To:| John Stanton, Chief Executive Officer|
From:| Christine Van Winkle, Elementary Division Manager| CC:| |
Re:| Initial Response to Constructive Discharge Claim #1- 2013; Claimant AA23 | Comments:| Per your request to investigate and recommend Toy Company’s position regarding Claim #1-2013; this report was generated. The initial research has been finalized and recommendations determined. I will refer to the claim by its number #1-2013 and the claimant as AA23 to keep the confidentiality of the claimant. First this report will provide a summary of the claim and the history associated with it. Second it will discuss the definition of Constructive Discharge and its relevance to this claim. Third it will provide the specific areas under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Fourth it will offer recommendations and supporting legal references. Fifth it will recommend proactive steps to avoid future legal issues in relationship to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And finally any references used in this research will be provided. A. Definition of Constructive DischargeSummary of Claim and history:In January 1, 2013 a new policy was implemented to support exponential company growth. This policy impacted all production employees. The impacted employees were notified of the changes two months in advance of the January 2013 implementation to allow for assimilation and training on the new shifts schedules and there impacts. Production employee schedules were shifted from a Monday through Friday schedule, 8 hour shift to a Monday through Sunday schedule, 12 hour shift, four working days can occur any day of the week. This schedule requires all production employees to work on holy days regardless of religious affiliation as the production now runs seven days a week.Office staff members were not impacted by this policy change.AA23 quit on January 2, 2013 after new policy was in effect. There was no reason given in the resignation as to why AA23 was resigning or that it was related to having to work on holy days. AA23 filed a Claim #1-2013 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on February 3, 2013. Toy Company was notified via our legal department on March 10, 2013.Constructive discharge is when an employee resigns from their job because the employer makes conditions so bad or lets bad conditions continue; that a reasonable employee would also have resigned in the same conditions. If proven it is treated as an unlawful firing. There are rules that an employee must follow in order to make a claim of constrictive discharge. First they must provide written notification of the cause of their resignation. The employer than has 15 days to provide a written response to the allegations.This type of claim is very difficult to prove; especially in Washington state which is an “At Will” state. “At Will” means that the either the employee or the employer is free to sever a working relationship for any reason; as long as the separation was not due to discrimination. Or there was a contract in place that overrides the “At Will” mandate. There are two main considerations when working with a constructive discharge claim. The first is regarding whether other production employees felt compelled to resign. The second is whether Toy Company’s intent was to force AA23’s resignation with the new production work schedule (Finnegan, 2013). The following assumptions are being made at this time: 1) there haven’t been any other resignations reported that are related to this issue. 2) The documented intent of the schedule change was created to address increased demand not to create religious discrimination. 3) The claimant filed the claim with EEOC. 4) The claimant didn’t follow the company procedures to report and resolve issues. B. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (relevant areas)Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was created...