Legal Encounter

Sam is abusing his position to intimidate and harass Paula because of their fallout. Paula is within her rights to request a transfer to another department to avoid clashing with Sam on a regular basis. However, the company has an obligation to insulate itself from potential lawsuits in the event that an employee suffers harm in the course of their duties.

The decision to block the transfer on that grounds that Paula could suffer fetal damage as a result of being exposed to dangerous chemicals must be informed by a matter of fact. Unless Sam can prove that Paula is pregnant or about to get pregnant, his action amounts to discrimination (Pregnancy Discrimination Act. , 1978).

The company can warn Paula of the consequences of working in the wire- coating department and have her sign an indemnity in the event that she suffers fetal damage in the future.

If she still wants the transfer and the management refuses to oblige, she can sue based on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Paula could also sue the company under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964), which states inter alia that it is unlawful to deprive an ‘individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee’ based on factors such as sex.