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Free «Price Waterhouse» Essay Sample

If an employer has both a lawful and unlawful discriminatory motive against an employee (a mixed motive), the employee has the burden to prove that the unlawful reason, such as the employee’s race, played a motivating factor in the decision. The main issue of the case is to understand the laws and relationship between an employer and an employee. An employee can be referred to as a person who is working under an employment contract from an employer. The agreement can be either oral or written, and it involves the terms of employment. The terms include the tasks of the employee, the wages he or she is to receive, and the working conditions which require the necessary tools and equipment for the job. In employment terms, discrimination can be defined as treating an employee as an inferior due to skin color, race, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, or veteran’s status.

There are laws and regulations that protect employee rights; the laws include those concerning compensation, working conditions, working hours, and human rights. The laws also bar against harassment or discrimination because of one’s religion, gender, color, age, national origin, race, disability, and even veteran’s status. The law also prohibits the employment of underage persons (people under 18 are considered underage), as well as forced and compulsory labor of an employee. Employees are entitled to operate under organized, clean, and safe environments. The acts provides for compensation increases for any discrimination, including emotional and physical damage. These laws are referred to either as labor laws or employment laws, and they constitute the collection of administrative rulings, statutory laws, and legal precedents, which cover all aspects of employer and employee relationship and vice-versa. However, in US, an employer can end an employee’s contract for any reason at any time as the contract is under mutual consent, as long as it is lawful.



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Summarizing the case, one need to understand that cases involving employment law are quite complex as the laws governing them are frequently altered. Employers and employees do recognize these laws, which allow for flexible working hours. Under employment laws, workers can file claims for compensation and employment discrimination. The workplace safety and standards, fair wages, retirement, and pensions are several notions among many others that do require legal interpretations. Employees have the right to ask for a leave whenever there is a need of doing so without discrimination in the protected characteristics of race, sex, religious conviction or belief, marriage and civil union, pregnancy and motherhood, disability, age, and sex reassignment.

Employees’ wage must be calculated by putting into account extra-pay shift differentials and working environment conditions. Employees are also entitled to overtime pay if one works for more than the stipulated working hours, which is normally 40 hours per week, excluding holiday, vacation, or sick leaves. In case of pregnancy, the act has a provision that guarantees one pregnancy leave of absence, so again discrimination is prohibited. Employees are exempted for a particular pay if they are remunerated on a wage and their job duties meet the criteria for administrative, executive, or professional exceptions (Buckley, 2011). Extra compensation can be paid in addition to the employee’s salary without the reductions for the nature of work, but based on quality and quantity of the work performed. Employees are entitled to appeal against employers who refuse the request for flexible working hours and also – entitled to know the grounds for such refusal.

Furthermore, employees have the discretion over their personal records to check whether they are victims of unfair dismissal. The dismissal is deemed unfair if the employer has not followed the established procedures when dismissing an employee. For instance, the employer cannot have a good reason for dismissing an employee on the basis of a maternity leave request. Dismissing a pregnant employee is automatically unfair, unless it renders her incapable of performing her functions. The employee can feel compelled to resign under constructive dismissal due to employer’s behavior, e.g., the employer’s refusal to pay wages to the employee or asking the latter to do something illegal.

When the employer commits a breach of contract in either of the following manners – changing the employee’s job location at short notice, falsely accusing the employee of misconduct, harassing, humiliating, or victimizing another employee – such employer forces the employee’s constructive dismissal. Other reasons include excessive disciplinary actions such as demotion and altering the employee’s job specification or terms of contract without consulting the employee. It is unfair if the employee is made jobless for an unacceptable explanation or in violation of the contract agreement. Labor laws, safety laws, and environmental laws give employees protection and encouragement for whistleblowing on the violation of laws by employers. There is a civil rights law which protects the employee from being fired because of their skin color. In such a case, the employer who faces a discrimination claim would be ill served in trying to protect a wrongful termination lawsuit.

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The majority ruling in the case has revealed that compensatory awards have been given to unfairly dismissed employees. Job reinstatement and reimbursement of wages lost is another entitlement for such employees. For an employee to be entitled for unfair dismissal claim, there are set standards meant to show that there was a breach of contract and that the circumstances preceding one’s dismissal were unlawful. An employer can dismiss an employee if the latter is incapable of performing their duties due to ill-health or incompetency, i.e., the employee does not possess the relevant qualification to suit the specified job. When an employee is involved in questionable behaviors or habits like fighting, bad timekeeping, consuming drugs or alcohol at work, abusive behavior, theft, or using the internet for personal gain, the employer has a legal right to fire the employee. The employer can also fire the employee if he or she has been found breaking the law. Employees who cannot get along with their colleagues, adequately converse with clients, or lack teamwork capabilities give the employer legal bases for their dismissal. Despite all these grounds for dismissal, the employee still has a right of appeal, getting an attorney, and having a fair and reasonable procedure in settling grievances. Most legal cases involve costly lawsuits, poor publicity, high turnover, and out-of-court settlements.

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Competency relevance to the case is the ability of an employee to be qualified intellectually and physically in performing the duties assigned. Employees do their best for the employer when they feel that they are appreciated and have a role in the success of the organization they are working for. Employees need the following examples of competencies: creativity, good communication skills, leadership skills, emotional stability, motivation, foresight, independence, analytical reasoning, responsibility, and adaptability. Competency in service is quite essential for any recruiting employer as it goes hand in hand with the performance of an individual and organizational output. Employees’ competency and positive engagement gives the impetus to the organization in reaching its set goals, and bears upon effectiveness and workforce performance. Engaging employees by giving them possibility to understand the goals of the employer, having a good management strategy, and bringing the employees’ satisfaction all act as incentives for better output.


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