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IHP-420-X3057 Ethical & Legal Considerations 24EW3 5-1 discussion response to peer #2


In this discussion, you get to be the lawyer. Choose one of the two case scenarios listed below. Then pick a side. Decide whether you want to represent the employee alleging discrimination (the plaintiff) or the hospital defending the claim (the defendant).

Case Scenarios:

Case 1: Read “The Case of Janet K. and Epilepsy” found on p. 177 of the textbook. Assume for the purposes of this question that Janet has consulted an attorney to see what her rights are and what her options might be for bringing a claim against the hospital.
Case 2: A management position has opened up due to a recent retirement in the medical staff office at the local hospital where you work. You and your pregnant coworker Melissa are talking about it at lunch one day. Melissa is very excited because she has been told several times by different senior managers that the next management position available would be hers.
The next day, however, it is announced that a male coworker with less experience, education, and time on the job was offered the position. Melissa feels very strongly that it is because she is pregnant and going on maternity leave in two months. Melissa has an impeccable performance record throughout her employment at the hospital, and other than two weeks of doctor-ordered bed rest for gestational diabetes, she has not missed a day of work during her pregnancy. She has consulted an attorney to see what her rights are and whether there is any action that can be taken against the hospital.

In your initial post, set out the facts, the specific law or laws supporting your client’s position, and what your client wants to resolve the situation (for example, a request for a formal investigation, the offer of a promotion, or dropping the claim).


In your responses to your peers, represent the opposing side in the scenario selected. Remember to stick to the facts and to avoid making assumptions or generalizations. All sources, including course materials, must be cited according to the most recent APA style.


In the presented scenario, Melissa asserts that she was unjustly denied a managerial role due to protected legal status. Legally, Melissa may invoke statutes against discrimination, notably Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which proscribes bias rooted in pregnancy and potentially gender. Melissa might argue that the hospital’s preference for promoting a male colleague, notwithstanding his lesser qualifications, in contradiction to assurances from higher-ups regarding her advancement, constitutes discriminatory conduct.

To fortify her case, Melissa could demonstrate a pattern of unequal treatment or deviation from established promotion protocols within the hospital. If Melissa can furnish evidence of consistent assurances of her promotion and the subsequent preference for her male coworker being influenced by her protected status, she could have a compelling legal stance. Furthermore, Melissa’s stellar work performance and minimal absenteeism during her pregnancy lend credence to her assertion that her condition was the determining factor in the decision.

Moreover, Melissa’s engagement with legal counsel underscores her seriousness in pursuing legal remedies and indicates her thorough exploration of her legal rights. An attorney can navigate the legal avenues accessible to Melissa, including lodging a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or initiating legal proceedings against the hospital.

Ultimately, the strength of Melissa’s case hinges on her ability to present sufficient evidence linking the decision-maker’s actions to her pregnancy. Should Melissa establish a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination by demonstrating her qualification for the managerial role and the decisive role her pregnancy or gender played in the decision, she could have a compelling legal argument against the hospital. However, it is essential to acknowledge that the hospital may present justifications for selecting the male coworker, potentially complicating Melissa’s case.

In this scenario, I would advocate for the plaintiff, Melissa, who alleges discrimination in the workplace based on protected statuses. Melissa’s case raises serious questions about the hospital’s adherence to anti-discrimination laws and its treatment of pregnant employees.

As Melissa’s representative, I would champion her rights and pursue justice. Her exceptional performance record, coupled with assurances of promotion from senior management, suggests her suitability for the managerial role. The decision to favor a male coworker with inferior qualifications despite these assurances raises concerns about potential discriminatory practices within the hospital.

Moreover, advocating for Melissa allows me to uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination in the workplace. Pregnancy discrimination contravenes Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and advocating for Melissa sends a resolute message that such discriminatory practices will not be tolerated. By combating discrimination, I contribute to fostering a workplace environment that respects and safeguards the rights of all employees.

As the plaintiff, Melissa would likely seek various forms of redress for the alleged pregnancy discrimination she endured in the workplace. Potential actions she may pursue include:

1. Formal Investigation: Requesting a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the decision not to promote her, aiming to uncover evidence supporting her claims of pregnancy discrimination.
2. Promotion Opportunity: Seeking the managerial position she was promised, should it be determined that her pregnancy influenced the decision not to promote her.
3. Compensation: Pursuing compensation for any damages from the alleged discrimination, such as lost wages or emotional distress.
4. Policy Changes: Advocating for changes in the hospital’s policies and practices to prevent future pregnancy discrimination, including implementing training programs and fostering an inclusive workplace culture.
5. Public Accountability: Holding the hospital publicly accountable for its actions through litigation or filing complaints with the appropriate authorities raises awareness and effects broader societal change.
Ultimately, the specific remedies Melissa seeks will depend on her case’s particulars, objectives, and any settlements reached. However, her primary aim as the plaintiff is to secure a resolution addressing the discrimination she experienced and preventing its recurrence.

required resources:
Textbook: Medical Law and Ethics, Chapters 4 and 8

Chapter 4 guiding questions:

1. What are the main types of medical practice?
2. What are the three categories of licensed nurses? Can you describe their educational requirements?
3. What are the five categories of certified healthcare professionals?
4. ,What are the differences between HMOs, PPOs, and EPOs?

Chapter 8 guiding questions:

1. What are the regulations concerning equal employment opportunity and employment discrimination?
2. What are the regulations affecting employee health, safety, compensation, and benefits?
3. What are some important things to consider during interviewing?


Review this Shapiro Library article to understand the United States’ patchwork system of health insurance coverage, in which people’s access to coverage and services varies with their birthplace, age, job, income, location, and health status.

Watch this video to explore public health ethics in terms of bioethics, human rights, justice, and moral responsibility.

A video transcript is available:

Additional Support (Optional):

Textbook: Medical Law and Ethics, Chapter 7
This chapter covers public duties among health care professionals.


This OSHA website includes many resources that highlight worker safety in hospitals. In the second paragraph, click “Download the overview” to read about how workers are your best asset when they are well protected.


Review this website from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


Use the drop-down menu to search by state for information on Medicaid eligibility levels, enrollment data, delivery systems, and more.

You should use at least one scholarly or professional source other than the textbook. All sources, including course materials, must be cited according to APA style.




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