discharge

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“Discriminatory practices under the laws EEOC enforces also include constructive discharge or forcing an employee to resign by making the work environment so intolerable a reasonable person would not be able to stay” (EEOC.gov). In this situation, we changed the work schedule for all production employees, and failed to take precautions as they relate to the individual needs of the employees. By not considering that the new schedule would prohibit the employee from keeping their religious obligations, we may have constructively discharged them. The employee filing the claim has religious obligations that were previously not an issue under the old schedule but became one under the new schedule. Religious affiliation is a protected class according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, if we constructively discharged them, they would have a valid EEOC complaint. Protected classes other than religion, such as race, color, sex and national origin should also be considered when making a broad change such as scheduling. There are a few issues to consider before moving forward on this case. First, “The employee has the duty to inform his employer of his religious needs so that the employer has notice of the conflict” (Redmond v. GAF, 1978). Then, “If the duty does arise, the statute requires the employer to resolve the conflict if it can do so without undue hardship” (Ansonia Bd. of Ed. v. Philbrook, 1986). We can also clearly see in Chrysler Corp v. Mann that the duty exists on both sides to not only accommodate but also notify. Since the employee made no effort to communicate their needs to management, no duty exists to accommodate. Therefore, the resignation was at will and not our responsibility. Before instituting such a change, we should have considered the ramifications it would have on protected classes and made arrangements to accommodate them while being fair to the remaining employees. I suggest a thorough review of the recommendations from...
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