Jose runs a delivery business. He has a small fleet of vans and employs 60 employees, 55 of whom are drivers that deliver goods. The other 5 work in the office: an accountant, a dispatcher, a warehouse/inventory manager, a customer service manager and Jose himself.
Jose’s sister, Teresa, is nagging Jose to hire her son, Xavier. Xavier just turned 18. He barely graduated from high school, has a slew of traffic tickets and spends too much time partying with a group of wild friends. Teresa believes her son just needs the routing and responsibilities of a regular job to straighten out. He is a tall, strong, athletic young man so he would have no trouble loading, unloading the goods to be delivered in the vans as required by all the drivers.
Jose is hesitant. He worries Xavier is not yet mature enough to be a trustworthy employee. However, he feels that in order to keep the family peace, he must give his nephew a chance.
The majority of his drivers are from their tight-knight Hispanic community and have been referred by family, friends, clergy, teachers within the community. It might be a good influence from Xavier to learn from the the more mature, hard-working, responsible family men from the same neighborhood that already drive for Jose’s company.
However, Jose does not have an open position. He has exactly the number of drivers he needs, even allowing for coverage for time off. His budget is tight, so he doesn’t want to hire more than he needs.
It looks like Jose will have to terminate Amy to make room for Xavier. Amy has been with the company for 10 years. She’s been a solid employee with good performance ratings, regular salary increases and great feedback from her regular delivery customers. However, she is nearing retirement age, Jose thinks, and starting to get too old to do the job.
Amy can still load and unload the delivery goods. However, she’s weaker than her male colleagues her age and younger. She wears back braces, wrist braces to help her lifting or carrying. Every once in while, she’ll need to take longer breaks or take longer to deliver the largest, heaviest loads. She always finishes her daily routes, though. Customers like her as well. She has high customer satisfaction scores.
However, Amy is not a native Spanish speaker. She has worked hard to learn just enough conversational Spanish to exchange pleasantries with clients that do not speak English well. So, sometimes customers need to call Jose if they have a complex issue to discuss. In fairness, customers call Jose from other accounts too — anything any of the drivers can not handle is escalated to Jose or someone in the office.
However, Xavier is bilingual — his English and Spanish are perfect.
Amy has complained about the “all-eyes guys” – what she calls a group of male drivers that are always flirting with the office manager, accountant, and dispatcher. All 3 attractive, unmarried, women. The flirtation is friendly and the office manager, Maria, gives as good as she takes and has often dated some of her coworkers. The other two are reserved and Amy says they’ve complained to her about the flirtation going too far in both “word and deed.”
Jose thinks all this is harmless and even good fun in an office that can otherwise be rather dull given the nature of the work is routine and sometime monotonous for those who’ve been around a while. Heck, Jose met his wife at work. She was the previous office manager!
So, he’ll be happy not to have Amy being so uptight about all that.
Jose is going to meet with Amy this afternoon to let her go.
1. What are all the possible EEO issues to consider in this case?
2. What do you recommend Jose do?