The Toy Company | To: | CEO | From: | [Your name] | CC: | HR Member | Date: | 5/15/2013 | Re: | Response to Employee’s Claim | Comments: | In reference to the employee’s claim, I appreciate the vote of confidence instilled in me by allowing me to do the research on the case. It gave me the opportunity to familiarize myself with the situation, refresh on the laws, understand our current policies and in addition, it gave me the opportunity to think about strategies to mitigate this type of risk in the future. Below are my findings. |
A. Constructive Discharge
I was advised the employee resigned due to the company’s new policy on shift work. All of the production staff would be required to work 4 days in a row,10 hours per day anytime between Monday and Sunday creating a clear distinction between the office staff’s schedule which runs Monday thru Friday 8-5pm. The employee filed a claim against The Toy Company as the new policy allegedly discriminates against his religious beliefs by requiring him to work on Holy Days. The employee filed the claim under section 703 (a)(1) of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claiming constructive discharge. The allegation states that The Toy Company made the work conditions so unbearable due to religious discrimination; he had no choice but to quit his current job. While employees who quit usually rescind unemployment benefits and the right to sue The Toy Company later on, constructive discharge is the exception to the rule. However, the employee must prove that the working conditions were so unbearable, that a reasonable person would feel the urge to resign as well due to discrimination or because the company policy was outside the norm of any other public policy addressing the same situation. (Finnegan, Spring 1986)
When litigating a case of this type, courts have developed two different types of tests to help determine when an employee has been constructively discharged. The courts look at
References: Cromwell, J. B. (1997). Cultural Discrimination: The Reasonable Accommodation of Religion in the Workplace. Employee Responsibility and Rights, 10(2), 155-172. Finnegan, S. (Spring 1986). Constructive Discharge Under Title VII and the ADEA. The University of Chicago Law Review, 53(2), 561. Gomez-Mejia, L., Balkin, D. B., & Cardy, R. L. (2010). Managing Human Resources (6th ed.) (E. Svendsen, Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. (Original work published 1999) Religious Discrimination. (2013). Retrieved from US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Web site: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/religion.cfm Yelnosky, Michael J.(1999) Title VII, Mediation, and Collective Action. University of Illinois Law Review, p. 583, 1999.