Analyze the facts in the scenarios and develop appropriate arguments and recommendations using case law and scholarly sources. Do not copy the case studies into the paper. 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?