An OB/GYN unit of a hospital advertised for a position opening for a Registered Nurse. The hospital had a 20 year policy of hiring ONLY female obstetric nurses. A male, who was a reg- istered nurse, with past experience as an obstetrics nurse, applied for the position, and was turned down, as he was not female. The hospital argued that a female was necessary for this position, due to the intimate nature of obstetrics. They said that having a male OB nurse vio- lated the privacy rights of the patients. There are no OB nurse positions that do not involve patients with their private parts exposed. Furthermore, even in cases where a male doctor is allowed, patients demand a female nurse as a “chaperone.” Finally, they showed evidence that at a teaching hospital, 80 percent of all patients refused to allow male students to be in the room during treatment, while few refused female students (State EEO newsletter, 2004).
1. Is this practice discriminatory?
2. Is the BFOQ defense legitimate?
3. Why, or why not?
According to BFOQ , title VII organisations to discriminate between individuals on the basis of religion, sex or the national origin of the individuals in those instances where all these things is a Bona FIDE occupational qualification which is extremely necessary to the operational practice of that particular business or Enterprise.
Hence we can say this practice is not discriminatory if it’s only discriminated on the basis of male or female nurses.
The Bona FIDE occupational qualification as a defence system that can be used to justify between the international and unintentional discrimination in some specific conditions. By Looking through different aspects, bona fide occupational qualification can be used to determine the discrimination in the job criteria with which the employees are hired.
In the above scenario it is ethically correct to have a female that rather than having a male nurse as the patients were also uncomfortable with the male nurse. BFOQ also provides an exception in such cases where the organisation cannot Run without discriminating between male and female hence, this specific practice is not discriminatory and the BFOQ difference is legitimate.