A female crane operator was told it was company policy that crane operators urinate over the side of their cranes rather than stop work to take bathroom breaks. Management justified the policy by saying that there was a shortage of staff and that it was necessary for the cranes to operate continuously in that area of the plant. Further, crane operators received a “premium” for working under these conditions. Shifts for crane operators were typically twelve hours. There was evidence that the same policy was applied to male crane operators and that they routinely urinated over the side or back of their cranes in lieu of bathroom breaks. The employer offered the woman some alternative jobs, but none were crane operator positions at the same wage. She filed a complaint with the EEOC.
- What laws is the employer violating?
- The EEOC offered the employer the opportunity to try mediation. Should the employer accept?
- Assume you are the mediator. What would you recommend to the parties?