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Case #6Van I. Irion, a Caucasian male who is a veteran of the United States Air Force, submitted an
application for a position as a firefighter with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in September
2000.The process for obtaining a position as a firefighter with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District
involves several steps, which are set forth in the county’s Personnel Management Regulations (“PMRs”). First,
applicants are given a written test, a physical agility test, and an interview with the County Department of
Human Resources, the results of which are combined to come up with a score for each applicant. In addition, a
5% Veterans’ Preference Credit is added to the scores of veterans who apply.The Interview Schedules indicate
that Irion received a numeric rating of 4. The Interview Schedules also appear to indicate that at least two
minority candidates with lower initial rankings and lower Chief’s Interview scores were hired—#24 who is
identified as Hispanic and received a rating of 3, and #53 who is identified as “Asian or Pacific Islander” and
initial ranking, #34 was hired. Finally, two minority candidates with Chief’s Interview scores of 4 and lower initial
rankings than Irion, #68 and #69, appear to have been given initial conditional offers of employment, but they
were not ultimately hired.Beadle, who was Personnel Officer for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection
District at the time of the relevant events, states in his declaration that he was present at the meeting in which
the Chief’s InterviewPanel made its recommendations for Academy Class 34 and that the panelists “did not
recommend Mr. Irion for hire…because they unanimously felt his answers to questions illustrated that he was
too rigid andwould be a difficult employee.”Irion asserts that Contra Costa County discriminated against him on
the basis of veteran status, in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
(“USERRA”). Under USERRA, employers may not deny a person employment on the basis of membership,
including past membership, in a uniformed service. USERRA is violated when veteran status is a “motivating
factor” in the employer’s action.Question: Was an applicant for a position as firefighter discriminated against
because he was a United States Air Force veteran? Explain.Case #7Ms. Walker was a permanent clerk typist
in the Internal Revenue Service’s Atlanta office. Ms. Walker is a light-skinned black person. Her supervisor was
Ruby Lewis. Ms. Lewis is a dark-skinned black person. The employees in the office in which Ms. Walker and
Ms. Lewis worked were predominantly black. In fact,following her termination, Ms. Walker was replaced by a
black person. The working relationship between Ms. Walker and Ms. Lewis was strained from the very
beginning, since approximately November of 1985. Ms. Walker contends that Ms. Lewis singled her out for
close scrutiny and reprimanded her for many things that were false or insubstantial. Ms. Walker’s relationship
with her former supervisor, Virginia Fite, was a cordial one. In fact, Ms. Walker received a favorable
recommendation from Ms. Fite.Ms. Walker met with Sidney Douglas, the EEO program manager for the
Internal Revenue Service’s Atlanta district about the problems she was having with Ms. Lewis. Two weeks
later, pursuant to Ms. Lewis’s recommendation, Ms. Walker was terminated. The reasons given for her
termination were: (1) tardiness to work; (2) laziness; (3) incompetence; and (4) attitude problems. It is Ms.
Walker’s belief that the reasons were fabricated and were the result of Ms. Lewis’s personal hostility towards
Ms. Walker because of Ms. Walker’s light skin.1
Question: The issue is whether color discrimination includes difference between light-skinned and dark-skinned
people of the same race. Explain.
The cases require substantial critical thinking and analysis. When answering the questions for a case,
one method you may use is the “IRAC” format, as follows:
Issue(s):
State the legal issue(s) presented by the hypothetical case. For example: “This case involves the issue of
whether sexual harassment has occurred as defined by law.”
Rule(s):
State the rule(s) of law applicable to the scenario. For example: “For sexual harassment to have
occurred, the employee must have been subjected to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature sufficient to
create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider to be hostile or to unreasonably
interfere with the conditions of the employee’s employment.”
Analysis:
Apply the rule of law to the facts presented by the case. For example: Do the specific facts presented by
the case meet the legal definition of sexual harassment, or do they fall short of that definition? Consider
all facts presented by the case.
Conclusion:
State your conclusion. For example: “In this case, the employee was subjected to illegal sexual
harassment, for which the employer may be held liable

 

 

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