Burlington Northern Railway Term Paper

Pages: 3 (969 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Careers

Burlington Northern Railway - Is Settlement Fair?

In any case decided by the court or in any settlement, it is not enough for two parties or more to come to an agreement. They must come to an agreement that is right by way of the law, but also right ethically and morally. In the case of Burlington Railway, a case was settled regarding gene-testing among employees that worked for the Railway. The company, Burlington Northern Santa e Railway Co. agreed to halt any further litigation against the employee in question. The case settlement also resulted in a new policy created by Burlington Railway stating the Company, will no longer conduct genetic testing to discern whether employees had genetic defects or any other problems that may preclude a candidate from working with the organization.

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In this case, the company had tested incumbents to determine whether they had genetic defects before hiring them to work at the facility. They had also tested employees during a pre-screen physical for genetic defects prior to this instance without informing employees of their decision to do this. Clearly this is a case of discrimination as Schafer (2001) notes, as defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). On first review one might automatically assume that it is morally and ethically wrong to exclude individuals with disabilities of any kind from working with the company. However, the company in this case began starting genetic testing because the company had experienced circumstances where employees filed for "work-related injuries based on carpal tunnel syndrome." The company's logic behind testing was that employees with previous defects or injuries that become exacerbated at their new place of employment should not be the responsibility of the employer or potential employer.

Term Paper on Burlington Northern Railway Assignment

There are certain instances where an employer may exclude certain individuals from working in a position. For example, the EEOC does grant "exceptions" to the ADA and other federal legislation if a job requires that a person has "specific characteristics" which may include their "gender, religion, national origin, age" and other protected characteristics, or if the job qualifies for "Bona fide occupational qualification" or BFOQ (Nolo, 2004). An example of this may be the need to hire a female for a bathroom attendant position, or a male for a part in a movie involving a male as the lead character (Nolo, 2004). These exclusions however, are not morally and ethically wrong by general consensus. Most people would agree that such exclusions are valid and do not violate ethical or moral principles. Most women for example, would prefer a female attendant sitting in the bathroom handing out wash cloths than a male attendant.

The decisions made by Burlington Railway however, do not qualify as BFOQ, and do not fit other standards that allow exceptions to EEOC. Opponents however, may suggest it is a violation of the employer's right to fire an employee or fail to pay… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Burlington Northern Railway.  (2007, December 3).  Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/burlington-northern-railway/9221656

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"Burlington Northern Railway."  Essaytown.com.  December 3, 2007.  Accessed January 18, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/burlington-northern-railway/9221656.