Employment Law;Managing Performance

QUESTION 1
The fast food restaurant is focused on providing customers with what they order in less than 2 minutes. One worker, Mary, has had difficulties preparing orders within the 2 minutes. When she meets with her boss to discuss the matter they will review the criteria and the standards. In this situation, the sole criterion is _____ and the standard is _______.

A. Mary’s customer; speed of providing the food

B. 2 minutes or fewer; elapsed time

C. providing food within 2 minutes of order; Mary’s mean time per customer.

D. the time elapsed from order to providing the food; 2 minutes or fewer.
10 points
QUESTION 2
The restaurant where Mary works has hired Melody as another worker. Melody has a great work ethic and attitude but she gets confused when things move too fast, and has learned that this is the result of a cognitive disability that is recognized under the ADA. When Melody’s supervisor discussed Melody’s difficulty achieving the 2-minute standard for food orders, Melody responded that a reasonable accommodation for her cognitive disability would be to extend her standard from 2 minutes to 3 minutes. She provided the supervisor with evidence that her slowness is directly related to the cognitive disability recognized by the ADA. Which of the following is most correct?

A. The supervisor can legally refuse to change the 2-minute standard to 3 minutes for Melody, because that would not be a reasonable accommodation.

B. The supervisor is not legally required to change the 2-minute standard unless there is no less significant way to accommodate Melody’s disability.

C. The supervisor is legally required to change the 2-minute standard if there is no less significant way to accommodate Melody’s disability.

D. The supervisor is legally required to change the 2-minute standard to 3 minutes for Melody, because that would be the reasonable accommodation.
10 points
QUESTION 3
Homer had worked at the public utility company for several years before his boss approached him with the news that his continued unsatisfactory performance must improve. Homer disagreed that his performance was unsatisfactory, but the boss ignored Homer’s responses and told Homer he was being enrolled in a structured program designed to improve his results. Homer was very upset that he had been identified in this way and that his explanations to his boss were ignored. Homer believed that the discussion about his work was simply an excuse for the company to remove him and give his job to someone younger. He filed a discrimination complaint with the local EEOC intake agency, claiming that his placement in this structured improvement program was an adverse employment action that was taken against him because of his age. What is the most likely outcome of his complaint?

A. The age discrimination complaint will not be pursued by the discrimination agency because this is not an age discrimination matter. It is a performance matter.

B. The age discrimination complaint will not be pursued by the discrimination agency because there has been no adverse employment action against Homer.

C. The age discrimination complaint will be pursued by the discrimination agency because the employer did not listen to and consider Homer’s proferred explanation about his performance.

D. Homer will prevail in the age discrimination suit which he brought based on being placed in this structured program.
10 points
QUESTION 4
Homer finally had an opportunity to present his explanation to his boss about why his performance was not entirely satisfactory. Homer also pointed out that he was not given an opportunity to participate in an apprenticeship program that he believed would have helped him in the performance of his current job. Homer said that this, too, was an example of age discrimination Homer’s supervisor interrupted, saying that such programs are discretionary and that there is no requirement that the programs be offered to ‘older’ workers. In fact, the supervisor said, apprenticeship programs are targeted for younger workers in the same way that high school is for the young.

Which of the following is most correct?

A. Apprenticeship programs can legally be targeted for those 18-35 years old, because of the nature of apprenticeships as a training mechanism.

B. Because apprenticeships have a high financial cost for the employer, such programs can legally consider the age of the employee when determining which applicants to admit to a program, so that the employer can be better assured that the company will recover the investment costs.

C. Apprenticeship program opportunities must be open to workers without regard to their age.

D. Apprenticeship programs must admit all employees regardless of age, race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.
10 points
QUESTION 5
During Homer’s discussion with his boss, Homer learned that when Homer had been on vacation last month, the supervisor had searched Homer’s office to see if there was any evidence of alcohol or drugs that might explain Homer’s unsatisfactory performance. Upon learning this, Homer was shocked and he is considering a lawsuit for violation of his right to privacy. Which of the following best describes the prospects for Homer winning such a lawsuit against the employer.

A. Homer will win because the employer breached Homer’s expectation of privacy in the workplace.

B. Homer will win if the employer breached Homer’s expectation of privacy in the workplace.

C. Homer will win if the employer breached a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace.

D. Homer will not win.
10 points
QUESTION 6
Mike was preparing to marry for a second time. His first marriage had ended in divorce, and while he still had a great relationship with his two children from the first marriage, his new bride wanted to have children of her own. Mike consulted with his employer’s H.R. office to see about using Family and Medical Leave Act provisions to take time off for the reversal of his vasectomy so that he could father children again.
When Mike’s wedding day was near, many fellow employees signed a congratulatory card for Mike and his bride. Bob, one of the H.R. employees who knew about the vasectomy reversal surgery because of Mike’s consultation with H.R., wrote “Congratulations, Mike! Now let’s get busy and make that vasectomy reversal worth the money!” The only people who saw Bob’s message were a couple of other employees plus Mike’s fiance.
If Mike is upset about this message from Bob, will the employer be liable for a violation of Mike’s privacy?

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A. No. This was not a public disclosure.

B. No, unless Bob’s disclosure would be highly offensive to Mike.

C. Yes, if Bob’s disclosure in the card would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

D. Yes.
10 points
QUESTION 7
Mike was very upset that Bob from the H.R. department had commented about his vasectomy reversal on the congratulatory card Bob signed for Mike’s wedding. To cool Mike down a little, Bob spoke to Mike, saying “Look, Mike. I’m sorry you were upset by my comment, and maybe it was dumb of me. But keep in mind that all your medical information is kept in the same personnel folder with your annual paperwork for your 401-k, for your charitable donations, and your vacation requests. It’s not like your medical information is all that secret.”

Which of the following is most correct?

A. Bob is correct. The medical information Mike provided is accessible to any person who has access to Mike’s personnel folder and Mike made the vasectomy reversal information available when he asked for time off for the surgery.

B. Bob is partially correct. While the medical and other information is kept in Mike’s personnel folder, usually only the H.R. employees have access to the files – not ‘any person’.

C. Bob is partially incorrect. Mike’s personnel records are accessible only to H.R. employees with a ‘need to know’ something contained in the general personnel file that contains Mike’s financial, general and medical information.

D. Bob is incorrect. Employers must keep employee medical information in a location apart from other personnel records and treat it as a confidential medical record.
10 points
QUESTION 8
An employee of the college was responsible for collecting payments from faculty and students for parking lot passes each semester. The employee’s work station is similar to a bank lobby or a fast food restaurant, where customers wanting parking lot passes come to the counter and purchase the passes either for cash or a credit card payment. The employee is relatively new and has been through the annual training that tells every employee that college facilities open to the public are usually subject to observation by hidden cameras. The college had installed the cameras so that if the financial area was robbed, the robber would be visible on the video. In this case, though, the video disclosed that the employee had been handing out parking passes to some people and putting the money in her pocket, not in the cash drawer.

The employee was fired, and she responded that the video is inadmissible to prove her theft because she was not aware of the fact that she was on camera in her job. She threatened to sue for invasion of privacy, too.

Which of the following is most correct?

A. Management has the right to observe electronically anything that it could observe with the naked eye by being there in person.

B. Management has the right to observe electronically, but because she was not notified that this would occur, the video evidence is not admissible to support her discharge.

C. The employee was subject to an intrusion into her privacy and the college is liable for videotaping her, whether or not she is notified.

D. Because she has not received the annual training yet, she is not responsible for any behavior that is addressed in that training, including improper handling of money.
10 points
QUESTION 9
Marie had worked in the office for several years, and often worked through her lunch hour and after her work day ended. She would do what it took to get the work done on time. Her new supervisor, Mark, seemed nice enough, so she was shocked when Mark commented that he hoped her son was feeling better now. Her son had been sick and she had talked to the sick boy on her company phone a few times during the past couple of days. When she pressed Mark to explain how he knew that her son had been sick, Mark explained that because Marie’s work involved talking with customers and others on the phone, her conversations were randomly monitored by Mark. “Not often, Marie – just enough to provide a sample of conversations that proves that you are doing what we all know – serving your customers with exceptional skill and courtesy!”
Marie was very upset and wondered if this violated her privacy rights in the workplace.
Which of the following is most correct?

A. Mark is entitled to monitor her business calls, but by hearing that her son was sick, Mark demonstrated that he was listening in on her personal calls, which is not allowed.

B. Mark is entitled to monitor her business calls, but when he is listening to her call and determines that it is a personal call he must hang up.

C. Mark is entitled to monitor her business calls, but only if he notifies her in advance that this may occur from time to time.

D. Mark, as her supervisor, is not entitled to listen to her calls. That can only be done by an independent quality assurance employee who is not otherwise associated with either the supervisor or the employee.
10 points
QUESTION 10
Charles was one of three employees who had access to some very sensitive computer-based data that was discovered to have been copied without permission. The data could provide a competitor with significant business advantage over the company, and the company suspected that one of the three was engaged in selling the information. The three were called into a conference room, then each placed in separate rooms. They were told that they were the employees with access to the data, and that someone had copied it. Security personnel were placed at the door to each of the three rooms, and the employees were each questioned separately by various managers and investigators. After six hours, the employees were told they could go home and report back to work as usual the next day.
Which of the following is most correct?

A. The use of security personnel at the doors of the rooms containing the employees tends to make the employer liable for claims by the employees.

B. Keeping the employees in the rooms for six hours tends to make the employer liable for claims by the employees.

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C. Both A and B are true.

D. Neither A nor B are true.

QUESTION 1
1. As area manager, Harriet supervised the operations of about forty retail stores in the metro area. Her problems started when her boss told her that she was not performing well, and that she needed to ‘shape up’ to keep her job. Harriet prepared a list of things she was going to do to improve her effectiveness on the job and got the boss to OK those actions. A month later, her supervisor told Harriet that she was reassigned to one of her retail stores, to reacquaint herself with the front line. The store to which she was assigned was the farthest away, 53 miles from the corporate offices, and required a two hour one-way drive to get there. To make matters worse, her duties at the corporate offices were reassigned to another person, who removed her property from the office and put in his own desk, etc. At the first staff meeting after the changes, the CEO said that he was glad that ‘we finally have someone who knows what is going on’ in the job that is regularly Harriet’s.
At that point, Harriet decided to quit her job because she felt she could see that she was going to be fired. Now Harriet is thinking about possible legal action she can take, and wonders if she can sue for wrongful discharge. Which of the following is most correct?

A. Harriet will not be able to bring a claim of ‘wrongful discharge’ based on the facts above.

B. Harriet can bring a claim of ‘wrongful discharge’ based on the facts above, but it will be thrown out by the court because she resigned, she was not discharged.

C. Harriet will not be able to bring a claim of ‘wrongful discharge’ based on the facts above unless the court finds that a reasonable person would have felt compelled to quit.

D. Under the doctrine of “Employment at Will”, Harriet will win a claim of ‘wrongful discharge’ based on the facts above because she has been treated so badly.
10 points
QUESTION 2
1. If a private sector non-unionized employee is fired and claims this was a wrongful discharge, which of the following best describes the burden of proof?

A. The employee bears the burden of showing that his or her discharge was for an illegal reason prohibited by law.

B. The employer bears the burden of showing that the discharge was for a legal reason permitted by law.

C. The employee bears the burden of showing that his or her discharge was for an illegal reason prohibited by law, and the employer bears the burden of showing that the discharge was for a legal reason permitted by law.

D. Neither party bears a burden of proving anything under employment at will.
10 points
QUESTION 3
1. Abigail was hired by Basic Overnight Selection Systems (BOSS) as a senior software engineer. During her orientation to the company, she was given a company employment manual that stated the following: “Upon completion of at least thirty years of employment and at a minimum age of 62, you will be eligible for an annual pension that is calculated as one percent of your highest straight-time salary for each year of employment. Thus, if your highest salary is $100,000 per year, and you work 34 years, you’ll receive a pension of $34,000 per year upon retirement.” It also said that “You can be discharged for serious offenses, including intentionally or recklessly damaging company property, causing injury to other people, or for theft.
Four years into the job, Abigail was discharged during an I.T. department reorganization. Abigail filed suit for wrongful discharge, asserting that the handbook provision about the retirement pension, coupled with the statement about the offenses for which she could be fired, constituted an employment contract that was breached by her employer when she was fired during the reorganization.
Which of the following is most correct?

A. Abigail cannot be discharged except for the reasons that are listed in the employee handbook. (damage to property, injury to another, theft)

B. Abigail can be discharged despite the wording in the employee handbook, so long as the wording is determined to have implied a contractual restriction on employment at will

C. Abigail can be discharged despite the wording in the employee handbook, so long as the wording is determined to not have implied a contractual restriction on employment at will

D. Abigail can be discharged despite the wording in the employee handbook.
10 points
QUESTION 4
1. Amanda, one of Abigail’s fellow workers at BOSS, was surprised to learn that her department’s schedule was changed from a standard 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. day, with an hour for lunch, to a work day that began at 8 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m., and that included a two-hour lunch. BOSS was located in the far suburbs, and there was little Amanda could do during the two-hour lunch period. What especially upset Amanda was the realization that when she got off work at 6 p.m. and drove 30 minutes to pick up her child at day care, she would be at least an hour late for daycare and would have to pay a very costly penalty. There were no day care facilities closer to the job, so Amanda had little recourse. She raised this concern to her supervisor, and when she was told that the new schedules were going to remain 8-6 with a two-hour lunch, Amanda began a campaign to pressure BOSS to change that schedule back. She wrote letters to the local newspaper, and called a local TV station.

When Amanda’s employer learned of Amanda’s actions, it discharged her under Employment at Will (EAW). Amanda filed suit for wrongful discharge, claiming that this was a public policy exception to EAW because it constrained her Constitutional First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech. Which of the following is most correct?

A. Amanda will not win her lawsuit for wrongful discharge.

B. Amanda will not win her lawsuit for wrongful discharge unless the court decides that Amanda had legal standing to bring the case.

C. Amanda will win her lawsuit for wrongful discharge unless the court decides that BOSS had legitimate business necessity for changing the schedule.

D. Amanda will win her lawsuit for wrongful discharge.
10 points
QUESTION 5
1. Chris was a software engineer for a Jacksonville employer, and a member of the Florida National Guard. Chris was called up and deployed, and then returned to the job after a 14-month absence. During Chris’ absence, the business climate had become worse, and the business had discharged about 10% of the workforce. Chris returned in May, and everything was fine until Chris received a notice of discharge in December, effective December 31. No reason was given for the discharge, with the employer simply informing Chris of the termination under Employment at Will.
Chris contested the discharge, saying that under USERRA, a returning service member who has been absent for a year or more cannot be discharged without cause for a period of one year after resuming employment.
Which of the following is most correct?

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A. Chris cannot be discharged without cause for a period of one year after resuming the job.

B. Chris can only be discharged for cause during the first year of reemployment.

C. Neither of the above are true.

D. Both of the above are true.
10 points
QUESTION 6
1. Wilma was discharged for repeated use of profanity in the workplace, while her fellow employee Bob had done about the same amount of cursing and had incurred no discipline. Wilma asserted that she was discriminated against based on her gender – that she was held to a harsher standard than Bob because she was a woman. Which of the following is not important in establishing Bob as a similarly situated comparator in the case?

A. That she and Bob have the same supervisor

B. That she and Bob are different genders

C. That she and Bob work in the same office and work environment.

D. That she and Bob have the same work duties.
10 points
QUESTION 7
1. Lincoln arrived for work early and parked his Toyota in the empty spot in the employee parking lot at the local Honda dealership, Sue Barrew Honda. It was the spot closest to the employee entry door. His supervisor, Ford, often parked in that spot although it was not designated “Supervisor Parking Only” or anything like that. When Ford arrived later, he saw that Lincoln’s Toyota was parked there. He came in, found Lincoln in the break room, and said, “Linc, you are fired.” Ford gave no reason. Lincoln packed up his stuff and walked the short distance to the best parking spot, then drove home to Pontiac Michigan.

Lincoln is considering suing Sue Barrew Honda for wrongful discharge and wants to know if he has a basis that would allow him to win a suit. Which of the following is most correct?

A. Lincoln will prevail, should he sue SueBarrew Honda, because he was discharged by Ford without just cause.

B. Lincoln will prevail, should he sue SueBarrew Honda, because he was discharged by Ford without just cause or due process.

C. Lincoln will not prevail if he decides to sue SueBarrew Honda unless his discharge violates a union contract or individual contract.

D. Sue Barrew will prevail.
10 points
QUESTION 8
1. At a conference of Human Resource executives, there was a debate about whether government employees were treated better than their private sector employee counterparts. One person pointed out that while most private sector employers can discharge an employee without any requirement for due process, states seem to grant every state employee rights that include notice of charges against them and the evidence that supports the charges, and an opportunity to present their side of the story. “This elaborate process that is so different than we see in the private sector demonstrates that the government needlessly invokes expensive processes for employees – much more than the private sector. It’s a waste of taxpayer money!”
Which of the following statements is most correct?

A. State employees can demand rights such as notice of charges and evidence, and the right to tell their side of the story because they typically perform jobs that are not duplicated elsewhere, such as court operations, fire and rescue, and police protection. This gives them a monopoly that would cause significant problems if the state employees went on strike.

B. State employees can demand rights such as notice of charges and evidence, and the right to tell their side of the story because the U.S. Constitution requires states to provide ‘due process’ to state employees although it is not required for private sector employees.

C. Because state employees don’t have competitors, state government managers have no incentive to keep labor costs under control, and those managers agree more easily than their private sector counterparts would.

D. State employees are granted more rights because political appointees who run the state government departments are willing to trade job concessions for loyalty and support during elections.
10 points
QUESTION 9
1. Tish works for Acme Call Centers, Inc., which employs 120 full-time workers. One day, the supervisor calls a meeting and announces that 55 workers will be discharged because of a reduction in clients who use the call center. The employees are instructed that they will be allowed to finish out the week, and the discharge will be effective at that time. Tish is one of the 55 who are selected for discharge, and she files a complaint about this sudden reduction in the workforce. Has the employer violated any employment laws?

A. The employer has not violated any employment laws based on the information given.

B. By only giving the employees pay until the end of the week, the employer has not provided two weeks notice to the employees. The employer will be liable for pay for two weeks from the time of the notice of discharge.

C. The employer is prohibited from conducting the layoff until the end of a 60-day period after written notice to the affected employees.

D. The employer is prohibited from conducting this layoff until the expiration of a 60-day period after the Department of Labor has certified the economic necessity of laying off this number of employees, or 60 days after notice to the employees affected, whichever is longer.
10 points
QUESTION 10
1. Unemployment compensation is awarded to employees who are discharged, unless the employee was…

A. … discharged for intentional serious misconduct.

B. … discharged for unsatisfactory performance.

C. … discharged for either intentional serious misconduct or for unsatisfactory performance.

D. … a management employee.