You need to answer 5 of the following 15 questions (including sub-questions, if any)
with complete responses (there is no minimum word count) you will need to number
your responses with the corresponding number below. Please double-check your
submission to ensure you have responded to 5 questions with proper citation and no
1. Davis had been deaf since birth. She applied for a clerk position at the
Postal Service. The Postal Service denied her application because she would not be
able to answer the telephones, one of the duties of the position. It contended that
asking other hearing clerks to take on Davis' telephone duties would lower employee
morale and cause bitterness and dissension. In addition, it claimed that it would be
inconvenient to other employees who would need to communicate with someone in the
desired position. Is the Postal Service’s claim sufficient to satisfy the undue hardship
2. Can a government employee state a claim for a violation of the
constitutional right to privacy when she was required, as a job applicant, to sign an
affidavit stating that she had not used tobacco products for one year prior to the
3. An over-forty employee of the New York Transit Authority is denied a
promotion to station supervisor after he refuses to submit to an electrocardiogram
(EKG) as part of a physical. The NYTA required the physical, and therefore the EKG’s,
for all supervisory position candidates who were under forty and who had problematic
medical histories, as well all candidates over forty. The NYTA contended that the
examination and test were necessary because of the physical demands of the position.
It also argued that people over forty have an increased risk of heart disease, hence the
EKG requirement. How would you determine whether this employee should be required
to undergo the test?
4. A construction company was sued for harassment when it failed to take
seriously the complaints about offensive graffiti scrawled on rented portable toilets. The
employer defended by saying (1) employees should be used to such rude and crude
behavior; (2) the employer did not own or maintain the equipment, which came with
graffiti already on it; (3) it took action after a formal employee complaint; and (4) the
graffiti insulted everyone. Will the defenses be successful? Why or why not?
5. At the end of all her written communications, an employee writes, “have a
blessed day.” One of employer’s most important clients requests that employee not do
so, and employer asks employee to stop. Employee refuses, saying it is a part of her
religion. If employee sues the employer for religious discrimination, then is she likely to
win? Why or why not?
6. Day Care Center has a policy stating that no employee can be over 5’ 4” tall
because the employer thinks children feel more comfortable with people who are closer
to them in size. Does Tiffany, who is 5’7”, have a claim? If so, under what theory could
7. Betsy was an employee in a bank’s Demand Services Department. She suffered
from dysthymia, a form of depression, along with phobia and bouts of more intense
depression. Over several years, she was absent from work on a relatively frequent
basis. The employer discharged her after continuing absences following two periods of
probation for absences from work. She was discharged the day after she had called in
that she would be absent because of “depression again.” Should Betsy’s condition be
considered a “disability?” If so, what, if any, accommodations could have been made for
Betsy? Do you believe her discharge violates the ADA?
8. Fifty-four year old Benjamin worked for Caterpillar, Inc. After a series of
management changes and actions that Benjamin claims made him feel undermined, he
retired and filed an age discrimination suit against Caterpillar. The individual who took
over Benjamin’s responsibilities was only five years younger than he was at the time. Is
this sufficient to show that they treated this replacement employee more favorably as
evidence of age discrimination?
9. A prominent black professor takes an unpaid leave of absence to protest
the fact that his extremely prominent university has failed to ever hire any black females
in tenure-track (regular, permanent) positions on the faculty. When he does not return
after two years, he is terminated. He sues the university, alleging constructive
discharge, in that the situation created by the school’s policies made it an unlivable
situation for him. Is this an effective argument?
10. An employer is found by a court to have discriminated. As part of an
appropriate remedy, employer is ordered to promote one female for every male that is
promoted, until the desired goal is met. Male employees who were next in line for
promotions sue the employer alleging reverse discrimination in that the new promotees
are being hired on the basis of gender, and the suing employees are being harmed
because of their gender. Who wins and why?
11. Marge and Herman, two employees, are having a relationship, and it later
turns sour. When Marge does not get the promotion she applies for, she sues the
employer for sexual harassment, alleging it was committed by her ex-boyfriend,
Herman, who has, since their breakup, left Marge alone. Will Marge win her suit?