Due to the nature of human interaction, it is impossible to eliminate the occurrence of conflicts within the workplace. Employees often get into friction with their employers from time to time as they perform their duties. These could range from mere misunderstandings to serious conflicts necessitating the involvement of a court of law to solve the case. Luckily, Federal Employment Laws ensure that all cases are solved in the fairest way possible according to the laws. In this paper, I will discuss an ordeal experienced by one of my close acquaintances and how it was solved. Sarah’s Case
Sarah Byrne often found herself at loggerheads with her immediate boss as soon as she was transferred to the department. Being an African American, she shrugged it off as a racial difference and tried to cope with her difficult boss. To doing so, she would to reduce the conflict with her boss through avoiding conflicting situations and avoiding bitter word exchanges with difficult people in the workplace as suggested by Alexander (2004). It was not until she got a termination letter based on poor performance that she realized that this was purely a case of discrimination. Her boss was using every possible means to eliminate her.
She was about seven and a half months pregnant and was about to take her leave. At first it was unbelievable; she was shocked and did not know what to do. She knew that she was protected by the state against such an action by her employer but like many other employees, she did not know how to go about it (Repa, 2007). That is when she approached a lawyer who explained the rights that had at the workplace and possible acts that she could use to claim her position back. According to the lawyer, she could prove that there had been constant conflict and that her boss disliked her and wanted her out of the way.
She could use the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1975 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which protected her from any kind of discrimination. These rights applied in her case as follows: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964 prohibits prevents employers from discriminating people on the basis of color, race, sex, religion or nationality (Loevy, 1997). It goes further to prohibit discrimination based on one’s association with an individual of a particular color, race, sex, religion or nationality.
Provisions for employers are limited and discrimination can only occur where the employer proves beyond all reasonable doubt that a certain trait is required for the given job (Loevy, 1997). This is referred to as Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ). In all other circumstances however, discrimination is illegal as long as the person in question can perform the job. Cases of discrimination can be reported to state fair employment practices agencies (FEPAs) or to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) who can investigate and file a case (Loevy, 1997). Alternatively, a private attorney could be used.