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Workplace Discrimination Case Study: Richard A. Figueroa v. Rex Tillerson, Secretary, U.S. Department of State.

2 pages
530 words
George Washington University
Type of paper: 
Case study
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Case facts

For the past 23 years, Richard Figueroa had been climbing the ranks of Foreign Service. This was not, however, the case in the year 2009. This was the year that the department was awarding a very highly competitive promotion to some of its qualified employees. His missing the chance made him go for a forced retirement due to lack of a position for him. He filed a suit arguing that he failed to get the promotion in the State Department due to his being a Hispanic.

Applicable laws.

Figueroa cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which addresses the disparate treatment and related impacts. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is the federal legislation that protects the employers from any kind of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, color, religion or nationality.


Figueroa based his case on the historical records of lack of justice to the minority as recorded in different departments. He shows data that there had been systematic discrimination of Foreign Service Officers and fails to provide any tangible evidence that he had been discriminated.


The court, after the analysis of facts, is expected to make a conclusion that Figueroa was not a victim of discrimination due to lack of sufficient evidence. In this decision, the court will assert that Figueroa was not in a position that was competitive enough to earn him the promotion.

Methods for selecting people for promotion in the article.

In the Department of Foreign Service, the promotion criterion entails a careful analysis of existing data to determine the available vacancies each year. This is done by the Department of Regional Management. The positions may exist due to retirement, resignation or promotion to higher levels. The selection for promotion of other employees is a competitive process called precepts. The candidate passes through preliminary review by the board and later to secondary classwide board probe. It is at the secondary classwide that each board member makes the recommendations for candidate selection for promotion.

Ethical issues in the manuscript.

The ethical issues in this manuscript related to the fair treatment of employees regardless of race, sex or religion. The plaintiff, in this case, was a Hispanic and as such, felt that he deserved a better bargaining ground than the rest to earn the promotion. However, the court was able to determine that there were no such issues as discrimination and the organization behaved ethically be denying him the promotion.

Impact on HR management.

Human resource management has a strong precedence as established by this case. Due to the labor laws, labor unions and affirmative actions, the human resource management has been in the crossroad has been accused of discrimination in the workplace even where such things do not exist. The Human resource managers have a strong platform to argue in court cases relating to discrimination on the basis of race. This allows the managers to undertake the right procedure when making recommendations for promotion without fear of victimization.



Figueroa v. Tillerson, No. 16-cv-649 (CRC) (D.C. Jan. 31, 2018).

Chapter 6 of class Text Book. Selecting Employees Who Fit.

Chapter 2 of class text book. Ensuring Equal Employment Opportunity and Safety.


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