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Legal & Ethical Scenarios

Select two of the scenarios provided below. Analyze the  facts in the scenarios and develop appropriate arguments/resolutions  and recommendations. Support your responses with appropriate cases, laws  and other relevant examples by using at least one scholarly source.  Cite your sources in APA format on a separate page.  

Scenario I: Employment Law

Carole Smith, an Apostolic Christian, worked as sales associate at  Nickels Department Store. One afternoon, during a break, Smith  participated in a conversation about God, homosexuality, and same-sex  marriages. The next day, an employee told the manager that Smith made  inappropriate comments about gays to Casey, a Nickels employee who was  gay. Over the next five weeks, Nickels investigated the incident by  interviewing and obtaining statements from employees who were present  during the conversation. In his statement, Casey reported that Smith  pointed her finger and said that God does not accept gays, that gays  should not be allowed to marry or have children, and that they will burn  in hell. Three employees confirmed Smith’s statements.

Nickels terminated Smith’s employment after concluding she had  engaged in serious harassment in violation of its Discrimination and  Harassment Prevention Policy. This policy, of which Smith was aware,  prohibits employees from engaging in conduct that could reasonably be  interpreted as harassment based on an individual’s status, including  sexual orientation, and provides that employees who violate the policy  will receive “coaching and/or other discipline, up to and including  termination.” Nickels has “zero tolerance” for harassment “regardless of  whether such conduct rises to the level of unlawful discrimination or  harassment” and treats serious harassment as gross misconduct and  grounds for immediate termination.

  • Smith filed suit, alleging her termination for stating that gays  should not marry and will go to hell—a belief that she maintains is an  aspect of her Apostolic Christian faith—constitutes unlawful  discrimination under Title VII. Is she correct?
  • If Smith posted the same information on her Facebook page but  omitted references to the specific employee, would the outcome of her  lawsuit for wrongful termination change?

Scenario II: Professional Torts

Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a physician or a  pharmacist. Present an actual case of medical malpractice filed in your  state court system or in the federal district court in your state. You must read the actual case and not an article about the case.  You may find the case by first reading the article by researching the  South University Online Library or a scholarly source on the Internet,  but you will need to read and cite the actual case to receive credit.

Accordingly, respond to the following questions:

  • Summarize the facts of the case.
  • Provide your state’s law or regulation relating to malpractice by physicians or pharmacists.
  • Discuss the outcome of the case.
  • Explain whether you agree with the verdict. Why or why not?

Scenario III: Agency, Employment and Torts

Brenda Byars, on her way to a business meeting and in a hurry,  stopped at a Radio Shack to pick up a new car charger for her  smartphone. There was a long line at one of the checkout counters, but a  cashier, Phyllis Richmond, opened another counter and began loading the  cash drawer. Byars told Richmond that she was in a hurry and asked  Richmond to work faster. Instead, Richmond slowed her pace. At this  point, Byars hit Richmond.

It is not clear whether Byars hit Richmond intentionally or, in an  attempt to retrieve the car charger, hit her inadvertently. In response,  Richmond grabbed Byars by the hair and hit her repeatedly in the back  of the head, while Byars screamed for help. Management personnel  separated the two women and questioned  them about the incident. Richmond was terminated immediately for  violating the store’s no-fighting policy. Byars sued Radio Shack,  alleging that the store was liable for the tort (assault and battery)  committed by its employee.

  • Under what doctrine  might Radio Shack be held liable for the tort committed by Richmond?
  • What is the key factor in determining whether Radio Shack is liable under this doctrine?
  • How is Radio Shack’s potential liability affected by whether  Richmond’s behavior constituted an intentional tort or a tort of  negligence?
  • Suppose that when Richmond applied for the job at Radio Shack, she  disclosed in her application that she had previously been convicted of  felony assault and battery. Nevertheless, Radio Shack hired Richmond as a  cashier. How might this fact affect Radio Shack’s liability for  Richmond’s actions?
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