Discussion Responses : Even though women were allowed to be admitted into NASA’s astronaut training program in 1961, they were not allowed to serve as astronauts since NASA required fighter jet experience, which women were not allowed to have at the time. :Business and Finance Homework Help
Under Title VII, these women could claim that the added requirement for requiring fighter jet experience is a disparate impact. Disparate impact could be applicable here since on the surface, requiring experience in operating a fighter jet would seem reasonable for operating a rocket ship, but in practice excludes too many people in a protected group, women, since none of them can gain the experience (Beatty, Samuelson, & Abril p.358, 2019).
The case for the women is not strong. In order to establish a prima facie case, all the women must do is show that only men can currently qualify. Given that all that is required to establish a prima facie case is a disparate impact, not necessarily discrimination, this is all the information that is needed (Beatty, Samuelson, & Abril p.358, 2019). NASA’s best defense would be to argue that the employment practice was necessary. Given that operating in a real-world scenario, the closest thing to simulate a rocket ship would be a fighter jet, which makes logical sense.
NASA would present this information as a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ), given that it most likely is necessary that this fighter jet qualification should exist. A BFOQ specifically allows for the establishment of discriminatory job requirements if they are essential to the job (Beatty, Samuelson, & Abril p.364, 2019).
Overall, when it comes to NASA, this case will likely not hold up due to BFOQ. However, when looking at only the USAF, the requirement that only men can use fighter jets should be found discriminatory and overturned.
This week’s prompt poses the scenario of of NASA letting women into it’s training program in 1961. It appears that NASA decided to change its requirements by adding that trainees in the program needed jet fighter experience as a requirement in order to become astronaut.
The issue at hand is not that women weren’t accepted into the program. The issues lie on the fact that the jet fighter experience requirement is only applicable to men. By default, and as a result of this requirement, all women would immediately be discounted and barred from the possibility of becoming astronauts.
Under Title VII, the women in the program could claim gender discrimination (Justia, 2019). The women could make the argument that at the time of acceptance into the program, the fighter jet experience was not a requirement. In order to establish a prima facie case, the women would have to prove that there was intent to put women in the program at a disadvantage vs. the men. The women could make the case that if NASA truly cared about a diverse group of astronauts trainees they would get remove the fighter jet experience only for men OR allow women to be eligible to fly jet fighters. The women can also claim that it’s wrong of NASA to have all tests done first and then inform then later of their ineligibility. The testing process should be streamlined, transparent, and communicative. It should be very clear on NASA’s part to decide the eligibility criteria prior to offering roles.
NASA’s best defense could be that women are more prone to space radiation than men. According to NASA The exposure limits for women are about 20 percent lower compared to men largely due to additional cancer risk for woman from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers (Kramer, 2013).
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