TO: John Smith, CEO
FROM: Jon Doe
DATE: May 6, 2014
SUBJECT: Recommended Response to Constructive Discharge Claim
Constructive discharge is defined as the action made by the former employee to terminate his or her relationship with the company based on the existence of a hostile environment. In order to justify a claim of constructive discharge, it is common for the former employee to prove that he or her was subject to sexually harassment or discrimination based on sex, religion, age, or national origin. In this case, the former employee is making a claim that discrimination occurred based on religion, due to the enforcement of the new production schedule. The new production schedule required all employees to work on alternating weekends, which includes holy days of the former employee’s religion. The existence of a hostile work environment is based on the pretext that a “reasonable” person would find the work environment to be hostile. This means that the company made working conditions so unbearable that the employee was forced to quit.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The former employee has filed a claim against the company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees from discrimination by the company on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. These groups are known as protected classes, which are groups of people who suffered discrimination in the past and protected by the judicial system from discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of his or her protected class is known as disparate treatment.
The former employee’s claim of discrimination is based on religion. Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of religion, which includes all aspects of religious observance and practice. Title VII also states that employers must reasonably accommodate to an employee’s religious observance or practice, as long as doing so does not cause an undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business. Company Response
It is recommended that the company’s human resource department, under the guidance of the Equal Employment (EEOC) conduct an investigation, which would include interviews of coworkers, supervisors, managers, and the former employee. In discrimination cases, the organization is responsible for gathering information in order to defend itself.
In the case at hand, I would recommend that the company motion for a summary judgment because the former employee did not make any efforts to contact management about the situation, did not submit any request for paid-time-off or unpaid leave for religious purposes, nor did the former employee file any complaints with human resources that a hostile environment existed, which caused the resignation. The former employee made no efforts to work with management to accommodate time-off for religious purposes.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if the employee can show that 1) he or she had a bona fide religious belief that conflicts with an employment requirement; 2) he or she informed his or her employer of this belief; and 3) he or she was fired for failure to comply with the conflicting employment requirement, then the burden of proof is placed on the employer.
The burden of proof being placed on the employer was established in the Griggs v. Duke Power decision in 1971. Then a 1989 Supreme Court case, Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Antonio, had the effect of placing more of