What Should Jane Smith Do

Published 24 Apr 2017

Case #1: Mary Jone’s Case

According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) An employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy or because of a pregnancy-related condition or because of the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers. As long as the Mary Jones will be able to perform the major functions of her job and she has the qualifications needed for the position then she cannot be refused to be hired.
In a case filed against Walmart by a certain Jamey Stern ( Ref. Case #97-2480-EEO, 1998). The company agreed to pay $220,000 to settle the case. In this case they were found out that they know that she is pregrnant and they intentionally refused to hire her because of her condition even if she is qualified for the position.
Jane Smith can require Mary Jones to pass a Medical Certificate that indicates that she is fit to work. Because if the doctor’s certificate indicates that she is not fit to work due to her condition she can turn down the application of this pregnant qualified applicant.

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Case#2: Bill Cooper

Based on the Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 an employer cannot refuse to hire or fire an employee because of his or her religion. But the law also said that an employer can refuse an applicant if it will cause an undue hardship on the part of the employers’ legitimate business interests. If hiring the individual will requires more than ordinary administrative costs, diminishes efficiency in other jobs, infringes on other employees’ job rights or benefits, impairs workplace safety, causes co-workers to carry the accommodated employee’s share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work, or if the proposed accommodation conflicts with another law or regulation.
Because Bill Cooper was the most qualified for the position, Jane have no choice but to hire him because she has so many options that she can use to fill-up Bill’s position on Saturday. Jane also expresses that she can hire a part-time worker to fill that position, therefore there is no excuse for her to reject Bill.
This problem has a similarity with the case of TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC. v. HARDISON (FindLaw, 2006)where in Trans World Airlines (TWA) dismissed Hardison due to refusal to work on Saturday. The court found TWA guilty even if the company argues that they have done all the possible means to find a replacement of Hardison so that the Saturday operation in the Airlines will not be affected. The court reasoned-out that they he court took the analysis that TWA had discarded three sensible alternatives. One of which would have satisfied its obligation without undue hardship. (1) Within the framework of the seniority system, TWA could have permitted respondent to work a four-day week, utilizing a supervisor or another worker on duty elsewhere, even though this would have caused other shop functions to suffer; (2) TWA could have filled respondent’s Saturday shift from other available personnel, even though this would have involved premium overtime pay; and (3) TWA could have arranged a “swap” between respondent and another employee either for another shift or for the Sabbath days, even though this would have involved a breach of the seniority system. Held: TWA, which made reasonable efforts to accommodate respondent’s religious needs, did not violate Title VII, and each of the Court of Appeals’ suggested alternatives would have been an undue hardship within the meaning of the statute as construed by the EEOC guidelines. Pp. 76-85. (TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, INC. v. HARDISON, 1997)
Case#3: Kate Johnson
According to Ohio Reference Law-4113.71, employers are not liable when they provide truthful information pertaining to employee job performance unless the employer disclosed particular information with the knowledge that the information was false, with the deliberate attempt to mislead the prospective employer or another person, in bad faith or with malicious purpose. The employer may also be found liable if the information constitutes an unlawful discriminatory practice (Ohio State University, 2004)
The discrimination laws that apply to interviewing also apply to reference checking. In order to avoid claims of discrimination, decisions based on references should be made based on objective facts. Do not probe into marital status, age, disabilities, race, religion, or national origin. (Ohio State University, 2004)
So now if Jane Smith will objectively answer the question of the probing HR, meaning basing all the information that she will share in the performance Kate Johnson in their company then she doesn’t have any liability. Furthermore, it is the right of the prospective employer to know the background and performance of this applicant.
In cases like Wattenburg v. United Medical Lab, 269 Or 377, 380, 5252 P2d 113 (1974) a former employer has a qualified privilege to share information about the character or conduct of its employees with present or prospective employers.


  • AterWayne(2003) Focus Issue Job Reference.
  • Ohio State University. Guide to Reference Checking.
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity. Discrimination by Type: Facts and Guide.
  • Transworld Airline Inc v. Hardison (1997) . In FindLaw.com. Retrieved on November 22, 2006 http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/432/63.html
  • Walmart v Stern. (1998) Ref. Case #97-2480-EEO
  • Wattenburg v. United Medical Lab. (1974) 269 Or 377, 380, 525 P2d 113
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