Sample Business Studies Coursework Paper on Discrimination against Disability (Simulation 2)

Simulated Case

According to Martin Leclerc, a floor manager at Revere, a promotion position to general manager was offered to another individual due to his disability. Martin, a war veteran who took part in the war on terror efforts in Afghanistan, believes that his psychological disabilities have been the main reason as to why his employers have overlooked his abilities as an administrator. In 2001, Martin took part in protecting his country from terror when he engaged in the war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq where he spent seven years of active duty before he returned to the U.S. and went through the transition from a military officer to a civilian. On arrival in the United States, Martin had a hard time making a swift shift to civilian life due to conditions brought about by PTSD. Nevertheless, his military grit was evident when he landed a job for Revere. After three years of loyal and efficient service, Martin was offered the floor managers job and things looked to work well for him. However, for almost half a decade he has never had any other positional upgrade though he believes that he deserves one. Over the course of his service, two of his former junior staff have been promoted to regional managers while he has been overlooked. According to Martin, he has been discriminated against because of his suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In the course of his service, Martin has been known to be ‘aggressive’ towards his subordinates with a number of cases being brought forward about his threats to physically confront individuals who he stated were ‘out of line’. According to one of the company directors, although Martin has shown dedication, he constantly has run-ins with both staff members and occasionally clients he considered stubborn. However, this is not the reason as to why he has been overlooked in the past for a manager’s position, as his subordinates were better qualified during the time the regional position jobs were promoted.   

Case Details. The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 brought about an increased awareness of individual rights protection from any form of discrimination, a factor that saw the creation as well as implementation of the Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA. Congress passed the ADA bill to law to protect the rights of people who are known to have major activity due to physical as well as psychological impairments. However, the definition has gone through several amendments to become all-inclusive towards other forms of disabilities or illnesses such as substance abuse as well as other formally unclassified learning disabilities such as dyslexia (Schwochau & Blanck, n.d.; Gordon and Shelby 79). From the information mentioned above, it is evident that the definition of disability is significantly broad particularly due to the sighting of limiting of major life activity as the primary criteria for inclusion. It is for this reason that Martin is a legally disabled individual considering that he is unable to conduct major life activities due to the effects of PTSD. According to Jackson, individuals suffering from PTSD particularly those of who went through significant violence such as war where an individual is exposed to extreme cases of abuse and killing cases of recurrent flashback episodes as well as nightmares can disrupt day-to-day activities (pp. 13-15).

In the employment of discrimination cases, such as the one presented, there exist two types of instances, those that involve direct evidence and those that involve indirect evidence. As cited by Jones, cases that have direct evidence are those where the plaintiff has proof beyond doubt indicating discrimination against a disability; however, in most instances, it is difficult to show direct evidence towards discrimination subsequently creating grounds for a case with indirect evidence (78). In such a case, the plaintiff has probable cause for discrimination against disability that can be proven in a court through conduct from the accused. In cases that involve indirect evidence, the U.S. Supreme Court in the McDonnell Douglas Corporation v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973) set a number of presidencies that work as follows;

•    Firstly, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case of discrimination that is particular to a disability. After arrival to the U.S., Martin was diagnosed with PTSD from the time spent on the frontline, a factor that significantly contributed to him being overly aggressive and irritable to his subordinates particularly when under pressure from work. However, his employers knew of his condition. According to him, his employers saw it unfit to have him as a regional manager or the face of their company while suffering from periodic lapses of aggression that at times was directed to clients. In the plaintiff’s case, a promotion to a regional manager would take away a significant amount of stressors as a floor manager, a factor that would aid in allowing him to develop as a professional as well as on a personal basis; subsequently, being overlooked more than twice was a clear evidence of discrimination.

•    Secondly, in the instance the plaintiff establishes a Prima Facie case, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to articulate a legal reason against claims presented to the court. Martin’s employers state that he was never overlooked or discriminated upon but was allowed equal privileges during the job application process and to them, the plaintiff cannot meet a prima facie case because the company did not continue to seek applicants soon after finding a suitable candidate. According to Revere, the two selected subordinates had taken up an image and managerial course held by the company, a requirement that had to be held for the regional managerial position. Nonetheless, Martin constantly claimed that he did not need to attend or pass such as course due to his experience.  

•    Thirdly, in the case where the defendant is able to show the innocence of nondiscriminatory reason for an employee’s complaints, the plaintiff must prove by the preponderance of the evidence that the reasons provided by the defendant were nothing but excuses for discrimination.  According to Martin as well as several of the company staff, there are a number of regional managers who have not gone through the managerial course placed by the company and the regulation was new. Additionally, according to known company policy, the time spent on active service offers an individual a significant advantage in the promotion, a program set by the HR department to retain high-quality staff. In both instances that Martin was overlooked for the regional managerial positions, the individuals picked not only had less working experience at the firm but had previously worked as his subordinates.

Verdict. It should be taken into consideration that throughout the case, the plaintiff has the final burden of persuasion and from the case; Martin has presented the court with significant reasons that highlight discrimination against his disability. It is evident that according to ADA and ADAAA standards, Martin is considered legally disabled, additionally, his employers know of this situation. His constant aggression and irritability may then be a reason as to why he may not be considered for the managerial job, a factor that highlights discrimination. Martin’s employers had the chance to communicate with the plaintiff and subsequently explain the reasons as to why he may not get the job, a factor that may lead the plaintiff to find professional help. Additionally, his employers failed to take into account that as a floor manager the plaintiff is exposed to much higher stress factors than at a regional managerial post. It is for this reason that arguably Revere is found guilty of discrimination against disability. 

Works Cited

Gordon, Michael, and Shelby Keiser, eds. Accommodations in Higher Education Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A No-nonsense Guide for Clinicians, Educators, Administrators, and Lawyers. Guilford Press, 2000. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=fCAqi_h-He0C&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=Gordon,+Michael,+and+Shelby+Keiser,+eds.+Accommodations+in+higher+education+under+the+Americans+with+Disabilities+Act+(ADA)&ots=cqruJtmswW&sig=6y6Aa2NzTvGdcQdra0-RIkGzEdQ

Schwochau, Susan, and Peter David Blanck. “Economics of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Part III: does the ADA disable the disabled.” Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. 21 (2000): 271. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/berkjemp21&div=15&id=&page=

Jackson, James C., et al. “Variation in Practices and Attitudes of Clinicians Assessing PTSD‐Related Disability among Veterans.” Journal of Traumatic Stress 24.5 (2011): 609-613. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jts.20688/full

Jones, Melanie K. “Disability and the Labour Market: A Review of the Empirical Evidence.” Journal of Economic Studies 35.5 (2008): 405-424. https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/01443580810903554