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Jim Martin had been loading and unloading cargo for East Coast Airlines for five years. His job performance ratings had always been above average....
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Jim Martin had been loading and unloading cargo for East Coast Airlines

for five years. His job performance ratings had always been above average. One day, Martin injured his back on the job. Because of his injury, he could no longer perform his job as a cargo handler. 
The human resource manager, Angela Fisher, suggested that he apply for a transfer to another job appropriate to his skills and qualifications that did not involve physical strain. Transfer requests were governed by East Coast Airlines' seniority policy. Everything being equal, employees with greater seniority were given preference for transfers. Martin requested a transfer to a vacant mailroom position. At the same time, Bryan Beckwith, an employee with greater seniority than Jim, also applied for the vacant position. A position in the mailroom was viewed by many employees as an attractive alternative to some of the other blue-collar positions such as cargo and baggage handling. 
After reviewing the transfer requests of the two employees, Angela Fisher awarded the position to Beckwith who had greater seniority at East Coast Airlines than Martin. Her decision was based on East Coast Airlines' seniority policy. In desperation, Martin went to Beckwith and asked him to please withdraw his transfer bid, explaining that he had requested the transfer because of an injury. Martin was hoping that his colleague would understand his plight. Beckwith refused to withdraw his request. Martin went to Fisher and requested an exception to the seniority policy that would allow him, rather than Beckwith, to work in the mailroom. Martin argued that since he was disabled because of his work as a cargo handler, he should be given preference over Beckwith. Fisher said that company policy did not allow her to make any exceptions. Martin lost his job at East Coast Airlines because there were no other vacancies for which he qualified.


1.) If you were Beckwith, would you have dropped your transfer request to help Martin?


2.) Should Fisher have given Martin preference over Beckwith because of his disability? Does seniority override the "reasonable accommodation" as specified in the Americans ·with Disabilities Act?

Step-by-step answer

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