Heartland did not follow its own written termination procedure conducting

Heartland did not follow its own written termination

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Heartland did not follow its own written termination procedure – conducting investigation, looking at previous disciplinary record (Lewis had none), etc. Ample evidence to support Lewis’s claims. Key Defense for Employers Employer should have a clear, effective policy and procedures to reduce likelihood of discrimination cases. Without policies, an employer may have a more difficult defense. If manager (agent) is involved with wrongful termination, employer may be liable under vicarious liability. Employer must have effective procedure to allow employees to make complaints about perceived discrimination. Greater likelihood of punitive damages imposed on employer if shows lack of good-faith efforts to prevent discrimination. Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth Ellerth worked for 15 months in sales for Burlington. She claimed that Slovik, a manager, made sexually offensive remarks. She inferred threats to her job. She refused his advances. There was no retaliation against her. She never told anyone about the problem until lawsuit was filed. District Court granted summary judgment for Burlington. Appeals Court reversed. Burlington appealed. HELD: Reversed & case remanded back to District Court. Ellerth focused her lawsuit on quid pro quo claims. The District Court may decide if it is appropriate to allow Ellerth to amend her pleading to claims of a hostile work environment.
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ER may then raise defense that includes 1) that ER exercised reasonable care to prevent or correct harassing behavior and 2) the EE unreasonably failed to take advantage of those opportunities or to avoid harm. EEOC v. Dial Corp. fd01874_[1] Workers at Dial plant needed to lift 35 lbs. of sausage at a time to a height from 30 to 60 inches. Doing this over and over meant injuries to some workers. Company began a Work Tolerance Screen (WTS) test for potential employees. Candidates had to demonstrate strength. Usual work force was ½ men and ½ women. After WTS introduced, number of women hired dropped to 15%. One applicant took test, passed it, but wasn’t hired. She complained to EEOC. EEOC brought suit on behalf of 54 women who applied at Dial and were rejected despite passing WTS. Trial Court said Dial did not demonstrate that WTS was a business necessity. Awarded back pay to women ranging from $920 to $120,000. Dial appealed. (Continued) EEOC v. Dial Corp., cont. fd01874_[1] HELD: Affirmed. Expert testimony indicated that WTS was more difficult than the sausage-lifting jobs. In WTS, the applicants had to perform 4x as many lifts as the current employees were doing and had no rest breaks. Dial claimed WTS resulted in decreased injuries. HOWEVER, sausage plant injuries started decreasing before WTS was implemented.
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  • Spring '14
  • JulieE.ThompsonWiggins
  • Business, Law, The Lottery, Trial court, business judgment rule

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