Employment Legal Analysis

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Employment Legal Analysis

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Employment Legal Analysis

To: Mark Flannery, CEO

From: John Russell, Division Manager, Toddler Toys Division

Subject: Response to the filing of employment discharge case

Date: November 15, 2012

Dear Sir,

One of our employees who had left the job voluntarily has filed a lawsuit against us claiming discrimination under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 and claiming a constructive discharge of the employee. Here, it is expedient to mention that a constructive discharge occurs when an employer makes the working conditions such intolerable for the employee that they have no other reason, but to quit. The employee claims that the new work schedule policy and its implementation in the company created intolerable conditions for the employee to quit forcefully.

Here, it must be mentioned that the new work schedule policy had changed the previous work schedule of the factory radically. Previously, the toy factory operated only Monday through Friday 0800a.m. to 0500 pm, just like the office hours of the office staff. However, with the realization of considerable growth in the organization, it was found that more work was required, and accordingly more hiring was also done. The number of employees was doubled, and the work schedule was moved to a shift-based system. This required all factory workers to work in four 12-hour shifts each week with four subsequent days off. However, it was clear that such a work schedule spanning 8 days meant that there was work to be done in the factory on each day of the week. Then, while a quarter of the employees worked in any 12 hour shift, the factory operated 24x7.

As a result, many employees were complaining about harsh working conditions and the very hectic work schedule at the toy factory. Likewise, this employee and other workers of the factory decided to quit. Here, it must be noted that the factory workers claim of discrimination in employment with respect to the office staff that still works from Monday through Friday, 0800 am to 0500 pm. Furthermore, the employee also claims that it is illegal and contrary to the public policy to call him and other employees to come to work on a religious holiday, like Sabbatical or Sunday.

The nature of the claim of constructive discharge is that the conditions of work must have been intolerable for employees to bear. Furthermore, it also assumes that the employee will not be able to work under such conditions and will quickly quit the job, the way this employee did. However, the courts have not been very favorable to the employees in these matters. Mostly, the courts will evaluate the situation critically to understand whether the employment condition had been made intolerable for all employees to work. Here, they will also consider precedence, general public policy, and the norms of work in the society. Then, it is not easy for any employee to win a lawsuit with respect to constructive discharge if it has not occurred.

However, it must also be noted that once the constructive discharge has been proven ...
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