TO: CEO XYZ Toys
SUBJECT: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Constructive Discharge
Success in sales and marketing has resulted in an increased demand for XYZ Toys. In response
to this increase in demand, a shift change was implemented for all production employees. The
new schedule requires employees to work in 12 hour shifts, with four days on, and four days
off, Monday through Sunday. One employee resigned from the firm, and has filed suit under
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), claiming constructive discharge on the grounds
of religious discrimination, as the change in work schedule required the employee to work on a
religious holy ...view middle of the document...
d., sec 703).
In adjudicating a claim of constructive discharge under Title VII, the court will look to the
Complaint to establish a prima facie case. The burden of proof is with the Complaint to show
that they hold a religious belief that prevents them from fulfilling a condition of employment;
that they have notified their employer of their religious conviction, and of the conflict; and that
their employment was terminated as a result of failing to comply with the terms and conditions
of employment. If the Complaint fails to provide proof of all three of these conditions, the
court will rule in favor of the defense. Additionally, the court will apply a reasonable person
test to determine if a reasonable person would conclude that the actions/inactions of the
employer resulted in work conditions so intolerable, that the employee was effectively forced
to resign. The United States Court of Appeals has adhered to this reasonable person test in the
majority of Title VII cases (Finnegan, 1986).
The firm should request that the case be dismissed on its merits. While the Complaint can
prove religious conviction, there remains no evidence of notification to the firm of any conflicts
with schedule due to work on a holy day, furthermore, the Complaint was neither discharged
nor disciplined for failing to comply with the change in work schedule, and will not be able to
establish a prima facie case. In Goldmeier v. Allstate Insurance Company (2003), Allstate
concedes that the Goldmeier’s held sincere religious convictions, and did notify Allstate of a
work schedule conflict, which prevented them from working on the Sabbath. However, the
court ruled in favor of Allstate, as the Goldmeier’s were not...