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What exposure does the company have to a discrimi-nation complaint?

Bob Johnson worked as a canning machine operator at West Coast Fisheries. As part of his job description and assigned duties, Bob was responsible for both operating and making minor repairs to the canning machine. The job required some mechanical ability and significant physical strength and agility because the design of the canning machines regularly required the operator/repairperson to climb 12 to 15 feet on a ladder attached to the machine, car-rying tools and materials. The operator then fed sheet metal stacks into the mechanism and/or effected repairs or replaced parts that also had to be hand carried. The job was both arduous and dangerous. Accordingly, it was the highest paid job in the cannery. Although 90 percent of the cannery production employees were female, all of the six (6) canning machine operator positions were held by men. Only men had worked as canning machine operators since the plant was opened 25 years ago. Promotions at West Coast Fisheries were based both on qualifications and seniority. Qualifications were demonstrated either through formal training or on-the-job experience. The company credited both experience with other employers or temporary performance in the same or similar job with the company. When qualifications were determined by West Coast Fisheries to be equivalent, senior-ity with the company was the deciding factor in selection. When Bob announced his anticipated retirement, Joyce Brown approached her supervisor about replacing Bob as a canning machine operator. Joyce was 25 years old, was 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighed approximately 140 pounds. She had worked at the company for six years as a packer, the lowest paid production job. She told the supervisor that she had grown up on a farm and had experience repairing tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. The supervisor expressed doubt about Joyce’s ability to perform the operator’s job but said he would let her know when the job was posted. A few days before Bob retired and the day after the job was posted, the company announced that it had hired Harry Brandt, a laid-off aircraft mechanic, as a canning machine operator to replace Bob. When Joyce went in to apply for the job she was told that Harry had been referred by a local employment agency (the agency had received advance notice of the posting), that he was extremely well qualified, and that the company didn’t want to lose an opportunity to hire him. The HR director indicated that Joyce had never demonstrated her ability to perform the work and he felt that the operator’s job was too physically taxing and dangerous for a woman. What exposure does the company have to a discrimi-nation comp

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