Option #2: Employment Discrimination and the Bona Fide Occupation Qualification

You have just been promoted to the Human Resources Department of a Fortune 500 company. Your director calls you into a meeting and explains that in hiring a prospective employee, there are legitimate reasons for not hiring someone. For example, the prospective employee may not fill legal requirements (i.e., he or she is a minor and cannot complete the tasks of the job based on the young age) or positional requirements (i.e., he or she does not have the required experience or education for the position and the employer demonstrates this requirement as a business necessity).

Neither of these examples are discrimination. However, Title VII provides five protected classes which cannot be discriminated against. For review of the protected classes, see page IV of this week’s module. However, Title VII only applies to companies with 15 or more employees.

Further, the bona fide occupational qualification (“BFOQ”) can be argued as a reason for discrimination by the employer, even of the protected classes. Importantly, though, race and color (two of the five protected classes under Title VII) are not on the list of permissible BFOQs.

Your director asks you to draft a memo with the following information:

  1. Using the internet, research a case where an individual claimed discrimination either in his or her hiring or firing, and the employer argued a permissible BFOQ was the reason behind the failure to hire or behind the firing.
  2. Identify and clearly define the relevant law utilized by the court in determining the outcome of the case. This includes defining applicable legal doctrine, provisions of a law, or elements of a specific cause of action.
  3. Apply facts from the researched situation to the applicable law, doctrine, or cause of action researched. Then, address the following:
  4. Should Title VII apply to every company, regardless of number of employees?
  5. Should race and color be permissible bona fide occupational qualifications? Or should the BFOQ exceptions to employment discrimination be removed completely?

In answering this question, be sure to consider the effect on the business world and on society generally. Clearly summarize lessons learned from the week as they apply to your researched case. Identify new thoughts or ideas based on the module information and identify any related ethical issues.

Your memo should be 2-3 pages in length, not including the title or references page. Review the grading rubric and make sure to follow the CSU-Global Guide to Writing and APA. Please be sure to reach out to your instructor early in the week if you have difficulty researching an appropriate case.

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