Week 3 – hr mgmt – discussion – initial post due by thursday at 5pm


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Understanding Affirmative Action


Affirmative action is a topic that generates a high degree of dialogue in the field of HR management. There are strong opinions and perceptions on each side of the debate.

Post a substantive response of at least 200 words to the Discussion question. Using the course concepts, answer the following question:

Should affirmative action be used in hiring or promotion decisions in the workplace? Why or why not? State at least three reasons to justify your answer. Your response should not be representative of your personal opinion of the topic and should be based on course concepts and external research of independent sources.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post your response by Day 4.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings


Respond between Day 5 and Day 7 to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:


  • Ask a probing question.

  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

  • Offer and support an opinion.

  • Make a suggestion.

  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and the insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources and any additional sources.


Learning Resources


Please read and view this week’s Learning Resources before you complete the Discussion.




  • Course Text: Walsh, D. J. (2016). Employment law for human resource practice (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. 


    • Chapter 8, “Affirmative Action

      Chapter 8 provides an in-depth discussion of affirmative action – a controversial topic often discussed in the field of HR management. The chapter describes situations that require affirmative action, circumstances that affect the legal implications of affirmative action, ingredients of an affirmative action plan, and evidence of its effects. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the relationship between affirmative action and diversity.

      Focus on the Johnson v Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County case to recognize the legal challenges to affirmative action plans that are voluntary. The Lomack v City of Newark case shows that while diversity is identified as a “compelling governmental interest”, courts have generally not extended this holding from the context of higher education to public employment. Cleveland Firefighters for Fair Hiring Practices v. Cleveland (I) is a case about about racial classification.


    • Chapter 9, “Harassment

      Chapter 9 deals with the issue of harassment – a major obstacle in realizing equal employment opportunity and the most pressing legal concern that employers face. Although most of the discussion in this chapter surrounds sexual harassment, which is the most common form of harassment, the chapter also covers legal issues involved in dealing with harassment because of national origin, age, disabilities, and religious beliefs.

      Focus on  the EEOC v Fairbrook Medical Clinic, P.A. case. Discusses quid pro quo. Hardage v CBS is an interesting example of a harassment case where the employer successfully invoked the affirmative defense. In this case, the court emphasized the plaintiff’s failure to report the harassment he was experiencing.

    • Chapter 10, “Reasonably Accommodating Disability and Religion

      Chapter 10 discusses the concerns surrounding reasonable accommodation for employees belonging to the protected classes of disability and religion. The two forms of accommodation are dealt with separately in the chapter because the legal basis and nature of obligation for each is different.

      Focus on  the  Keith v. County of Oakland The  case  deals with whether an employer unlawfully discriminated against a deaf applicant..  Adeyeye v. Heartland Sweetners is an interesting case that addresses the issue of reasonable accommodation for religious conflicts.

Chapter 11, “Work-Life Conflicts and Other Diversity Issues

Chapter 11 concludes the discussion of managing a diverse workforce by examining various issues posed by a workforce including women, older people, and people with disabilities who require more leave for medical and parenting problems. The chapter also examines issues posed by a workforce including people of different national origins, non-English-speaking people, and gays and lesbians.

Focus on the Scobey v Nucor Steel-Arkansas Lichenstein v. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center case. Examine whether the employee provided sufficient notification of his serious health condition to his employer. The Bachelder v America West Airlines case considered two issues – whether the employee was entitled to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave and whether her employer violated the act’s prohibition against interference with the exercise of FMLA rights.  Petty v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County explores reinstate after military leave.

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