Happy B. White Ltd. is a computer software firm with 50 employees -- 45 are white and 5 Hispanic. After enjoying five years of growth the firm suddenly experienced hard economic times and decided it had to lower expenses by terminating five employees. They decided to do so from three areas, programming, administrative and sales. Hap B. White, the white male Company President came to the DC office to discuss the terminations. He met with all the staff and then told Gladys Plainbread, the Office Manager who is also white, that she was to decide who to fire. He later wrote her a memo in which he said that he wanted only “employees with clear Anglo accents because we may be relying on telemarketing in the future to increase sales.” When he gave Gladys the memo Hap said “regarding the terminations, when times are tough, we have to watch out for our own. Am I understood?”
Gladys knew what he meant – terminate non whites- and though she disagreed with Hap White’s “old school” attitude she feared for her own job if she argued with him. To protect herself she wrote a Memo to the File, documenting the conversation and memo she received from Hap. The next day she terminated five employees; all were Hispanic. Once was Juan Emanuel, the only Hispanic programmer in the firm. He had the most seniority and the best record of promotions, raises and overall achievements of the 15 programmers.
You are Juan’s lawyer. He comes to you with a “right to sue” letter from the EEOC; meaning all administrative remedies are exhausted. He wants to sue for racial discrimination and asks what his chances are of prevailing. Explain to Juan:
- what does the “right to sue letter from the EEOC mean and what does it suggest about his case.
- the type (or theory) of discrimination you will pursue – disparate treatment or disparate impact.
- Explain the shifting burdens of proof and what evidence will help each party meet their burden of proof.
- What are his prospects for winning the case and why.
Assume that after you explain you to Juan what the right to sue letter means that he produces Plainbread’s Memo to the File that Juan found under his door the day after he received the right to sue letter from the EEOC.
Your memo should be 2-3 pages long, no cover page and put your name on page 1.
1) Identifies the issue or topic being discussed
2) Identifies the key facts that demonstrate the issue
3) Identifies the key elements of the issue (e.g. there are 5 elements that must be present to have a valid sexual harassment/hostile environment charge)
4) Show how the facts/do or do not establish the issue being raised. ie is there sexual harassment? Why or why not?