Advisory memo: reasonable accommodation and undue hardship

 

Resources: Employment Law for Business, Ch. 2, 11, & 13

As a first-year Human Resource Specialist at “State of Estates” estate planning firm, your boss (Will N. Trusts) presents you with the following two scenarios:

Scenario 1

Ned was hired six weeks ago by “State of Estates” to supervise the call center on weekends. At the time of hire, Ned did not disclose that he is a follower of the “Weekend Warriors” religion. In observance of his religious practices, Ned may not work Saturday mornings before noon. Ned called out of work three Saturday mornings in a row, costing the company extra overtime costs. The company looked to re-arrange the schedule, but to pull in a more senior supervisor on the weekend would require time-and-a-half pay. In addition, call-center statistics indicate a drop in productivity when there is a change of supervisor mid-day. The company would like to terminate Ned’s employment.

  • Would Ned have an argument for religious discrimination against “State of Estates?”  Why or why not?
  • If yes, would the company be able to assert any defenses under these circumstances?

Scenario 2

Ella works in the accounting department in the northern satellite office of the company. She has been employed for four years, and performed her job well until recently, when she was caught sleeping on the job numerous times. Ella explained to her supervisor that she suffers from sleep apnea and has not been sleeping well at night. She requested a special caffeine supplement, at $200 daily, to keep her focused on the spreadsheets. 

  • What factors would a court consider in determining whether Ella’s sleep apnea qualifies her for protection under the ADA?
  • Would “State of Estates” have to provide the requested accommodation of the caffeine pills in this instance?  Why or why not?

Create two 350-word memos in one document based on these two scenarios.

Format your memos, including citations and references consistent with APA guidelines.

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