In the case of Canyay East, one of the legal problems that immediately comes to my attention is that he may have a discrimination, ageism, and racism case. One of the elements that stand out in this case is that East’s supervisor Traynor Swift has called Canyay an “old relic.” This paper will describe the many legal aspects of the case.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a piece of legislation that bans any type of discrimination due to one’s race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, any disability in the workplace. This applies to any hiring, job advancement, rate of pay, job training, and job testing. Swift’s claim that she is part of the Christian Movement and feels that Canyay is an “old relic” shows evidence of discrimination . According to Johnson (2006), ageism is a type of discrimination in which younger people are thought of as superior, while older individuals are regarded as inferior and not as able to offer a positive contribution to society. Swift is most likely engaging in ageism, as well as discrimination, due to East’s religion and maybe his race.
Swift also has weak work or performance related grounds for the termination of East. Even though it has been determined by HR that all legal requirements for firing East have been fulfilled, this is a misleading fact. It appears that Swift has been giving East some inaccurate and discriminatory performance reviews that are not what he deserves. These low ratings are probably what the HR department is basing it legal requirements for firing East on. Furthermore, East had never received such poor evaluations from other supervisors, which makes a good case for East that he is being treated unfairly and has been subjected to discrimination. If any other worker heard the “old relic” statement that can be used as evidence that Swift fired East due to his age. East needs to show that Swift falsified his work performance appraisal, so that she could terminate him.
East is also being blackmailed into quitting his job voluntarily and agreeing to not sue the company. The only way that he can get severance pay is to a sign an agreement not to sue the company in the future. However, Canyay made a mistake by not asking East to sign another release form from any ageism discrimination suits against the company. Any worker who is over the age of 40, which East qualifies for due to age of 58, must sign another release form that prevents him from filing an age discrimination suit against his former employer. Since East did not accept the severance pay and the age discrimination release was not given to him, he is free to sue the company. Since East also did not negotiate any higher severance pay, which would display that he did not accept the pay, he may have a certain amount of time to accept the severance pay. Each state has different laws regarding the timing for severance pay decisions. For example, in the state of Michigan, a worker has three weeks to decide to accept the severance pay. In that state, an employee can also back out of a signed severance pay agreement up to one week after he or she signs the agreement .
It is also possible that Canyay may try to prove that racism was another reason for his dismissal, since he is of Albanian and Ethiopian descent. Pressuring Canyay to sign a dismissal that he does not want may also not hold up legally. From there Canyay would probably need to show that Swift is racist by asking other employees to be a witness or researching Swift’s past places of employment to how she interacted with people of different races.
As you can see, East may have a solid case against Swift and the company. She seems to have violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, due to ageism and discrimination due to East’s religion and possibly race. East has the right to sue the company and seek justice for his unfair dismissal.
- Heathfield, S. M. (2016, August 29). Severance pay . Retrieved from The Balance.com : https://www.thebalance.com/severance-pay-1918252
- Johnson, A. B. (2006). Privilege, Power, and Difference . New York City : McGraw-Hill.
- Teaching with documents: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission . (2011). Retrieved from National Archives and records Administration : http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/civil-rights-act/