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The US Courts website states: “The Free Exercise Clause protects citizens’ right to practice their religion as they please, so long as the practice does not run afoul of a ‘public morals’ or a ‘c


Many businesses today, as corporate entities other than sole proprietorships, voice their political and social views in various ways.

The subject of LGBTQ rights is an evolving issue of constitutional implications. A Colorado bakery, stepped into center ring of controversy asserting that First Amendment free exercise of religion must be recognized by the government in the application of discrimination laws.


The US Courts website states: “The Free Exercise Clause protects citizens’ right to practice their religion as they please, so long as the practice does not run afoul of a ‘public morals’ or a ‘compelling’ governmental interest.”

When does the First Amendment’s Free Exercise of Religion Clause justify a discriminatory business practice?

For forming your discussion and answering to this question, READ and COMPARE THESE 2 CASES:

Arlene’s Flowers Case – SCT of WA

Masterpiece Cakeshop – SCt US opinion

Summary and citations: Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 138 S.Ct. 1718 (2018).  Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. (a small bakery, whose owner refused to create and sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple for their wedding because their homosexual marriage was against his religious beliefs); and State of Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers, Case No. 91615-2 (Wash., June 6, 2019)(florist claimed right to deny flowers to same-sex wedding for reason of religion).


Another case you should consider is the Court’s finding of race discrimination under the Commerce Clause in Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964). Would it make a difference if the restaurant owner claimed segregation of the races was required by his religion?

From eReserve readings: Supreme Court Sends Mixed Messages About LGBTQ Rights


For this Discussion, first READ:

Ethics – Relationship of Corporate Governance to Corporate Social Responsibility

and eReserve Required Readings re: BP Gulf Oil spill and corporate social responsibility (CSR) Readings.


What was key corporate decision point that defines BP’s  ethical dilemma in this case study? Which ethical frameworks characterizes BP’s decision? In your initial Discussion post, be sure to include the following three areas:

  • Explain how the philosophy of Milton Friedman might have played a role in BP management’s decisions leading up to the disaster.
  • Explain the role of the ethical framework called “egoism” in the decisions made by BP relating to this disaster.
  • Explain how CSR and theories of sustainability such as triple bottom line could have led BP to make different decisions and avoid the disaster. What would have been the corporate considerations and decision making process?

Question 3

Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112(a), requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to otherwise qualified persons with a disability to enable them to work.   The federal government has a similar requirement under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794.  A “reasonable” accommodation a determination to be made on the facts by the employer on a case-by-case basis.  Ultimately, the decision an employer makes could be reviewed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  (or an equivalent state agency) or a court if the employer is sued for discrimination.



Adrian, a fully qualified specialized registered nurse, is deaf. He relies upon an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to communicate with hearing individuals in the workplace. Adrian applied for a job with Carmel Receiving and Trauma Center (“CRTC”), a large medical center that, with all its hubs and subsidiaries, grosses $1.3 billion annually. Net profits are in the millions. Adrian received a job offer, conditioned upon a health screening and clearance by CRTC’s occupational health department. He was in fact cleared, but he notified CRTC that he needed an ASL interpreter as an accommodation for his hearing impairment.  The annual salary, including benefits, for his position was approximately $75,000. Upon investigation, CRTC calculated that the annual cost to CRTC for the ASL interpreter accommodation would be an additional $100,000; there was the need for a full time interpreter for Adrian, plus several situations where two ASL interpreters would be required.  In considering Adrian’s request for accommodation, the hiring supervisor wrote in an email to her boss that the department’s annual budget allocation could not  absorb the “excessive cost of the additional personnel” of ASL qualified interpreters “for this one nurse.”  Based on the cost of the accommodation, CRTC immediately determined that the additional salary and overhead for the interpreters would be an “undue hardship,” making the accommodation unreasonable.  Therefore, CRTC did not hire Adrian.   Did CRTC violate ADA?


1. Was CRTC within its legal rights under ADA to refuse the accommodation and thus not hire Adrian on the basis of undue hardship?  In considering this case, you should review:

(a) what is considered a “reasonable” accommodation under ADA including sample accommodations listed by ADA (42 U.S.C. § 12111(9) (2018)) and the EEOC (www.eeoc.gov); and

(c)  the definition and standard for employer “undue hardship”  (42 U.S.C. § 12111(10)(a) (2018)); and

(d)  case law – what do the courts consider in determining if there is undue hardship?

2.  Are there ethical considerations involved in this case beyond what is required by the “letter of the law” and if so what are they?

Please support your thoughts and conclusions with reasoned analysis and your research.

Question 4

For this Discussion first read the following:

Olivier Serrat is a noted writer and ethical theorist, and professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Read his Paper by Olivier Serrat – Ethics, My Own Perspective.

(Note – if for any reason the above link is a problem – search “Olivier Serrat Ethics My Own Perspective” on Google Scholar and select researchgate PDF option)

During our discussions, lessons, and readings in this course, you have reviewed several legal and ethical issues that affect business practices and business decisions. The business environment, for even the sole proprietor and small company, can be complex. For this Discussion, reflect on the readings, discussions and issues we have covered.  For your initial Discussion post this week, answer the following and then discuss further with your peers.

What do you recommend as the best ethical framework for U.S. business management in the global business environment?  Describe and explain the basis for your recommended framework in your initial Discussion post.

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