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Hr Task 1

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Human Resources

Task I

Western Governors University

May 19, 2014


A. Constructive discharge as a legal concept is relative to this specific scenario in the aspect of the previous employee quitting because of a perceived evidence of difficult or hostile work environment. A specific event or chain of events, that do not have to be related, can lead to this evidence and elective discharge. In this specific case, a mandated change in scheduling causing an overlap with a religious holy day is the issue at hand.

B. A protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that is relevant to the scenario would be religious class. “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (SEC. 2000e-2, 2014).

C. The company should respond to the employee’s charge of constructive discharge by first acknowledging the formal charge and then contact their legal team to start building a case to fight the charge.

1. Discuss how three chosen legal references support your recommendation.

a. “Employee must show that the intolerable working condition with the intent of forcing the resignation was deliberate” (Dempsey, & Petsche, 2006). As stated in the scenario the entire production staff was mandated to this new schedule at the beginning of the year. There is no proof of discrimination of race, color, religion, sex or national origin because entire production staff was changed to four 12-hour shifts on a rotating schedule.


b. “Prima facie evidences in cases of religious discrimination usually include, first, the plaintiff had a genuine religious belief that conflicted with duties; second, the plaintiff informed the employer of the beliefs; and third, the employer subjected the plaintiff to discriminatory treatment (Gregory Lawson v. State of Washington, 2002). It was not stated in the scenario that the previous employee did or did not verbally or in writing ask the employer for the time off to attend this religious event. It cannot be proven either that the employer purposely subjected this employee to a certain rotating schedule that would prevent him/her from participating in the stated religious day.

c. “An employer can claim undue hardship when asked to accommodate an applicants or employee's religious practices if allowing such practices requires more than ordinary administrative costs, diminishes efficiency in other jobs, infringes on other employees' job rights or benefits, impairs workplace safety, causes co-workers to carry the accommodated employee's share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work, or if the proposed accommodation conflicts with another law or regulation” (Facts about Religious Discrimination, 2010). This proves that the mandated schedule change is in fact only to accommodate appropriate company growth and thus preventing financial loss for the employer.

D. Discuss steps the company can take to avoid future legal issues related to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include:


a. Schedule meeting to discuss big changes with all employees to address strong objections and make necessary adjustments at that time. Also allow employees to be part of decision-making process if possible.

b. Consider implementation of schedule changes on all employees to include office staff so there is no perceived bias between office and production staff.

c. During interview process discuss that the job will likely include working on such religious holy days, ask if they will be able to work these days without problem and then document.

d. Set up an appropriate process for substitutions or swaps between staff to allow for flexible scheduling that doesn’t effect company financially or burden other co-workers.

e. If it is necessary for company to acquire applicant race information to track applicant flow or for affirmative action purposes have company use a separate form from actual application during hiring process. This allows separation of the information, safeguarding that the information is not used in the selection process.



Dempsey, G., & Petsche, J. (2006). Library Law: Constructive Discharge. Retrieved from

Facts about Religious Discrimination. (2010, April 1). Findlaw. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from

Gregory Lawson v. State of Washington, DJDAR 7791 (9th Circuit, 2002)

Gomez-Mejia, L., Balkin, D., & Cardy, R. (2009). Managing human resources (6th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education. ISBN: 978-0-13-609352-7

Muller, M. (2009). The manager's guide to HR: Hiring, firing, performance evaluations, documentation, benefits, and everything else you need to know. New York: AMACOM. ISBN: 9780814410769

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, SEC. 2000e-2. [Section 703]. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2014, from

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