Lynch V Freeman

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Running head: LYNCH v. FREEMAN Employment Law: Lynch v. Freeman Brian S. Underwood Ottawa University Diane Shoemaker-Katz April 4, 2013 Abstract The case of Lynch v. Freeman addresses logistical challenges at the workplace and how it may directly impact gender. In this case, female and male employees of the Tennessee Valley Authority were instructed to use portable toilets on a particular construction site; two of these were specifically designated for women to use. Lynch, who is female, suffered UTI’s as a result of their unsanitary conditions. She began using restroom facilities in a building that was on site, but off limits to construction workers. She was caught and reprimanded by her supervisor for her display of insubordination by breaking a company rule. She chose to continue using the clean restroom vs. the dirty portable ones and as a result was terminated for it. She sued under Title VII for gender discrimination and the lower courts found that a disparate impact was suffered by Lynch due to anatomical differences of females vs. males and their associated risks. As a supervisor, I believe that subordinates and their safety must always take priority. As an employer, positive steps could have been advanced by key decision makers to properly solve the issue of unsatisfactory latrine accommodations for its female employees. Employment Law: Lunch v. Freeman I am not particularly surprised by this outcome because Title VII allows for a broad interpretation of its protections afforded to specific classes of employees. It would be impossible to think of every type of discriminatory action in the workplace, and then provide specific laws against them. It is clear that an unsanitary unit would affect female employees different from male employees simply due to anatomical differences. Having said that, it was proven that female employees were limited
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