Fact Pattern 1
I would not uphold discharge against the grievant because of just cause, especially given the following circumstances: a. the grievant is a senior engineer employee who has been working for 11 years; b. his discipline history is clear; c. there is no evidence that the previous manager of the grievant had a problem with him wearing an untucked uniform shirt and a woven skullcap due to his adherence Muslim faith and; d. the grievant even presented a pamphlet to the new manager, entitled “An Employer’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” wherein it is stated that such attire was a religious requirement for Muslim religion; in this case, the refusal of accommodation by the manager can be seen as a disparate treatment.
On the other hand, it is evident that the manager respected the concept of progressive disciple. In fact, he even gave an oral warning to the grievant, followed by a written warning through issuing a memo to him. After receipt of the memo, the grievant received two written warnings and a five-day suspension for insubordination. After which, termination was effected for failing to follow a direct order from the manager. However, instead of following the principles progressive discipline resulting to the termination of the grievant, the manager must have modified such unacceptable behavior by accommodating him. It is important to note that religion is a protected class—the manager must have fixed the problem by respecting the personal religious beliefs of the grievant especially given that he worked for 11 years wearing that very same attire without causing any problem.
The grievant is an engineer who has worked in a hospital for over 11 years. The religious attire of the grievant has never interfered on the hospital’s business operations, especially considering the fact that he was not seen in public areas. As stated in the union’s argument based from Title VII, the manager must be able to equitably respect an employee’s religious beliefs or practices, unless it can affect the employer’s business. In this case, I believe that the employer should be able to permit the employees to freely practice their religious beliefs by modifying existing workplace policies.
Fact Pattern 2
Tangible adverse employment actions occur when there is a significant change in employment status, or a decision is made causing significant changes in benefits. There are identifiable weaknesses in Patricia’s allegations (wherein she has stated that she has suffered from tangible adverse employment actions) as evidenced in the following designated areas:
1. She rejected Charles’ first request and then left for unpaid vacation in Santo Domingo. Charles called Patricia to come back before the scheduled unpaid vacation to work earlier, or else she would lose her job. In this case, having Patricia coming back earlier for work would not result to changes on her status or benefits, because of the fact that she was having unpaid vacation. When she came back, Charles handed a note to Patricia, stating that if she had sex with him, he would simply punch her card as if she were working full-time. There was no tangible sexual harassment in this situation, because Patricia did not report to the General Manager about this note, and as well as what actually happened between her and Charles.
2. Patricia had her hours reduced due to a misunderstanding between her and Charles concerning the muffin promotion, and had to reduce her schedule when he discovered that the muffin promotion was actually scheduled for the following week. This allegation has a weakness, because the adjustments that her supervisor had to make were based from a very reasonable purpose.
3. Under the Costco policy, a disciplinary notice is not valid without the signature of the General Manager. Take note that Charles is a department manager, and his “write-up” of a disciplinary notice to Patricia for being five minutes late from a break didn’t have the signature of the General Manager. In addition, Charles never placed the disciplinary notice in Patricia’s personnel file. Consequently, the disciplinary notice didn’t have any value, and would not result to consequences for Patricia.
Fact Pattern 3
1. Jimmy requested six-week family leave in line with the expected date of birth of his first child. According to the FMLA leave, an employee can take a leave for the birth of a son or daughter and to care for the newborn child up to 12 weeks (depending if ABC Corp. had a specific policy on the number of allowed weeks). For this reason, Jimmy Johnson is eligible for FMLA leave, given that he has already worked as a sales representative for the past fifteen years for ABC Corp. It is also a fact that he has already received many commendations in attendance, and hasn’t missed any day of work the previous 12 months.
2. I believe that Jimmy can commence his FMLA leave upon notification because the baby is born four weeks premature; in addition, Jimmy informed his supervisor by leaving a message on voicemail about the birth, stating that he would begin his granted leave that day.
3. An eligible employee can take an FMLA leave under the following circumstances:
- The birth of a son or daughter, and to care for the newborn child
- For the placement, with the employee, of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care
- Caring for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent who has a serious health condition
- The presence of a serious health condition which makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of his or her job