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Legal Issues In Reduction Of Workforce Simulation Paper

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The rise of the dot com industry in the 21st century brought with it many challenges. Many companies dived into this industry and failed to set clear goals and objectives. Many of these companies did not last and had to layoff a multitude of employees in order to meet their financial bottom lines. It was said that the U.S. economy was in a recession period during this time. As the economy entered into this recession period, there was a huge increase in the numbers of complaints alleging different types of discrimination. Employees were unhappy with their state of work and the manners in which they were laid off. As one company made sweeping cuts in the hopes of saving money, others followed suit. This led to many lawsuits being filed by employees - some as individual cases and some as class actions. Employers had to find ways to limit these lawsuits or contend with the misery at hand.

FastServe Inc. is a $25M, 350-person company involved in the direct marketing of branded sports apparel. The company decided to open two online marketing and distribution channels in order to focus exclusively on America's Generation Y segment. Immediately after the implementation of these channels occurred, the company began to experience technology problems and chose to move out of the online business. This led to some major decision-making for the company's management team. The online division had to be downsized and FastServe could only retain a few employees and assign them new jobs, based on their performance and skill levels. Five employees have been identified out of which three needs to be released. Possible risks of discrimination claims exist against the company from the dismissed employees. The goal of this paper is to help identify which of these employees should be laid off, identify the key concepts of employment law that would affect each of the employees' employment status, and explain any extenuating regulatory circumstances that would affect the decision to terminate these people. The paper will also focus on ensuring that the decision to layoff the selected employees is aligned with the best interests of the organization. Balancing the legal risk of terminating individuals from a protected class against the business risk of losing valuable talent is essential and this paper will help determine that balance.

Candidates for Dismissal Key Concepts of Employment Law that would affect employment status Text Citation

Nora Manson The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was aimed at helping the integration of African Americans into the workforce mainstream. "Title VII prohibits discriminatory employment practices based on race or color that involve recruiting, hiring, and promotion of employees" (Reed et al, 2005). Manson is the only African American in the group being considered. Therefore, she might have a lawsuit based on the 1964 Act. If she's fired, she can claim that she was discriminated against, on the basis of race and color. Reed et al (2005), chapter 15.

Brian Carter The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) might affect Brian's employment status. Under this act, disability is defined as "any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities"The ADA prohibits employer discrimination against job applicants or employees based on (1) their having a disability, (2) their having had a disability in the past, or (3) their being regarded as having a disability" (Reed et al, 2005). Carter has a disability that is preventing him from fully conducting his job; therefore, this concept will be justified in his case. If fired, Carter can file a suit claiming discrimination for disability. Reed et al (2005), chapter 15.

Sarah Boyd The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids discrimination based on age. Employees over 40 are protected against discrimination based on age when they are as qualified as younger workers. The ADEA "prohibits employment discrimination against employees ages 40 and older, and it prohibits the mandatory retirement of these employees. Only bona fide executives and high policymakers of private companies can be forced into early retirement. The ADEA also invalidates retirement plans and labor contracts that violate the act" (Reed et al, 2005). This concept is well justified. In the scenario, Boyd's boss commented that Sarah would not fit in anywhere, simply because of her age. This might be termed a discriminating comment and Sarah could object to her dismissal on the basis of age discrimination. Reed et al (2005), chapter 15.

Jenny Mills "The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended the Civil Rights Act in 1978. Under it, employers can no longer discriminate against women workers who become pregnant or give birth. It also states that an employer cannot force a pregnant woman to stop working until her baby is born, provided she is still capable of performing her duties properly" (Reed et al). The concept selected in Mills' case is highly justified. Mill's performance and productivity has not been affected due to her pregnancy. Under this act, an employer is not allowed to force a pregnant woman to resign. This act will hold up in court for Mills. Reed et al (2005), chapter 15.

Carl Haimes Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has not been interpreted to prohibit discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation. The word sex in the Act is defined solely as whether someone is male or female. However, sexual harassment is defined as a common type of sexual discrimination in the workplace. A type of sexual harassment is the hostile work environment, "one in which coworkers make offensive sexual comments or propositions, engage in suggestive touching, show nude pictures, or draw sexual graffiti" (Reed et al, 2005). In the case of Haimes, this concept is justified because it indirectly deals with the problem Haimes is facing. Although the sexual discrimination does not cover his issue, Haimes can still find strength in the fact that the sexual harassment clause deals with his problem. Reed et al (2005), chapter 15.

The table above definitely identifies some key employment concepts and laws that would affect FastServe's decision to layoff some workers. For Jenny Mills, even though her frequent breaks bother her mail colleagues, they are necessary since she is pregnant. The HR department at FastServe will need to think carefully before terminating her. She is still in good enough condition to perform her regular duties and although her skills are non-critical, she does her job satisfactorily. Terminating Jenny could lead to a huge lawsuit for the company simply because she is pregnant. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will take a look at her



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