Lesson 01 Employment Law Assignment WAS public private sector employer

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Lesson 01: Assignment

Please respond to each question set in the order in which it appears below, inserting the number of the question as a heading or in the first line of the response to that set.


Well Again Services (WAS) is a nonunion employer that provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services at various locations in Iowa. It has an opening for an HR specialist position in its Des Moines office. You’ve applied for that position and are now getting ready for a video interview where you want to demonstrate your knowledge about labor and employment law.

In light of the Lesson 1 course reading:

  1. What factors would determine whether WAS is a public or private sector employer?
  2. Describe the impact of being a public-sector versus a private-sector employer in terms of labor and employment law. Be specific, and give some examples of laws that relate to this issue.
  3. Would the size of WAS affect its labor and employment obligations?
  4. If so, describe the impact of employer size in this context. Be specific, and give examples of some laws that relate to this issue.
  5. Could its Iowa location impact WAS’s labor and employment obligations? If so, in what way?
  6. What might you need to know to answer that question more specifically?
  7. What other factors might impact which labor and employment laws apply to WAS?


Good news. You got the job and have been asked to assess the following situation: Last week, Molly, a manager in WAS’s Cedar Rapids facility, fired Emir, a physical therapist, for alleged excessive absenteeism. Today WAS received a letter from Emir’s attorney alleging that Emir was wrongfully discharged and that the true reason for termination was his complaint to the WAS Board of Directors about an unlawful pain medication practice at the Cedar Rapids facility. According to the attorney, Molly fired Emir because he told the Board that a supervisor was collecting prescription pain medications left behind by patients who had been discharged (or who died while in care) and making those medications available to other patients. Salvatore, the Vice President of Human Resources, has asked you to analyze Emir’s wrongful discharge claim by way of an IRAC memo.

Your HR colleagues have since explained that IRAC is an acronym that stands for “Issues, Rule, Application (or Analysis) and Conclusion.” So, your memo (and this Lesson 1 assignment) should:

  1. First, identify the narrow Issue(s) identified in the Molly/Emir fact pattern.
  2. Second, identify and describe the Rule or test the court’s use to analyze such issues. To receive points for this part of the question, you must reference a case in the course reading in which the rule/test was applied. Be sure to identify the case by its full name, and give the page on which it appears in the course reading.
  3. Third, discuss how the court Applied the rule to the salient or most important facts in that case (the court’s Analysis.)
  4. Finally, analyze our fact pattern, i.e., apply the rule to our fact pattern and describe the Conclusion that you anticipate a court would reach based on the law and our facts.
  5. If additional information would be helpful to your analysis, explain how and why it would impact the analysis.


Before you have a chance to finish your IRAC memo, WAS is served with a complaint that Emir and his attorney have filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. In addition to asserting that he was wrongfully discharged based on public policy, Emir alleges that he was fired in part because of his national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Salvatore, the HR Vice President, demands that you immediately contact legal counsel to get the case dismissed based on the company’s mandatory arbitration policy, which bars employees from submitting any employment-related claims to any court. Salvatore also wants to know the maximum relief that could be awarded to Emir pursuant to his Title VII claim.

  1. What do you and legal counsel need to know about the WAS arbitration policy in order to assess to what extent it could bar this federal court complaint?
  2. What specific features in that policy would make it more likely to be enforceable here?
  3. What factors would tend to have the opposite effect?
  4. Assuming that WAS has over 500 employees, describe the relief that the court could award Emir pursuant to Title VII.

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