Case One Response (COMM 564 Ebo)

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Picture this scenario: You’re just returning from your lunch break when your boss walks up to you and tells you to pack your belongings. You’re fired. You stammer for an explanation. Did you mishandle an important project? Were you accused of embezzling company funds?

No. It’s because you’re fat.

Of course, immediately, I need to know some more clarifying information.

How do I know that I am being fired for what I’ll call obesity? What in my job requires that I must be of ‘normal’ weight? What is normal weight? Are we using a formula? Am I a dancer? Am I a model? Am I an athlete who needs to be in top physical shape to stay focused? Am I a trash person, who must be able to hang on to the back of a truck without fear of a quick turn? Is it part of a contract? Has anything actually been said to indicate that obesity was in fact the reason? The company is held, generally speaking, to a standard that prevents discrimination according to weight, which in this case might be coded as a disability.
I don’t think the case would stand very long in court or even be considered unless there is some factor which is not revealed in the case study, such as one of the scenarios I mentioned above, e.g. dancing, modeling, or some other work activity that requires the worker’s body to be of a certain fitness in order to do the work well. In this case, special care would have to be taken in the work agreement to measure what an ideal body was proportionally, in weight, and in tone, so that an objective analysis of the worker’s body could be shown to be outside of the margins of allowance. Otherwise, the scenario is akin to prejudice, in that bodily fitness has no impact of knowledge work, but may indeed be seen as having an impact on kinetic work.

I’d also add that I do not see it as very fair nor reasonable, even given a contract, that there not be an opportunity to make things right in the eyes of the contract. How many pounds out of the allowance are we? 20 pounds? 10? 10 pounds could be reasonably lost with a fitness and caloric regimen in 5 to 10 weeks. Can the work be held for that long? Is there some other task that the obese employee could do in the meantime?

John LeMasney

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Comm 564 Ebo: Definition of Terms


Provide a brief definition of the following terms. Type it up and bring to class with you:


Data on race will be shown using several different options. For example, in the Public Law 94-171 (redistricting) file, data will be shown for 63 racial

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categories. These include White alone, Black or African American alone, American Indian and Alaska Native alone, Asian alone, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, Some other race alone and 57 possible combinations of the above six categories.
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Meighan and Siraj – Blatchford (2003) also remind us that there is no scientific foundation for defining the human races, that the variation within the human population is bigger than between; humans are in fact therefore more homogenous that any other species. This view is shared by Jones (1991) who believes that what is meant by ‘race’, is in effect colour. He argues that classifying people leads to judging people which in turn leads to prejudice (cited in Haralambus and Holburn 2000).

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What determines its gender—in most cases—are its sex chromosomes: two X chromosomes in the nucleus of its original egg cell and it will become a female; a Y and an X chromosome and it will become a male.
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National origin:

The definition for national origin includes a person’s, or his ancestor’s, place of origin, or the fact that the individual has the characteristics of a particular

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national origin group.
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Condition as to ancestors; ancestral lineage; hence, birth or honorable descent.
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The length of time that one has existed; duration of life: 23 years of age; The time of life when a person becomes qualified to assume certain civil and personal rights and responsibilities, usually at 18 or 21 years; legal age: under age; of age; One of the stages of life: the age of adolescence; at an awkward age; The state of being old; old age: hair white with age.
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What the Act means by disability: The Acts defines a disabled person as “someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.
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Marital status:

A demographic parameter indicating a person’s status with respect to marriage, divorce, widowhood, singleness, etc.

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Gender has far reaching effects within some social settings for the individual. While ‘sex’ is the biological difference between male and female, gender is the social construction and the cultural role that society imposes upon the individual. (Abbot and Wallace 1997). The role of the individual, depending on their ‘race’ and gender and within their cultural and ethnic setting helps to establish their personal and social identity and so each have inherent common characteristics.
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In general, the Census Bureau defines ethnicity or origin as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person ‘s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. People who identify their origin as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino may be of any race.
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Taylor et al (2002) define religion as a collective of individuals with a shared system of beliefs who adhere to a set of approved practices and activities while Hammer (1995) defines religion as a system of beliefs and practices that help the participants cope with life.This can often be at the heart of a people (cited in Taylor et al 2000). Dimensions often regarded as fundamental to a religion can shape the individual. Smart (1968) identifies seven common dimensions that religions share: Doctrinal, Mythological, Ethical, Ritual, Experiential, Social and Material. (cited in Bastide, 1987).
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Simply Religious
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