INTEROFFICE MEMO To: Joe Nackashi, CEO From: Dan Burnett, Manager Date: 10/8/2011 ————————————————- Subject: EEOC constructive discharge claim by former employee ————————————————- BACKGROUND: This memo is to update you on my findings and recommendations relative to the recent EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) case, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against our company by a former employee. In this case, the former employee is claiming “constructive discharge” for religious discrimination.His claim of religious discrimination stems from the new production schedule that was implemented at the beginning of this year to support our company’s growth. The new production schedule requires him to periodically work on Sundays, which he considers a holy day and actively observes. * Prior production schedule: 1. Monday through Friday 2.

8-hour shifts * Current production schedule: 1. Monday through Sunday 2. 12-hour shifts 3. Rotating 4 days on, 4 days off LEGAL FINDINGS: * Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: 1.

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Prohibits discrimination for race, color, religion, sex, or national origin for companies with 15 or more employees working on a given day (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) . Since our company has more than 15 employees, we are legally required to abide by Title VII. 2. Defines constructive discharge as meaning an employer’s discriminatory practices made working conditions so intolerable that any reasonable person would have resigned (EEOC, Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices). 3.An employer is required by law to provide an employee religious accommodations once the employee request it, assuming it does not place an unreasonable hardship on the employer (EEOC, Religious Discrimination) .

EMPLOYEE FINDINGS 1. The former employee was a long term, valued, well liked, employee with a stellar performance reviews and employment record. 2. The resignation occurred after the new 7-day work schedule policy went into effect at the beginning of this year. 3. We can find no record of written or verbal communications between the former employee and any level of management and/or HR where the former employee: a.Made management and/or HR aware that he considers the new policy to be religiously discriminatory because it will require him to periodically work on Sundays, which he considers a holy day and actively observes.

b. Requested management and/or HR to provide accommodations so that that his work schedule never include Sundays. RECOMMENDATIONS: * Former employee’s claim of constructive discharge: Based on the employee findings relative to the Title VII requirements to claim constructive discharge for religious discrimination, there is no evidence to support the former employee’s claim.

Therefore his resignation was voluntarily. My recommendation is for our company to file for immediate dismissal of the former employee’s case based on the following: 1. Our company cannot respond to, much less correct something it is not aware of. Prior to resigning, the former employee did not make management and/or HR aware that he viewed the new policy as religious discrimination nor did he ever request any accommodations (EEOC, Religious Discrimination) .

2. As a result of #1, our company was never given the opportunity to resolve the issue prior to the former employee resigning.In general to claim constructive discharge, an employer must be given reasonable time to resolve the issue (Kilgore v. Thompson & Brock Management Inc, 1996) .

3. For an employee to claim constructive discharge, a company must be specifically targeting that employee to resign (Lee v. state board, 1995) . This was not the case. The former employee was a valued employee, our company is growing and needs our employees, and the new production schedule applied equally to all production employees. To help avoid Title VII legal issues in the future: At a minimum, we need to review our existing corporate wide diversity program to ensure it includes the following: 1.

Active and visible commitment for valuing diversity across the corporation from executive management (Gomez-Mejla, Balkin, & Cardy, 2010) . This should include such items as frequent companywide communications and workshop participation from executive management explaining and supporting the need for and value of our company’s diversity program. . Develop corporate wide diversity guidelines, utilizing a cross section of employees as well as external SME’s (subject matter experts). Publish guidelines such that they are readily accessible by all employees (intranet, employee handbook, etc).

Consider having each employee sign that they have read, understand, and agree to abide by the guidelines. 3. Annually, managers/supervisors need to be reviewed and rewarded for following corporate diversity guidelines (Gomez-Mejla, Balkin, & Cardy, 2010) .

This should include such items as managers/supervisors annual performance objectives including specific objectives that visibly and actively support our company’s diversity program. 4. Annually, all employees should attend a corporate diversity training/awareness workshop (Gomez-Mejla, Balkin, & Cardy, 2010) . The workshops could include external SME’s such as attorneys specialize in discrimination cases and EEOC representatives that can share real world examples that demonstrate both the benefits of a diversity program as well as the potential consequences of not having one. . Establish support groups to assist employees who feel alienated (Gomez-Mejla, Balkin, & Cardy, 2010) . We already have a diverse set of employees.

As our company continues to grow so will the diversity of our employees. Whether it’s real or perceived, we need to provide employees a safe place they can go to help air any concern before it escalates into something more serious. 6. Provide reasonable accommodations for typical family needs, such as day care and flexible work schedules (Gomez-Mejla, Balkin, & Cardy, 2010) .Our current and future employees will have diverse needs that will change over time.

It’s in our company’s best interest to reasonably support the external needs of our employees so they feel included and can be successful at the job they do for our company. 7. Establish mentoring programs to assist fellow employees in their continuing corporate development (Gomez-Mejla, Balkin, & Cardy, 2010) . Finding, retaining, and maximizing the potential of our employees is just good business.Mentoring will help ensure each employee is able to maximize his/her personal and corporate potential. We should consider adding mentoring to our annual performance objectives. References Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC.

(n. d. ). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Retrieved Oct 8, 2011, from www. eeoc. gov: http://www. eeoc. gov/laws/statutes/titlevii. cfm EEOC. (n.

d. ). ProhibitedEmployment Policies/Practices. Retrieved Oct 8, 2011, from www. eeoc. gov: http://www. eeoc.

gov/laws/practices/index. cfm EEOC. (n. d. ).Religious Discrimination.

Retrieved October 8, 2011, from www. eeoc. gov: www. eeoc. gov/laws/types/religion.

cfm Gomez-Mejla, L. , Balkin, D. , & Cardy, R.

(2010). Managing Human Resources, Sixth Edition. In L. Gomez-Mejla, D. Balkin, & R. Cardy, Managing Human Resources, Sixth Edition (pp. 143-146).

Prentice Hall. Kilgore v. Thompson & Brock Management Inc, 93 F. 3d 752 (United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit October 3, 1996). Lee v.

state board, 62 F. 3d 1415 (United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit Aug 4, 1995).

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