Phi 445 week 5 discussion


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Ashford 6: – Week 5 – Discussion


Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses.



Discrimination   Laws: Advantages and Disadvantages for both Employees and Business


This   discussion assignment requires you to submit at least four posts: an   initial post, two reply posts to fellow students in threads other than your   own, and a revised post.

Prepare: In your first post in this   discussion, you will become familiar with the case of Abercrombie & Fitch   by means of the relevant material in the Required Resources this week. There   is also a specific media feature located at the end of Section 5.3 of the   textbook titled Workplace Discrimination: Abercrombie & Fitch. In order   to be prepared for this task, you will need to complete the required readings   and media listed.

Reflect: There are two sides to consider   in the Abercrombie & Fitch case. On the one hand, we have the job   candidate’s side. She went to the job interview wearing a hijab. The   interviewer did not remark on the hijab, and the candidate also did not   volunteer that her religious beliefs required her to wear a hijab. She was   subsequently not hired based on the perception that her appearance was   incongruous with the company’s look policy. For example, caps are not   permitted and the male sales associates (referred to as “models” in the   company’s corporate language) are often shirtless and in sweatpants in order   to create the mood at the stores for the aesthetic for which Abercrombie   & Fitch has become known: young, preppy, and hormonally charged. When she   was notified that she was not hired for the position, she filed a complaint   with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that, in turn, filed a   lawsuit on her behalf alleging a violation of Title VII.

On the   other hand, we have Abercrombie & Fitch’s side. As a company doing   business in the United States, Abercrombie & Fitch is legally permitted   to hire those employees who fit its look policy. This is no different from   the look requirements for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, the Chicago Bulls,   the New York City Ballet company, or for jockeys hired by thoroughbred owners   to race them at the Kentucky Derby. In all of these cases, there are height,   size, and other look requirements for employment that are justified by the   particular demands and aesthetics of the position. She was found to be   qualified for the job but her dress was clearly in conflict with Abercrombie   & Fitch’s look policy. Yet, the job applicant knowingly sought employment   at this retailer.

According   to the law, should a special accommodation be required due to a religious   practice, then Title VII dictates that the look requirements give way to the   religious requirement in order not to be considered an act of religious   discrimination.

The EEOC   prevailed in the District Court, but this judgment was reversed by the Tenth   Circuit on the ground that failure-to-accommodate liability only attaches   when a job candidate provides the potential employer with knowledge of the   need for an accommodation due to religious practice. Once it reached the   Supreme Court, the decision was made in favor of the job candidate. According   to Justice Scalia,

Title VII   does not demand mere neutrality with regard to religious practices—that they   be treated no worse than other practices. Rather, it gives them favored   treatment, affirmatively obligating employers not “to fail or refuse to hire   or discharge any individual . . . because of such individual’s” “religious   observance and practice.” An employer is surely entitled to have, for   example, a no headwear policy as an ordinary matter. But when an applicant   requires an accommodation as an “aspec[t] of religious . . . practice,” it is   no response that the subsequent “fail[ure] . . . to hire” was due to an   otherwise-neutral policy. Title VII requires otherwise-neutral policies to give   way to the need for an accommodation.

The only   dissenting opinion was that of Justice Thomas who wrote:

Mere   application of a neutral policy cannot constitute “intentional   discrimination.”…I would hold that Abercrombie’s conduct did not constitute   “intentional discrimination.” Abercrombie refused to create an exception to   its neutral Look Policy for Samantha Elauf ’s religious practice of wearing a   headscarf… In doing so, it did not treat religious practices less favorably   than similar secular practices, but instead remained neutral with regard to   religious practices…Resisting this straightforward application of §1981a, the   majority expands the meaning of “intentional discrimination” to include a   refusal to give a religious applicant “favored treatment.”…But contrary to   the majority’s assumption, this novel theory of discrimination is not   commanded by the relevant statutory text.

Write: In the first part of your initial   post, you will need to introduce the Abercrombie & Fitch lawsuit. In this   introduction, you will also need to (1) articulate the freedoms that   companies in the United States enjoy given our relatively-free market system   and (2) present the Title VII regulations concerning employment   discrimination. These will provide the setting for you to be able to examine   how the nation’s laws affect the hiring practices of Abercrombie & Fitch   and other companies whose hiring policy includes a particular aesthetic for   employees.

In the   second part of your initial post, present your analysis of this case in a way   that identifies which entities (Abercrombie & Fitch as a corporation, the   economic system in the USA, the regulatory control of the state, or all of   these) have a role in the problem that led to the lawsuit under examination.   In your analysis, you must assess the positive or negative effects of the   interplay between business activity and one of the following: the free-market   system, advertising, hiring regulations, or corporate social responsibility.   Your focus must be an ethical analysis of this interplay. Be sure to clearly   identify the ethical theory that you are applying in your analysis, and to   support your analysis by reliable and/or scholarly sources.

Revise: Read the feedback provided by   your professor to your initial post, either directly to you or to your fellow   students. Use this as an opportunity to learn from your professor, especially   with regard to the best ways to apply the course material and your research   to your analysis. On the basis of what you have learned in this process, post   an improved revision of your initial post that applies the additional   knowledge that you have gained.

Remember   that your grade depends on the quality of your initial and revised responses,   not just on the submission of an attempt at improvement. It is thus to your   advantage to post the best initial post you can and then to also improve that   best effort as much as you can through revision.


Requirements   for Your Initial Post:

  • Your initial post should be at        least 350 words in length and have citations and references in APA        notation. It should address the prompt in its entirety. This means that        you should not split your response to the prompt in multiple posts. Your        examination should be both thorough and succinct. This is a combination        that demands time and thought, so give yourself sufficient time to draft        and revise.
  • Please be advised that until        you post, you will not see what your fellow students are posting. Once        you submit your post, you will be able to view the posts from your other        classmates. You can then proceed to reply to at least two different        threads based on the required material for this discussion.
  • Your list of references for        your initial post should include not only the video and the other        required material for this discussion, as well as the Instructor        Guidance and any other announcements presented to you by your professor.        Use all of the material presented to you in the course and by your        professor, in addition to any other sources that you consulted to inform        yourself about this case (but not Wikipedia or similar sources).
  • Your initial post for this        discussion should be submitted no later than the end of Thursday        (11:59 pm, U.S. Mountain time).


Requirements   for Replies to Other Threads:

  • At least two of the four        posts required should be in the form of replies to fellow classmates in        threads other than your own.
  • Each of your replies should        be at least 200 words, and informed by the course material. As        such, the replies must have citations and references in APA notation.        Your list of references for each reply should include all of the course        material that has informed your reply, in addition to any research that        you have obtained on your own.
  • Your replies should focus on        the specific examination presented by your fellow student and these        should include an examination of whether or not the characteristics of        the ethical theory and/or economic system were identified well, and        whether or not their application and analysis was also carried out        successfully. Providing such an examination is not an attack on your        fellow student but an attempt to work together with your fellow student        toward the better understanding of the ethical theories employed, as        well as their application.


Requirements   for Revising Your Initial Post:

  • Submit a revision of your        initial post by either replying to your own post, or to the feedback        provided to you by your professor.
  • There is no minimum word        requirement for your revised initial post. But you should always explain        the reasons for revising your post so that it is clear what you are        doing. If you are revising only a few words, or an ethical theory, you        should avoid submiting a post with vague language.As it has been pointed        out in each of the past weeks, it is important to recognize that no one        can read your mind so you need to provide the setting for your revision        (Why? What prompted it? What course material informed you?), and it is        important to write in clear language and complete sentences.
  • Your revised initial post is        your chance to correct any oversights or errors in your initial post, or        show your improved understanding of the material and its applications to        the case at hand. You may, for example, come to the realization that        another ethical theory is better than the one that you initially chose.        Accordingly, your revision should indicate that you chose another        ethical theory and an explanation why you find the replacement more        suitable. You may also find the need to revise any relevant portions of        your analysis. Or, you might have realized that your conclusion did not        take into account important factors necessary for your evaluation of the        situation.
  • You should maximize the        improvement of your initial post by employing your professor’s feedback        as a guide. Keep in mind that you may not always receive direct feedback        from your professor. But your professor will have submitted feedback in        the discussion to other posts. Read your professor’s feedback whether it        is addressed to you directly or to other fellow students. This will give        you much to think about and apply to your own post.
  • If your professor or a fellow        classmate responds to your revised initial post, and on this basis, you        find good reason to submit yet another revision, then by all means do        so. The more you improve your initial post, the more you will benefit        both in terms of your learning and most likely your grade.


Carefully   review the Discussion Forum   Grading Rubric   for the criteria that will be used to evaluate this Discussion Thread.

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