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Legal issues and employment performance scenario

1. What mistakes, if any, has David made in his appraisal activities?

2. Is there the possibility of a legal challenge if he chooses to demote Jack? Melony? On what basis?

3. What related court cases are applicable to this case and why?

David is a department head at statewide Insurance Company. He has been with the company for 30 years and knows his way around quite well. He has two aubordinates, jack Smith and Melony Watson. Jack, a white male, has been employed by the company for 15 years. he has always been cooperative, loyal,dependable, but not an especoially good supervisor. Recently, David noticed that jack has begun to "slip" on the performance of some of his duties. On the other hand, Melony, an African American, has worked at Statewide Insurance for about six years. She is a very ambitious, energetic; and dependable supervisor who grasps problems quickly and easily, David has to cokmplete performance appraisal forms on both individuals semi-annually.

Last quarter he didi his apraisal reviews with a great deal of displeasure since he hated to face the unpleasantness of a negative appraisal-feedback interview. As a result both employees "above average" on most dimensions. In the feedback interviews, both supervisors appeared to be satisfied with the ratings they had received. He recommended that they both receive standard cost of living salary increases.

Recently business had begun to fall of as a result of the general economic down turn and reduction in force had been put into effect.This week, after a number of other people were laid off or demoted it, became necessary to move either Jack Smith or melony Watson from the position of supervisor to that of a clerk in the processing section until business picked up. David wants to keep Melony on the supervisory job, but on the basis of the appraisals there is no difference between the two. In the past when two employees have had the same ratings, the person with the most seniority receives priority. David must decide today what to do.

Solution Preview

Hi there!
You have an interesting scenario here. Here, there seems to be a bona fide reduction in the workforce, so David's motivations are probably not discriminatory or wrongful. (However, you will note that under Title VII, intent to discriminate does not matter.) The reasons for keeping Jack in his present position due to his seniority and experience (more than twice as much as Melody) could be legitimate reasons.
There are several theories under which either employee may attempt to hold David and/or the company liable. These theories include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), negligence (breach of duty to conduct appraisals with due care), and misrepresentation ...

Solution Summary

Theories include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), negligence (breach of duty to conduct appraisals with due care), and misrepresentation (disclosure of untrue favorable performance information that presents a risk of harm to prospective employers or third parties).

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