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Case Study – Employee Rights and Safety

Case Study – Employee Rights and Safety

Laws That May Protect Sandra

One law that may protect Sandra is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act. The Act protects employees’ safety by ensuring that they do not do work that could endanger their health and safety (Katz et al., 2017). For instance, Sandra has been restricted from lifting 65 pounds because lifting heavy objects would harm her and her unborn child. Therefore, OSHA protects her by ensuring that she does not lift anything weighing 65 pounds and above in the workplace because one of the job requirements is lifting 65 pounds smoothly, but Sandra’s pregnancy limits her from meeting this condition. The second law is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (n.d), the Act protects employees from being discriminated against after delivery or when they are pregnant. The law protects Sandra from being laid off, unlawful contract termination, and job task discrimination. The third law is the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Act ensures that eligible employees are granted paid leaves and job-protected leave for specified medical and family reasons (U.S. Department of Labor, n.d). In Sandra’s case, she is entitled to a leave of a minimum of twelve work weeks when she gives birth. She is also entitled to take a leave to attend to her child’s medical appointments because she may require regularly taking the child to the hospital due to the child’s medical condition.

Impediments That Might Inhibit Sandra From Availing Herself of These Protections.

One of the impediments that might inhibit Sandra from being protected by the laws mentioned above is failing to take the initiative to request leave to take care of her child. The second impediment is willingly exposing herself to danger in the work environment because OSHA does not protect employees who willingly endanger themselves in the workplace. For instance, if Sandra gets hurt or hurts the baby by lifting objects weighing 65 pounds and above, the employer may argue that she did it intentionally to harm the baby, thus dismissing the provisions of the OSHA Act. The third impediment is failing to present medical records required by the employer to collaborate with the information she gives when requesting a medical leave. For instance, Sandra needs to disclose to her employer that she has a sick child to be prepared to give her medical leave whenever the child requires medical assistance.

Sandra’s Employer Legal Liabilities

Sandra’s employer has not opened itself to legal liabilities because it adheres to the Family and Medical Leave Act and ensures that only qualified employees are granted family and medical leave. The employer does not have a duty to give employees the Family and Medical Leave Act application or suggest that employees take time off because they have a medical condition. Therefore, employees are not required to complete paperwork to invoke their FMLA rights but can invoke the right to family and medical leave by requesting time off when there is a valid reason and informing the employer of the reason (Albiston, 2009). For instance, in Sandra’s case, the manager reviews the note Sandra’s doctor wrote to request the extension of Sandra’s leave to ensure that there is a valid reason to allow Sandra to continue taking time off. The employer also has the authority to confirm whether the information provided by the employee when requesting leave is correct or not. The employer also avoided legal liabilities by informing Sandra about the requirement to lift 65 pounds, thus allowing her to decline the job if she felt that it would affect her and her unborn child.


Albiston, C. R. (2009). Institutional inequality and the mobilization of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Katz, H. C., Kochan, T. A., & Colvin, A. J. (2017). An introduction to U.S. collective bargaining and labor relations.

U.S. Department of Labor. Wage and Hour Division (WHD) (n.d) The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Retrieved at

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Pregnancy Discrimination. Retrieved at


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Employee Rights and Safety

Employee Rights and Safety

Module 3 – SLP
Before starting this assignment be sure you are familiar with the following laws and their amendments:

Katz, H. C., Kochan, T. A., & Colvin, A. J. S. (2017).Employment law. An introduction to U. S. collective bargaining and labor relations. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pg. 71-79. Retrieved from Skillsoft Books in the Trident Online Library.

U.S. Department of Labor. Wage and Hour Division (WHD) (n.d.) The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Retrieved at

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Pregnancy Discrimination. Retrieved at

U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.) Americans with Disabilities Act. Retrieved at

U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, About OSHA. Retrieved from

Prepare a 2-page paper (not counting the cover and reference pages) discussing how the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, safety laws, or other state laws might apply to the following scenario.

One of your old college roommates, Sandra, is a nurse who took a job that required her to lift 65 pounds smoothly. She was told the job had this physical strength requirement for patient safety and to ensure that teams of nurses could move patients as needed. Sandra worked for a nursing home chain that employed 900 employees.

Sandra had become pregnant and on her doctor’s advice tried to refrain from lifting 65 pounds. After she kept finding herself in situations at work that required her to do this kind of lifting, she decided to just stay home until the baby was born.

After the baby was born, Sandra went back to work, but her baby developed a medical condition that required her to see doctors frequently. Sandra didn’t have anyone else who could be a “dedicated” caregiver for her baby, so she took leave from work to tend to her child.

When Sandra’s leave was about to expire, she asked her doctor to write a note in support of extending her leave. The note wasn’t clear and suggested that the doctor thought it would be nice, but not necessary, for mother and child to be together.

Sandra’s manager told her that the nursing home wouldn’t be able to keep her job open for her any longer. However, he told her she should apply to the company again as a new hire when she was ready to get back to work.

Your paper should address the following:

Discern and discuss which laws may protect Sandra based on the given facts.
Identify specific impediments that might inhibit Sandra from availing herself of these protections.
Explain if Sandra’s employer might have opened itself to legal liabilities and if so why.
Use at least three Trident Online Library sources plus any applicable background readings to support your discussion.

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