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  1. (TCO A) Carla Thomas, a nonsmoker, often encouraged her co-workers to quit smoking. Her new manager, Paul, a smoker, was annoyed by what he considered her constant nagging. He moved her desk from a separate room with a window to a cubicle surrounded by smokers, who smoked all day. Paul refused Carla’s request to create a no-smoking area in the office and he refused her request to be moved back to the separate room. After four weeks of breathing secondhand smoke, Carla quit. What, if any, recourse does Carla have against her employer? Explain the possible legal theories for recovery and assess the likelihood of prevailing in the litigation.(Points : 30)
  2. (TCO B) Denora Sarin, a Cambodian immigrant and a practicing Buddhist, was employed as a systems engineer with Raytheon Company. Shortly after Sarin was assigned to work on a particular project, Goldberg, one of the workers, approached and taunted Sarin saying, “What’s Buddhism?  What kind of Buddha do you worship: the skinny Buddha or the fat one?” Sarin also claimed to be physically harassed by another employee, but after Sarin reported the conduct to his supervisor, it was not repeated.Goldberg continued to mock Sarin’s religion on several occasions, and when Sarin later asked him to perform certain work, Goldberg shouted at him, “You’re not my boss. You have no right to tell me what to do. You don’t know me very well. I can do a lot of things that you cannot imagine.” Goldberg also told Sarin that he (Sarin) came to the U.S. to destroy and ruin the system of this country.
    Sarin again reported the conduct to Goldberg’s supervisor. Sarin was extremely disturbed by the incident and took the rest of the day off. When he returned to work the next day, Goldberg had been transferred to a different work area. Goldberg was subjected to a discipline hearing because of Sarin’s complaints. Goldberg denied Sarin’s allegations, and there were no other witnesses of the incidents. No discipline was imposed on Goldberg, but he was warned he would be severely disciplined if he harassed Sarin in the future.Sarin continued to experience anxiety attacks, and suffered chest pains; he denied the company’s offer to change shifts because the night shift would still overlap with that of Goldberg. On the recommendation of his doctor, Sarin resigned from his job. Sarin then filed a complaint with the state EEO agency and with the EEOC, and later filed suit against Raytheon under Title VII. Identify the possible claims under Title VII discrimination available to Sarin and assess the likelihood of prevailing under the claims. Determine whether Raytheon should be held in violation of Title VII. (Points : 30)
  3. (TCO C) John worked for Acme as a senior analyst. He suffered a heart attack and took medical leave from his job. Prior to the heart attack, his supervisor opened a locked drawer in his work desk and found prescription drugs that were not prescribed to John. The supervisor thought that John had been acting a bitstrangely, but decided that he would confront him about it later. The supervisor did not confront John before the heart attack.After six months, John returned to work on a part-time basis. John worked reduced hours for the next year. Acme was forced to reduce its workforce to cut costs. Acme conducted a performance appraisal of all managerial employees and discharged those with the lowest performance ratings.  John, because of his part-time status, had one of the lowest performance ratings. The company did not look at performance pro-rata based on hours worked. John sued and alleged that he was wrongfully terminated in violation of the ADA. John alleged that his termination was a result of his disability. Identify and analyze the potential claims and defenses. Utilize case law to support your responses and conclusions. (Points : 30)
  4. (TCO E) An ambulance service transports disabled individuals on a non-emergency basis.  Jane was hired as a night dispatcher. She worked at home, and was required to beon duty to take calls for service from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9:00 p.m. Friday to 7:00 a.m. on Monday. She was paid $550 per month. She was not given any special training, she was simply instructed how to fill in record sheets, and how to call the ambulance crew to notify them of the service request. Jane was free to engage in personal business as long as it did not interfere with the calls, and was able to leave her home as long as she made sure that someone was available to answer the phone.The ambulance company claimed that Jane was an independent contractor and was exempt from the FLSA’s overtime and wage requirements. Jane filed suit to collect overtime and minimum wage back pay under the FLSA. Determine whether she will succeed. If you determine that she will succeed, explain the remedies available. Break down the elements of your response using applicable case law and statutory support for your position. (Points : 30)
  5. (TCO D) Shepherd Construction was the general contractor on a job site to build a retail store.  There were no other general contractors on the job site. Shepherd hired a plumbing company to install the pipes at the job site. A Shepherd employee was killed when the dirt walls fell on him as he was digging the holes for the building foundation. A plumber was in the hole and was also killed. Explain the application of OSHA in conjunction with the fact pattern. Analyze and evaluate the potential causes of action and liability, if any, of Shepherd, the retail store, and the plumbing company for the deaths that took place at the job site.(Points : 30)
  6. (TCO G) A hiring manager did not properly verify I9 documentation for a new employee. In fact, the new hire’s social security card was a forgery, and the INS assessed a fine against the employer claiming that it knew or should have known that the card was false. Determine whether this company is liable under the IRCA. Identify and integrate applicable law and statutory authority to provide validity for your response.(Points : 30)
  7. (TCO H) Calvin Black was hired as the manager for a law firm in June 1992. In his first year in the position, he created a time-keeping system that saved the firm $13,000 per month, negotiated leases to lower rental payments by $43,000, lowered client disbursement costs by $200,000, and reduced overtime costs by $40,000. The firm’s partners gave him a performance evaluation, stating that they were “very satisfied” with his performance. He received a raise of $4,600. After about a year, Black developed a limp. When he consulted a doctor, he was informed that he had multiple sclerosis. After his diagnosis, he informed his firm and requested that the firm meet with his doctors to determine what measures could be taken to accommodate his condition. One partner had one brief meeting with one doctor, who suggested the firm limit the amount of walking that Black was required to do. The firm made no effort to limit Black’s walking, to move his office, or to rearrange his job. Instead, the firm assigned additional duties to him and urged him to cancel his vacation. On one occasion, a partner told him to go home if he was tired, so he would not wear himself out and become ineffective.In January 1994, Black was terminated because his condition affected his performance and the firm claimed that his thinking was “not as crisp as it needed it to be.” After he was terminated, Black applied for and was granted disability benefits under the firm’s insurance policy, stating that he was “unable to work long hours in a stressful job” and “needed a flexible work schedule.” He then worked as a consultant and enrolled in a graduate program at a local university. Black brought a lawsuit against the firm under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The firm argued that Black was precluded from bringing suit because he accepted disability benefits. Explain how the Court should rule on Black’s claim. Determine whether Black has made a case under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Assess whether Black can pursue an ADA claim notwithstanding accepting disability benefits.  (Points : 30)
  8. (TCO F) The trustee of an ERISA-qualified plan, and also a participant in the plan, denied a discretionary payment of a lump-sum accrued benefit to a participant who had terminated his employment. The participant sues, claiming the denial of the discretionary payment is self-dealing. Determine whether the participant will prevail. Articulate the basis for your conclusion, using applicable case law and statutory authority.(Points : 30)