In the case of Sarah Crone vs. United Parcel Service, Inc. , decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the court decided against the complainant, and held that there was lack of evidence to show that the employer was discriminatory in not considering her for the promotion. In said case Crone, a dispatcher of the employer corporation wanted to be promoted to the dispatcher supervisor position, when the said position became available.
However, she was not promoted because the Department Manager and the Division Manager feared she might not be able to deal with confrontations, which are necessarily attached to the supervisory position. For Crone, this ground was discriminatory on account of sex. According to the court, Crone was unable to show that the company’s reason was a mere pretext to cover up its discriminatory purpose. (Crone v. UPS, Inc. , 2002).
The issue of discrimination can indeed be raised in this case, considering that it initially appears that Crone was not considered for promotion merely because of some trait that the managers ascribed to her on account of her being a woman. It should be noted that discrimination exists where distinctions are made, “in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit. (Dictionary. com). Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws prohibit all sorts of discriminatory practices of employers, which include making “employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities. ” (Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws).
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These EEO laws, which have been passed in most states, enjoin companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all their employees, without regard to irrelevant characteristics such as age, religion and sex. EEO laws, having been based on the fundamental principle of fairness, urges companies to allow equal opportunity for employees to succeed. (Fair Measures). Following these laws, therefore, the company’s decision to choose another person over Crone falls within the category of employment decisions that should not be tainted with discriminatory considerations.
However, it cannot be said that the court’s decision in this case in dismissing the complaint could lead to unlawful excuses for discrimination in other settings, because the ruling was not a statement of a policy favoring the creation of biases against women. The ruling was based on facts. The company was able to substantiate its defense that it was justified in finding Crone unqualified for the position because of her lack of necessary skills to deal with confrontations, which evaluation was supported by an occasion where Crone came close to tears while a driver became confrontational with her.
Thus, the court upheld the ruling in Kiel v. Select Artificials, Inc. , 169 F. 3d 1131, 1136 (8th Cir. ) (en banc), cert. denied, 528 U. S. 818 (1999), which said, “In the absence of any evidence of discriminatory intent, however, it is not the prerogative of the courts or jury to sit in judgment of employers’ management decisions. ” (Crone v. UPS, Inc. , 2002). Thus, it would be premature to conclude that this decision veers away from the policy against discrimination, as it is clear that the company’s decision was based on cold facts.
This writer believes that the above case does not require elaborate changes in the present EEO structure, as there is no danger of discrimination, provided that the law’s nuances and policy are carefully followed. The law provides for instances that could be considered discrimination. In the absence of sufficient proof of such discrimination, the law is correct in providing equal protection to employers who have the right to manage their business in accordance with their preferences.
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