Background Checks and Employment Law

QUESTION SET ONE
Thornton Mellon owns and operates “Tall and Fat”, a retail store where the freakishly tall and the pleasantly plump shop for their clothes.
Betty, a customer who is both freakishly tall and pleasantly plump, reported that jewelry was stolen from her purse while she was in the dressing room. The only person in the store at the time was Al Bundy, Assistant Manager.
When confronted with the allegations, Al admitted to stealing the jewelry. Al claimed that he needed money to pay for medical care for his son, Bud. Unfortunately, Al already sold the jewelry and drank away all of the proceeds.
Define respondeat superior liability.
• Identify the test that would be applied to determine whether Tall and Fat is liable to Betty under the common law doctrine of respondeat superior liability.
• Identify and discuss an analogous case from the text.
• Analyze whether tall and Fat is liable to Betty under a respondeat superior theory of liability.
QUESTION SET TWO
Upon further questioning, Thornton learns that Al has a long criminal record, including four convictions for theft in the past 7 years.
• Define negligence.
• Identify the test applied to determine whether Tall and Fat is liable to Betty under a negligence theory of liability.
• Identify and discuss an analogous case from the text. (Text)- Employment Law for Human Resource Practice, David J. Walsh, Thomson – West (Note: This is the West Legal Studies in Business – Academic Series) 4th edition, 2012. ISBN 9781111972196
• Analyze whether Tall and Fat is liable to Betty under a negligence theory of liability.
QUESTION SET THREE
Thornton terminates Al’s employment for theft. Determined to avoid bad hires, Thornton implements a series of measures designed to screen out candidates who are not fit for employment at Tall and Fat.
Thornton adds a question to the employment application, which states, in relevant part, “have you ever been arrested, convicted or plead guilty to a crime”. If an applicant responds that he or she was arrested, convicted or plead guilty to a crime of dishonesty, Thornton sends the applicant a standard rejection letter indicating that Tall and Fat found a better qualified candidate for the position.
Thornton also adds a paragraph at the end of the application identifying Tall and Fat’s intention to request a criminal background check, disclosing the applicant’s rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and adding a signature line authorizing Tall and Fat to conduct a criminal background check. If the background check uncovers evidence that an applicant has been arrested, Thornton sends the applicant a standard rejection letter indicating that Tall and Fat found a better qualified candidate for the position.
Thornton believes that there is a strong correlation between theft and drug and alcohol use. Thornton implements a pre-employment drug and alcohol test. If the applicant tests positive for drugs or alcohol, Thornton sends the applicant a standard rejection letter indicating that Tall and Fat found a better qualified candidate for the position.
Al applies for employment with Victoria’s Secret. On his application, Al lists Thornton as a reference. Looking to avoid any trouble (Al is a big man, and he never gave Thornton any respect), Thornton told Victoria’s Secret that Al was a model employee.
If the applicant clears all of the initial hurdles, there is only one thing between the applicant and a position at Tall and Fat. A few years ago, one of Tall and Fat’s customers fell and could not get up. Lucky for the customer that Al was strong enough to lift him back into his wheelchair. Because the average customer at Tall and Fat weighs 300 lbs., Thornton implemented a strength test. Applicants must lift a 300 lb. bag of rice from the ground to their waist. If the applicant accomplishes this feat, Thornton sends the applicant an offer letter.
Many women have applied for the coveted positions at Tall and Fat, but none have been hired.
• Identify and briefly discuss the issues implicated by this fact pattern
Employment Law for Human Resource Practice, David J. Walsh, Thomson – West (

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