Case Study: Employment Discrimination Claims

Read the following fact pattern and assess whether the plaintiff, Kim, has a claim for employment discrimination. Kimberly Cloutier began working at the Costco store in West Springfield, Massachusetts, in July 1997. Cloutier had multiple earrings and four tattoos, but no facial piercings. In June 1998, Costco promoted Cloutier to cashier. Over the next two years, she engaged in various forms of body modification, including facial piercing and cutting. In March 2001, Costco revised its dress code to prohibit all facial jewelry, aside from earrings. Cloutier was told that she would have to remove her facial jewelry. She asked for a complete exemption from the code, asserting that she was a member of the Church of Body Modification and her eyebrow piercing was part of her religion. She was told to remove the jewelry, cover it, or go home. She went home, and was later discharged for her absence. Cloutier filed a suit in a federal district court against Costco, alleging religious discrimination in violation of Title VII. [Cloutier v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 390 F.3d 126 (1st Cir. 2004)]

Assess whether Kim has a valid claim under Title VII. Include any key provisions that may apply. Compare and contrast valid case law as it relates to Kim’s situation. Do you think she will prevail in her cause of action? What other causes of action may she have? Does an employer have any obligation to accommodate its employees’ religious practices? If so, to what extent? How should the court rule in this case?

NOTE: Title VII’s prohibitions against workplace discrimination include harassment or any other employment action based on a number of traits or qualities. Either argue for Kim (the plaintiff) and contend that she has a valid cause of action, or argue for her employer (the defendant) and contend that Kim’s claim is without merit. Either way, support your answer with case law.

The assignment introduces students to the concepts of employment discrimination. Understanding employment discrimination is a very important human resources function. It incorporates the readings from the textbook and evaluates the legal contexts as they apply to employment.

In this assignment, using the case above, you will develop a PowerPoint presentation in which you create a visual demonstration to explain how to evaluate a claim for employment discrimination. Prepare a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 10 slides to explain how to evaluate a claim for employment discrimination. Your well-written PowerPoint should be formatted in APA FORMAT WITH REFERENCES

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