Module 4: Employment Law
Sylvia Hayes worked as a staff technician in the radiology department of Shelby Memorial Hospital. On October 1, Hayes was told by her doctor that she was pregnant. When Hayes informed her doctor that she worked as an X-ray technician, the doctor advised Hayes that she could continue working until the end of April, so long as she followed standard safety precautions. On October 8th, Hayes informed her supervisor at the hospital that she was 2 months pregnant. On October 14th, Hayes was discharged by the hospital. The hospitals reason for terminating Hayes was concern for the safety of her fetus, given the X-ray exposure that occurs during employment as an X-ray technician. Hayes filed a lawsuit under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, claiming that her termination was unlawfully based on her pregnancy. She cited scientific evidence and the practice of other hospitals where pregnant women were allowed to remain in their jobs as X-ray technicians during pregnancy. The hospital claimed the Hayes termination was a business necessity because Shelby Memorial Hospital would be exposed to future liability if Hayes fetus was damaged by radiation encountered at the workplace.
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act: (i) an employee cannot be fired, demoted, or denied a promotion because that employee is or may become pregnant; and (ii) if an employee is temporarily unable to perform the functions of her job due to her pregnancy-related condition, an employer must treat that employee in the same manner as any other temporarily disabled employee, by providing modified tasks, alternative assignments, disability leave, or leave without pay.
Did Shelby Memorial Hospital violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in terminating Sylvia Hayes?
Please apply the IRAC method of legal reasoning (state the Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion) to decide this case.
Acme Corp. us an Arizona company that manufactures solar panels for green buildings. Acme launched efforts to expand its customer base by targeting potential buyers of solar panels in South America. Acme needed a Sales Manager to lead efforts to target customers in South America. Acme advertised the position, specifying that fluency in Spanish is a job requirement. Pedro Gonzalez was a fluent Spanish speaker with a background in sales, and applied for the position. Acmes HR Coordinator brought Pedro in for an interview. Since Arizona has a high population of illegal aliens, the HR Coordinator wanted to ensure that Pedro is a United States citizen to avoid hiring an illegal alien and causing potential liability for Acme. Based on the information presented in Lecture 4.A and your textbook, during the job interview, may the HR Coordinator ask Pedro what country he is a citizen of?
Why or why not?
Arnold signed an Independent Contactor agreement with XYZ Inc. to complete several projects for XYZ over a 2-year period. XYZ Inc. decides that it no longer needs certain projects completed and terminates Arnold after 1 year. Prior to termination, Arnold worked 40 hours per week for XYZ Inc. at XYZs facilities, had no other clients, and was given specific directions and training by XYZ Inc. on how to complete each project he was tasked with. Arnold decides to file for unemployment benefits. As discussed in Lecture 4.B, what determination would a state unemployment agency/IRS need to make for Arnold to be eligible to collect unemployment benefits? What would be the possible ramifications for XYZ Inc. if that determination is made?
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