What was the evidence of sex-stereotyping in this case
Lewis v. Heartland Inns of America, 591 F.3d 1033 (8th Cir. 2010)
The plaintiff in this case is a female who had worked in various capacities for a hotel chain, including temporary stints as a front desk “guest service representative.” Her performance was praised by a number of different supervisors. She was eventually offered a full-time position as a day-time front desk person. The woman was not interviewed prior to the offer. However, when the Director of Operations saw her working at the front desk several weeks later, she told the hotel manager that she was not sure that the woman was a “good fit” for the front desk job. She said that the plaintiff, who is somewhat masculine in appearance; prefers to wear loose fitting clothing, including men’s button down shirts and slacks; avoids makeup; and wears her hair short “lacked the ‘Midwestern girl look.’” The Director of Operations ordered that the women be returned to a night clerk position, a move that was resisted by the hotel manager. Around this time, the hotel chain decided that hiring for the front desk position would require a second interview and it purchased video equipment enabling top managers to see applicants before extending offers. After she had been on the job for about a month, the woman was informed that a second interview would be required in order to “confirm/endorse” her A shift position. The woman was aware of what had been said about her appearance. She told the Director of Operations that she believed a second interview was being required only because she lacked the “Midwestern girl look” and she questioned whether the interview was lawful. The woman was invited to share her views about new policies at the hotel and she suggested that some of them might have contributed to a drop in revenue at the hotel. The woman was terminated three days later, on the grounds that she had “thwarted the proposed interview procedure” and exhibited “hostility toward … recent policies.” [In the course of litigation, “poor job performance” was cited as an additional basis for termination]
1. What were the legal issues in this case? What did the court decide?
2. What was the evidence of sex-stereotyping in this case?
3.Is this also a sex-plus case? Why or why not?
4. In a dissenting opinion, one of the judges who heard this case wrote that “[a]apparently, the majority would hold that an employer violates Title VII if it declines to hire a female cheerleader because she is not pretty enough, or a male fashion model because he is not handsome enough . . . .” Do you agree? Was this case correctly decided? Why or why not?
5. What, if any, appearance policy would you recommend for a hotel?
EEOC v. Management Hospitality of Racine
666 F.3d 422 (7th Cir. 2012)
The EEOC brought suit on behalf of two servers who alleged sexual harassment under Title VII, resulting in a hostile work environment. The trial court found in their favor, and the employer appealed, relying on the Faragher/Ellerth affirmative defense.
1. What were the legal issues in this case? What did the appeals court decide?
2. Why does the court agree that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent harassment? Why was its harassment policy not sufficient?
3. Why does the court agree that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care to correct harassment? That the employees did not unreasonably fail to take advantage of he employer’s preventive and corrective measures?
4. The restaurant industry seems to produce more than its share of sexual harassment cases. What things about this industry might be conducive to problems with sexual harassment?
5. What should this employer have done differently?
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Employment Law for Human Resource Practice
Requirements: APA | Case Study | 3 pages, Double spaced
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