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Caset Study 2

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International Business Case Study 1. What is the legal basis for the EEOC to hold that JBS-SWIFT had violated employees’ civil rights?
According to the EEOC Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it does not allow employers with over 15 employees to discriminate in employment against persons based on color, race, religion, sex and national origin. Under Title VII denying a requested reasonable accommodation of an applicant’s or employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs or practices—or lack thereof—if an accommodation will impose more than a de minimis cost or burden on business operations. The title also states that “retaliating against an applicant or an employee who has engaged in protected activity, including participation (e.g., filing an EEO charge or testifying as a witness in someone else’s EEO matter), or opposition to religious discrimination (e.g., complaining to human resources department about alleged religious discrimination)” meaning that workers cannot be fired for standing up and complaining about their work situation and how they are/are not being accommodated.
On contrast, Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the employer does not have to grant every request for accommodation of a religious belief or practice. Employers have to compensate for religions/beliefs that are “sincerely held” and that can be accommodated without an “undue hardship.” An accommodation poses and “undue hardship” when the accommodation causes “de minimis” cost of the company and/or operation thereof. “Factors relevant to undue hardship may include the type of workplace, the nature of the employee’s duties, the identifiable cost of the accommodation in relation to the size and operating costs of the employer, and the number of employees who will in fact need a particular accommodation.” Under Title VII, if it is not an “undue hardship” it is required to make arrangements to compensate a place in this case, for quiet prayer.
In this case JBS-SWIFT was running a large facility, majority were Muslim. If all 300 persons needed to pray at the same time, that would be considered an “undue hardship” in a way because “courts have found undue hardship where the accommodation (letting the majority of the warehouse pray at the same time) diminishes efficiency in other jobs (the minority workers), infringes on other employees’ job rights or benefits, impairs workplace safety, or causes co-workers to carry the accommodated employee’s share of potentially hazardous or burdensome work” (again, minority workers) on the company.
If the employee’s wanted a quiet space to pray on their break, a quiet place should have been provided and allowed. 300 people taking a break at the same time on the other hand would bring operations to a near halt causing the accommodation to affect the operating costs of the employer. Making accommodations to let 300 people take a break at the same time to pray, unless that is how the company ran its shifts, would be considered based on my research, an “undue hardship.” All the specifics are unknown because the article has not provided specifics, but I believe there to be justification on both sides of this argument. JBS-SWIFT however was not justified in the firing of 100 of their employees due to lack of religious accommodation which is protected by the EEOC. 2. Contrast the solutions to the Tyson situation and the JBS-SWIFT situation. Which is likely to have the greatest positive impact on the company and why?
Tyson handled the situation better than JBS-SWIFT because they came to a compromise. Tyson allowed for eight paid holiday’s which would include for Eid-ul Fitr, employees birthdays or another day approved by the worker’s supervisor. This made the non-Muslim employee’s happy as well as the Muslim employees happy. This prevented employees from filing suits with the EEOC and the company continued to run smoothly.
On contrast, JBS-SWIFT did not come to any kind of compromise and refused to let its employees pray, causing 300 workers to walk off of the floor and 100 not return. This has a negative impact on the company because now they are facing claims of discrimination as well as being out of 100 workers. The company will now have to go find and hire more workers and pay current workers overtime to keep the company running, costing the company even more money. Tyson handled this situation much better than JBS-SWIFT, keeping your employees happy is essential to longevity within the company.

References
Questions and Answers: Religious Discrimination in the Workplace. (2011, January). Retrieved November 11, 2014, from http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_religion.html
EEOC Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2014, from http://www.eeoc.gov/…...

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