Option 1: Thomas is a prominent leader in his organization. Over the past several years, Thomas’ weight has fluctuated from morbidly underweight to morbidly overweight and back to morbidly underweight. The organization has given Thomas a performance improvement plan due to attendance issues resulting from concerns of the weight fluctuations. Thomas has consulted with an attorney regarding whether there is possible discrimination occurring by the organization. Do you think the organization is discriminating against Thomas? If you were the employer and you were truly concerned about Thomas, how would you handle this situation? Is a performance improvement plan appropriate here? Why, or why not?
Option 2: Sally and Roger have worked as a team in their organization for several years. Sally is age 64. Roger is age 67. Both are in fair health. Roger has type II diabetes and takes heart medication. Sally is a cancer survivor from 10 years ago with no recurrences. The team has made significant revenue for the company over the last 40 years, independently and collectively. The company does not have a written policy regarding mandatory retirement at age 65. Both Sally and Roger have slowed in their productivity though perform well above expectations by the organizational standard set. At the recent annual performance evaluation, Sally was encouraged by her boss (an owner in the organization) to look to retirement due to her increased health issues. Roger was encouraged to retire due to his work slowing down and increased errors in his judgement. Such issues had never been mentioned before. Do you think there is a viable case for discrimination regarding health and disability? Do you think there is a case of ageism to be considered regarding the organization and the owner? If you were the employer, how would you handle these issues?