PHI 445 week 5 Discussion 1

PHI 445 week 5 Discussion 1

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.
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