Mr. Day O Mayo, Chief Executive Officer
Terrance Bulger, Elementary Division Manager
Response to Pending Legal Action from Former Employee
This communication is being sent regarding Mr. James Gaut, a former production employee of Company G. A formal complaint has come into my office, and it is my intent to succinctly make senior management and EEOC aware of our involvement in this incident along with our intent in resolving this matter. Brief background regarding Mr Gaut’s time at our firm reflects at the time he was hired our firm’s production team had a schedule the same as the office staff, Monday thru Friday. My promotion to assistant manager of the Elementary division created the vacancy on the production team for which he was selected. James was a consistent worker, who produced acceptable work. Though he was a willing, and wonderful worker he was very private about personal matters, understandably. At the beginning of the year, when we implemented the work schedule change to keep up with company growth, Mr. Gaut quit. The structure of the schedule change was from Monday thru Friday to a 12 hour rotating shift of 4 days on and 4 days off. This amounted to some working days coinciding with the employee’s religious holy day. Constructive discharge is a legal term meaning that one actually quit his job, but meeting certain conditions such as an employer violating discrimination or harassment; laws triggers the legal system to deem the termination as without good cause. A voluntary quit greatly reduces the strength of one’s legal rights. There are several reasons that constructive discharge would not apply to Mr. Gaut’s termination of employment. No evidence or documentation of his grievances being filed up the chain of command, even at the lowest level beginning with his immediate supervision. We found no verbal or written feedback from Mr. Gaut that suggested his working environment was intolerable or attributed to the schedule change; furthermore, he never requested accommodations to facilitate his observance of his religious customs, service or ceremony. Contracting a third party company to investigate, random, formal inquiries were conducted. Additionally, IT was required to retrieve all company email inboxes. Considering the above points, from a legal aspect, Mr. Gaut’s claim of constructive discharge is implausible. Granted, a significant change to the work schedule did occur; however, this was to accommodate efficiency in the increased growth of Company G, not to compel Mr. Gaut to quit. The working conditions were not intolerable; the evidence of that is that no grievances, let alone, resignations came from any production employees, except the abrupt resignation of Mr. Gaut. A second component of Mr. Gaut’s claim includes an allegation by him of a religious discrimination violation. The former employee is alleging that the required shift change would disallow his observance of religious holy days when before the Monday thru Friday schedule for production employees did not conflict with such. The infraction, legally, would be a Title VII issue. Title VII is a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination in nearly all employment circumstances on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy or national origin. Title VII is relevant in hiring practices, promotion opportunities, transfers, and any other employment related benefit or condition. It is my recommendation that we litigate the charge filed against Company G by James. Gaut. The plaintiff has the burden of proving constructive discharge. Reasonable accommodations were not sought by Mr. Gaut for religious observance. Thirdly, a reasonable person would not have found the change in working schedule from banker’s hours to shift work as an intolerable working environment. Fourthly, the change was due to the increase in business, not a strategy of insensitivity to religious...
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