Answered Essay: Smita plans to go out on maternity leave soon for a month. Being the top performer in her marketing team, she applied for a promotion to VP that would begin four months from today

Smita Acharya emigrated from India a few years ago. She is eligible to work in the U.S. and works at Allbetter Insurance Company in the marketing department. She is 41 years old and is eight ½ months pregnant with her third child. As a result of her pregnancy, Smita has been experiencing elevated blood pressure and must put her feet up at least twice a day – she takes her laptop into a conference room and continues to work with her feet up. Her boss told her she can no longer use any conference room in the building for this purpose even though most rooms are free for many hours of the day and Smita is perfectly capable of getting her work done in this fashion.

Smita has had to endure some challenging coworkers while at Allbetter. Several coworkers made disparaging, bigoted remarks about Smita’s religion regularly – (with the full knowledge of management – who did nothing to stop it). One supervisor even made a nasty comment about Smita being pregnant “at her age.”

Smita plans to go out on maternity leave soon for a month. Being the top performer in her marketing team, she applied for a promotion to VP that would begin four months from today. The hiring Senior VP expressed interest in Smita’s candidacy for the position until her interview when it became readily apparent to him that she was pregnant. The hiring senior VP told Smita that they were looking for someone under 40 and that they felt that she may have limited availability due to child-care issues.

Identify and fully describe ALL of the potential claims Smita may have against her employer – identify the acts/laws under which she could bring her claims. What duties has her employer violated, if any, and how could they have acted differently in some of the circumstances outlined above? you must find at least four (4) claims Smita might have against her employer and identify the appropriate statute/act/law she can bring her claim under.

Expert Answer


From the case presented for Smita Acharya, I find she is clearly discriminated for her

  • Pregnancy,
  • Gender,
  • Age,
  • Culture and
  • Nationality.

Employees including her boss and hiring VP, at work place are not treating her as an equal employee of the company and are discriminating her.

Issues like denying her the use of a vacant conference room for he works as she is pregnant and finds her desk unsuitable to work for long times as she has to elevate her feet twice a day are clearly discriminatory acts.

If she is allowed such small concessions to make her comfortable in doing the jobs, under her condition of pregnancy, the company not only becomes family-friendly but also offers environment which motivates people to do their best.

Her boss is crossing the limits of his role by asking her not to use a vacant conference room.

She should collect all these arguments to present her case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or an affiliated state agency, which may investigate the claim and take action on it, or may advise her to seek her own attorney and proceed herself in filing a suit against her employer.

She must know here that the deadline for bringing such a claim is short, often no more than 180 days. Thus, if an employee or job applicant does not bring his or her claim to an administrative agency such as the EEOC quickly, it may be forever barred.

She can lodge her suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under title VII it is illegal for an employer to take any of the actions against the employee based on her Race, National Origin Gender, Religion and deny her Promotion and harass by treating her differently than other employees.

She can lodge her suit under the following acts, which clearly support different dimensions of indiscrimination that she is facing while at the workplace.

The bar against discrimination on the basis of gender includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which applies to her as she is being denied a promotion on the basis of her age, bars discrimination against employees or applicants who are over the age of forty, by any employer with twenty or more employees. An employee may often state a claim under the ADEA if he or she is fired or forced to retire, and is then replaced by a younger employee.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act, also applies to her as she is being discriminated for her culture and nationality. This act bars any employer with more than three employees from discriminating against a U.S. citizen, or an “intended citizen” (such as one who may work legally but is not yet a citizen) on the basis of his or her national origin. The law was enacted at the same time that the government strengthened its penalties against employers who hire illegal aliens, and was intended to prevent employers from overreacting to the new laws by refusing to hire anyone who appears foreign.

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