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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Youth at Work

16. April applies for a job as a barista at a coffee shop. The Store Manager is impressed with April’s recent barista work experience and positive references and offers her a job, telling her to report for work in two weeks. Upon arrival, April asks the Store Manager where she should put her medication, which needs to be refrigerated. The Manager asks her what the medication is and why she needs to take it, and April explains that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years ago. The manager nods and shows her the refrigerator in the employee break room. At the end of the day, the Store Manager tells April that he decided that the job was not a good fit for her. He says that the job could be very fast-paced and requires interacting with customers who could be rude and impatient. He expresses concern that the stress of the job would make her medical condition worse, and says that he does not want to risk her hurting herself or her co-workers if she has a “mental breakdown” while preparing hot beverages. Did the manager discriminate against April?

  1. No. While it may have been unfair for the manager to change his mind about hiring April, the manager did so out of concern for April’s well-being, so his decision was not illegal.
  2. No. April should have told the manager that she had bipolar disorder during her interview.
  3. Yes. The manager discriminated against April by asking her about her medication. However, once he learned that she had bipolar disorder, he had a valid reason to fire her.
  4. Yes. The manager discriminated against April by asking her about her medication and by firing her.