Ethics and Discrimination in the Human Resources Disabilities Law (Chalfant’s case)
Establishing Chalfant’s case under ADA
The Americans with disability act (ADA) is a law that prohibits discrimination based on disability (Walsh 312-316). It therefore denies an employer against failing to employ, hire, discharge an employee or refuse job training to a qualified individual with disability. Under this act, there are various defenses that a plaintiff can bring to proof the discrimination. Chalfant can establish the elements of the prima facie which include
- That he had a disability as defined by the ADA act
- That he was qualified to perform the job advertised either with or without accommodation and,
- That he suffered “an adverse employment action due to the disability (Walsh 314)
Chalfant could be able to establish that he had a limitation that affected one or several major life activities and that he had records that proved he was disabled. At the same time, he could establish that he was a disabled person. In this he was able to establish that the employer (Titan) mistakenly believed that he was impaired and that the impairment limited his capacity to work in the company.
Chalfant’s meeting the ADA requirement on disability
Chalfant could meet the requirements stipulated in the ADA act in regard to disability. In the first option, he was able to proof that he was disabled because in his invitation letter he had indicated so. At the same time, he had applied for the second shift supervisor position which did not require too much lifting. This was also testified by the employees of Titan Company to support Chalfant’s case. As a proof, he had indicated that after he was employed in another company, he was able to do the same duties. The job description also indicated that the position expected a person who would perform light to medium strength demand, of which he was able. By the action of the Titan Company, it was proved and believed that Chalfant was disabled.
On the second prima facie, Chalfant met the threshold in the sense that he was qualified in the position that he had applied for. The plaintiff had applied for the position based on the job description of the position that had been advertised. He also had the work experience in similar job. By proving that he was able to work in similar position at Quintak, he proved that he was qualified as a second shift supervisor. He was also able to meet the conditions of being qualified because, as a labor ready employee, in the first week at the Titan company, he was able to complete the second shift supervisor position before he was dismissed.
He also met the third criterion that must be proved in a discrimination case by proving that he suffered adverse employment action as a result of their failing to employ him. In this he was able to establish that adverse employment actions resulted from the fact that he was subjected to taking physical exams, and marking the exams. After the exams, he was told that he had passed the test only to be told that he did not. The admittance by the Titan Company that they failed to hire Chalfant because the position was not available are some of the facts proving link between disability discrimination and the decision by the company not to hire him.
Application of punitive damages to the case
Punitive damages are damages awarded in addition to actual damages when the defendant acted with recklessness, malice, or deceit” and as “damages assessed by way of penalizing the wrongdoer; punishing the defendant for his wrong doing as well as deterring him and others from similar misconduct (Herrera 1). From the case study of Chalfant, the punitive damages may be appropriate because the company acted on malice and recklessness. In their performance, there was disparate treatment towards the plaintiff. In this they acted with malice and recklessness, and indifference towards Chalfant (Hollander and Eugene 15-3). In this the strongly held belief on equal employment was violated by the Titan Company. Their act was discriminatory in nature and therefore would result to a federal violation thus calling for punitive damages. The fact that the company scraped the position when the case was taken before the court is an illustration that they knew that they were discriminating against Chalfant and therefore liable for punitive charges (Cihon 243). They knew that they were acting in violation of the federal laws.
Titan could not argue that they didn’t know of the federal disability discrimination laws because they had been defendants in two other cases prior to the existing one. The reasons that made Titan Company have inconsistent behavior when they indicated that Chalfant had passéd the physical exam and subsequent decision to refuse to hire him was questionable. It must have been triggered by malice or recklessness. At the same time, the reason behind the hiring of another person in his position also demonstrates inconsistency. Since nobody from the company was willing to admit that he/she had made the decision to fire Chalfant, indicates some unusual means in decision making and therefore may have been a ploy to violate the federal laws. This being the case, punitive damages was appropriate in this case.
Top of Form
Cihon, P., & Castagnera, J. (2008). Employment and labor law. Cengage Learning.
Herrera, M. M. (2006). Punitive damages in the employment discrimination context:¿ A general overview and analysis of whether they effectively deter from discriminating in the workplace¿. Iuslabor, (3), 15.
Hollander, Eugene K. Employment Evidence. Costa Mesa, CA: James Pub, 2003. Print.
Walsh, David J. Employment law for human resource practice. Cengage Learning, 2012.Bottom of Form