Tag: Sexual Harassment

Employees And Sexual Harassment – A Case Study of Suzy

Suzy, a 35-year-old Caucasian woman, is a fairly new employee at a downtown office building in Texas. Most of Suzy’s fellow employees are males between the ages of 18 and 40. Suzy is determined to fit in with her new colleagues and allows some sexually explicit jokes, which are on the borderline of being offensive, to be told during her first few months of work without registering an objection. Now she is finding her colleagues to be increasingly rude and inappropriate, and the jokes have become more explicit and have crossed the line into being offensive and even threatening.

Based on what you learned in this chapter, write a short response that defines sexual harassment and lists strategies that might help Suzy deal with her situation. Make sure that your response addresses three or more of the following issues:

  • Identify whether or not Suzy has a legitimate case of sexual harassment.
  • List options for Suzy to take and their likely outcome.
  • Outline the procedure Suzy would follow to file a complaint of sexual harassment.
  • Explain the most responsible course of action for Suzy’s employer to take.
  • Explain how Suzy can prove sexual harassment in this situation.

Sexual Harassment in the Work Place – Discussion

Employers across the world are expected to ensure that they adhere to all regulations to ensure that business ethics are followed. The primary reason for this requirement is to ensure that employees are accorded with an ideal working environment where they feel secure. However, we are presently living in a world where these requirements are often flouted, eventually leading to adverse effects on both the victim and the perpetrator. Sexual harassment, in particular, has emerged as an existential plague affecting most contemporary conglomerates. It often entails unsolicited sexual advance that is bound to change the working relationship and performance of individuals in the workplace.  Sexual harassment can involve something as mundane as a sexual joke to aggressive acts such as touching an individually inappropriately (Conte, 2000, p. 23). For a long time, it had been assumed that women were the only victims but research into the issue reveals that both genders can be affected equally by this plague. In this essay, I will offer an in-depth discussion of sexual harassment, its impact together with an example of company caught up in this issue.

Sexual harassment has adverse effects in the workplace due to the hostility it breeds. An employee who finds themselves in such a position might be affected emotionally and mentally. There are numerous reports of individuals who had lost their self-esteem overnight when they became victims of this kind of abuse. Many are often traumatized and feel worthless, therefore lowering their morale. Employees who were quite a productive end up lacking the drive required at the workplace, which impacts the said enterprise negatively. Net profits begin to drop, and the organization starts making massive losses due to a workforce that sees no use in providing their labor to an organization that does not guarantee their rights (Boland, 2006, p. 78). Furthermore, absenteeism might develop from this situation, with top employees missing work regularly, or coming late.  Economists are in unanimous agreement that sexual harassment creates a situation where employees abscond or feign sickness, just to avoid a hostile work environment. It also presents the victims with financial challenges in cases where they would have to hire an attorney when seeking legal redress. These individuals may ultimately resign from their current position, proving a big blow to companies the company, mainly when they were the most productive members.

Recently, Fidelity Investments was caught up in a sexual harassment when details surfaced about sexual harassment incidences in the mutual-fund giant. The allegations were leveled against Gavin Baker who was known for being an insatiable top stock picker at the firm. It soon emerged that many junior employees had tales that corroborated earlier allegations of Baker violating them at work. The situation had gotten so sorry for one employee who claims that she even contemplated suicide.  Gavin Baker went on to deny the claims, but legal proceedings against him were already commencing.  Nonetheless, the damage had already been done as the company was put on the spot for not providing the much-needed safety net for their employees. It was for this reason that the company decided to take stern action by eventually firing him as a result of continued public outcry (CNBC, 2015). All this would have been avoided of Fidelity Investments had instituted proper guidelines that would allow the victims to report any sexual harassment issues without having a fear of retaliation.

In conclusion, sexual harassment is a source of concern for many employees and employers alike. It results in lowered productivity levels and losses for the enterprises involved. Enterprises, therefore, need to ensure that they provide adequate protection to their employees against sexual harassment for them to thrive.

Mitigation of Legal Issues : Diversity Along With Sexual Harassment Policies


The enactment of numerous antidiscrimination statutes has not succeeded in putting an end to the diversity, as well as sexual harassment, challenges that define most workplaces. There is a clear necessity for policies designed to ensure workplaces are devoid of stereotypes and fears regarding varied workplace issues that stem from discriminatory acts (Grobler, 2006; Williams & Dellinger, 2010). This paper presents the proposed policies for ensuring diversity and preventing sexual harassment in a given company. The company’s management should consider adopting the policies to ensure that the company’s workforce is increasingly diverse and that all its employees are free from sexual harassment. Besides ensuring that the policies are implemented, as well as complied with, by all, the management is obligated to ensure that all the related legal provisos are also observed. In addition to presenting the policies, the paper presents a training plan for the company’s employees with respect to the sexual harassment policy.

Diversity Policy

Notably, all employers are obligated by law to make certain that they put in place diversity initiatives along with policies that are not discriminatory. A number of states have different laws protecting specific classes of employees from discrimination. Before and while formulating, as well as implementing, diversity policies, employers ought to as well review and then enforce compliance with the applicable antidiscrimination statutes and statutory guidelines. Diversity policies are aimed at meeting four clear ends. First, the diversity policies are aimed at ensuring that workplace managers and employers are dedicated to the upholding of specific anti-discriminatory practices (Grobler, 2006).

Second, the diversity policies are aimed at ensuring that workplace managers and employers are dedicated to fostering equal, or comparable, opportunity to all employees and remove any attendant systemic impediments. Third, the diversity policies are aimed at ensuring that workplace managers and employers continue enforcing compliance with the applicable human rights statutes. Lastly, the diversity policies are aimed at serving as organizational or workplace value statements regarding inclusiveness. The following is the proposed diversity policy for the company:

  1. The company is keen on preserving, cultivating, as well as fostering, an organizational culture defined by inclusion and diversity.
  2. The asset of the highest worth to the company is its human capital. The cumulative individual talents, capacities, self-expression, innovation, inventiveness, knowledge, and experiences that the company’s employees invest in their workstations represent a considerable component of the company’s organizational culture, achievements, and reputation (Grobler, 2006).
  3. The company embraces, as well as encourages, its staffs’ variations in gender expression or identity, age, mental ability, physical capacity, political affiliation, marital or family status, national origin, ethnicity, disability, language, color, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, race, and socio-economic status that makes its staff members unique.
  4. The company’s diversity programs are all applicable, however not constrained to, its policies and practices on promotions, terminations, layoffs, professional training and development, recreational and social programs, compensation, selection, recruitment, and transfers.
  5. The company shall deploy all the requisite resources to develop a workplace defined by diversity, as well as gender, equity that supports and bolsters:
  • Courteous cooperation, as well as communication, between all staff members
  • Employee participation and teamwork, allowing all staff perspectives and groups adequate representation
  • Life-work balance via work plans and schedules that are flexible enough to accommodate the unique needs of every employee
  • Employer contributions and employee contributions to the people and communities served by the company to enhance respect and appreciation of diversity.
  1. All the company’s staff members are obligated to treat their colleagues with deference and dignity always. Every employee should express behaviors and conduct that demonstrates inclusion when work is underway, at all work sites and functions, and at all events related to the company.
  2. All the staff members should attend, as well as complete, the yearly diversity awareness seminars and training sponsored by the company to bolster their capacity to meet this responsibility.
  3. Any staff members who are adjudged as having expressed improper behavior or conduct against their colleagues shall be subjected to disciplinary actions deemed fit by the company’s senior management (Grobler, 2006).
  4. Any staff member who is convinced that she or he has been discriminated against based on her or his talents, capacities, self-expression, innovation, inventiveness, knowledge, experiences, gender expression or identity, age, mental ability, physical capacity, political affiliation, marital or family status, national origin, ethnicity, disability, language, color, sexual orientation, veteran status, religion, race, and socio-economic status or other grounds of discrimination recognized by this policy should seek help promptly from his or her immediate supervisor or any personnel department representative.

Sexual Harassment Policy

The company’s policy on sexual harassment covers every form of sexual harassment regardless of whether or not it happens in an environment that is hostile or an environment that is quid pro quo. Quid pro quo sexual harassments are the ones that happen when specific employment or job benefits or advantages are made subject to sexual favors or considerations in particular capacities. Hostile environment sexual harassments happen where there are pervasive or repeated undesirable sexual requests, advances, conducts, or comments. They may include unwanted and pervasive interactions; impeding a person’s free movement; sexual jokes; and expressions of offensive or improper materials with a sexual character (International Association of Fire Chiefs, 2010).  The following is the policy on sexual harassment for the company:

  1. All the company’s supervisors and personnel department employees are obligated to take immediate and proper action on all the sexual harassment claims and incidents made known to them or observed by them.
  2. The company will offer its entire workforce continuous training on sexual harassment and uphold all the applicable sexual harassment statutes at all times.
  3. All the employees of the company are subject to this policy when within and when out of the company’s premises. Regardless of where an employee commits sexual harassment, she or he will be subject to being disciplined by the company in the ways deemed fit by the company’s senior management.
  4. Every employee of the company is barred from:
  • Assaulting any other person sexually by way of sexual molestation, rape, unwelcome sexual contact or sexual battery
  • Touching, brushing against, pinching, grabbing, patting or poking any other employee’s body.
  • Offering favored promises or treatment to specific employees in exchange for their submission to any sexual conduct. Every employee is barred from trying to solicit or soliciting other employees to induce them to agree to any sexual activities for reward or compensation.
  • Threatening other employers to get undesirable sexual attention or agree to any sexual conduct.
  • Making the performance of other staff members’ tasks challenging owing to any sexual consideration.
  • Publicizing or displaying discriminatory or sexual content within the company’s premises.
  • Retaliating for any complaint relating to sexual harassment.
  • Any staff members who are adjudged as having engaged in sexual harassment shall be subjected to disciplinary actions deemed fit by the company’s senior management (Grobler, 2006).

Training Plan to Communicate the Sexual Harassment Policy

  1. The company should conduct surveys to determine whether or not there are specific needs for the development of the policy. It should ensure that all the needs are provided for in the policy by amending it as appropriate (Özbilgin, 2009).
  2. The company should design the training program regarding the policy. It should outline of the content to be covered and list the following objectives and any other relevant objectives:
  • To ensure that employees can describe sexual harassment
  • To ensure that employee understand the need to prevent sexual harassment
  • To ensure that the employees understand all the components of the policy
  • To ensure that the employees understand all their responsibilities in line with the policy
  1. The company should develop the requisite training materials, which may include study guides, classroom tasks, and presentations. It should list the requisite resources and references and communicate their availability to the employees via suitable forums, blogs, social media platforms or newsletters
  2. The program should be implemented by communicating to the employees that it is available and everyone should participate in it to meet requirements of the applicable laws, policies, and regulations. Every employee should be obligated to participate in the program (Ocon, 2006).
  3. The effectiveness of the program should be evaluated through follow-up surveys, operational appraisals, focus groups, or other suitable means.

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Design for Online Sexual Harassment Training

This resource gives an example of Instructional Design for Online Sexual Harassment Training. This solution illustrates an Instructional Design Document on Online Sexual Harassment Training. It provides the following data:

  • Describe the context of the problem.
  • Define the instructional goal/purpose.
  • List the learning outcomes that will be taught and measured in the instruction.
  • Describe the learner activities and/or instructional strategies that will be implemented.
  • Describe the methods that will be used to evaluate the learners’ performance.
  • Create a Project Standards Document.
  • Create a content outline that includes the topics that will be presented and the order in which they will be taught.
  • Create a development plan that describes the tasks involved in developing the instructional module and an approximation of how long the development process will take.
Remember to follow the legal and ethical standards of fair use (See below) Instructional Design Document Context for the Problem This section may contain anything relevant to the development of the proposed instructional software program. It often includes some or all of the following:
  • The curriculum within which the proposed learning will reside Infrastructure that will/will not support the proposed development
  • The organization and its culture Decision makers and their anticipated role in the project
  • Change management / resistance issues or concerns and recommendations
  • Instructional Purpose or Goal This section identifies the overall purpose of the proposed instructional software program and its anticipated benefits to both the learners and to the organization.
  • Measurable Learning Outcomes This section lists the measurable learning outcomes for the proposed instructional software program. Measurable learning outcomes are statements of what the learner will be able to do consistently and with minimal assistance when the proposed instructional software program is complete. To be measurable, they need to include a Bloom verb, a task, and a standard of performance.

Do not confuse outcomes and learning activities. [See A Guide to Creating Instructional Objectives for more] Learner Activities/Instructional Strategies This section describes the primary instructional mode (textual explanation, bullet points with audio, case-based, simulation, etc.) and the types of activities that learners will engage in during the proposed instructional software program. For example, AIU specifies that learners will primarily learn by reading required texts, viewing instructional presentations, conducting independent research, and submitting written assignments for evaluation. Chats and communication with the facilitator are a secondary strategy for learning. However, remember your program is to have no internet access. Activities should match to the level of the objectives. For example, if the objective indicates that learners will be able to do long division problems with 2 digit divisors, then the activities should include providing guidance in learning the steps of long division. Learner activities/instructional strategies support transfer of learning: something learned in one situation can be applied to another. Since transfer is the primary goal of instruction, it is imperative to design for transfer. Since transfer is facilitated by the instructional strategies, effective activities are those that facilitate achievement of the measurable learning outcomes. Method of Evaluation This section explains how learning will be defined and measured based on the learning outcomes. It also describes how these data will be reported to administration/management. Content Outline This section identifies the scope (topics to be covered) and sequence (organization) of the material. Typically, it breaks down the knowledge (concepts) and skills (tasks) into topics, subtopics and details. It is written in outline form. It describes WHAT will be taught (the concepts or the steps in the learning), not HOW the material will be taught. Development Plan This section gives some idea of the tasks involved in development and how long it is anticipated that each will take. Consider each instructional component and plan accordingly. Project Standards This section discusses the technological specifications needed to use this proposed software program. It also provides a very detailed description of what the screens will look like. It discusses text- font, size, color (differences for headings, bullet points, paragraphs); describes navigational buttons- where they will be located, what they will do, what they will look like; describes graphics- where they will be placed on each screen, and finally, it discusses limitations of the proposed software program. Project Standards Document Technical specifications, limitations, and standards Description of delivery environment: Operating system, RAM, memory/hardrive requirements, screen resolution, type browser, media drivers, CD speed, etc. Technical limitations/constrains: Database requirements (if applicable), bandwidth requirements (if applicable), server requirements (if applicable), e-mail administration (if applicable), discussion board and/or live chat requirements (if applicable), etc. Authoring system: Standards: Text-on-Screen Style: fonts, sizes, colors used for text as main headlines, secondary headlines, bullets, captions and body text Text-on-Screen Format:

placement of main headlines, secondary headlines, bullets, captions and body text Script Writing: style for narration; style for text-on-screen; formatting issues; grammar; punctuation; and use of jargon/humor Graphics: style; format; color palette; size(s) of images; resolution User Interface: Screen Designs: sample content screens with text and graphics standards and sample interactive screens Structured plan for development Project Management Prime contractor/organization: Customer organization: Customer points of contact: Timeline: The timeline reflects major and minor due dates of the deliverables from the various development team members and subsequent deliverables to the customer. Project Change Requests: Once a development phase has been reviewed and signed-off, subsequent requests by the customer for additions or changes should be considered a Project Change Request. A Project Change Request generally results in an increase in cost of development and an increase in the time needed for development. Project Change Requests should include any modifications, changes, or additions requested by the customer that are outside of the original design or that impact a previously approved phase should be considered a Project Change. A Project Change Request generally impacts the delivery date and results in additional cost. Development Team: Roles & Responsibilities Project Manager: The project manager for the development team is the team captain responsible for coordinating all aspects of the development process and supervising the efforts of all team members. It is important for the project manager to have a basic understanding of all the skills required of each team member and the organizational skills to manage not only people, but also a process that tends to get out of kilter very quickly. Again, without a competent person playing this role, you may need one of those long sleeved white coats that tie in back. Instructional Designer(s): This is the person(s) who not only creates the overall master plan on how the project?s content will be organized and sequenced, but also the details of what strategies should be used to present the content. Within applications that are instructional, educational or training related, this position is generally held by an instructional designer(s) who is experienced with how computer based multimedia can provide interactive events that engage the learner in the learning process. The computer?s ability to provide this interactive engagement is a significant factor that differentiates multimedia from other instructional media (books, video, audiotape). The Subject Matter Expert (SME): If you are lucky, the customer will provide as part of their team, a person(s) who is very knowledgeable about whatever content is being presented in the application you are building. If the customer does not provide the subject matter expert (SME), you may need to find or create one quickly (obviously this involves a far greater risk of inaccuracies). If a SME(s) is provided, this person may not be familiar with multimedia, the project, or may not have very much time to provide you with the help you will probably need. If you carefully describe exactly what kind of information you need from the SME and perhaps show him/her examples of ?how? you would like that information given to you, you will have a far better chance of getting what you need, the first time around. Course Writer: The writer(s) not only must be able to clearly express the content at the level required of the audience, but he/she must also have adapted these skills to the multimedia environment. Multimedia

Employment Law – Sexual Harassment Case In “You Be The Judge”

The video, “You Be The Judge” is a case involving sexual harassment between two employees of the same company. In the case, Meredith Shaw is the Defendant while Jonathan Silverstein in the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff has just sued the Defendant for sexual harassment arguing that the nude photos that she sent to his computer are the main reason he has lost a job promotion in which he was the most suitable candidate. According to the Plaintiff, he has lost the promotion because his supervisor has made the final decision based on a “sexy screen saver” that appeared on his computer screen. In order to find out whether the Plaintiff’s claims are credible, it is important to consider five different issues namely; whether the sexual behavior was unwelcome, whether the Plaintiff’s reaction meets the “reasonable person” standard, whether a “hostile environment” has been created, whether there is any employer liability, and whether there is a corroborative evidence to support the Plaintiff’s claims.

The sexual behavior was not unwelcome because the Plaintiff has failed to establish that the behavior was discouraged despite the fact that he came across similar photos several times at the workplace. The Plaintiff did not report any discomfort from such behaviors to the Defendant or to any other person in the company. Furthermore, the Plaintiff has not stated whether a negative or positive outcome was offered following acceptance of the sexual behavior. It is also evident that the Plaintiff’s reaction does not meet the “reasonable person” standard because no reasonable person would react the way the Plaintiff did. Moreover, the Plaintiff has not established that the Defendant created a “hostile environment” through his sexual behavior. There is no enough evidence to prove that the alleged sexual behavior disrupted the Plaintiff’s workplace functioning. Again, the employer is not liable in this case because the Plaintiff has not given enough evidence to prove that he had informed the management of the Defendant’s sexual behavior. The answers given to the five elements above explain why the Judge has made a ruling in favor of the defendant.

There is one major applicable defense in the case between Jonathan Silverstein and Meredith Shaw and it is that the Defendant’s sexual behavior was unwelcome. The Judge has however made a ruling that the Plaintiff has tolerated such behaviors for a prolonged period of time and he is now raising questions about them merely because he feels that those actions have caused him promotion. In the video, the Plaintiff has told the Judge that Defendant has behaved the same way in the past but he has never tried to stop her. Additionally, the Plaintiff has admitted that he has never informed the Defendant that he normally feel uncomfortable as result of her alleged sexual behaviors. To make matters worse, neither the supervisor nor the Human Resource Manager has received complaints from the Plaintiff concerning the Defendant’s behaviors. Exhibit C gives a clear procedure that employees of the organization are expected to follow when reporting a complaint. The Plaintiff chose to ignore this policy only to take action when he feels that the alleged sexual behaviors have cost him a promotion in which he was the best candidate.

The fact that the Plaintiff has taken part is the Defendant’s sexual behaviors in the past forms the basis of the judge’s ruling. According to the Judge, the Plaintiff has never warned the Defendant to stop her behaviors and he has never informed his supervisor about what is taking place at his area of work. Again, the Judge maintains that the Plaintiff’s reactions are unreasonable because he could not have taken any action suppose the supervisor had not seen the nude photo that appeared on his computer. In addition, the Judge has made a ruling based on the fact that Mr. Silverstein has not provided enough evidence to prove that he would have gotten the promotion suppose he did not have a sexy screen saver on his computer.

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Sexual Harassment Discharge

Thomas Griffin was terminated on August 15, 2014, by the governing board of a non- profit agency of the federal government for violation of the agency’s sexual harassment policy. Prior to Griffin’s termination he was a senior maintenance employee with an above-average work record who had worked for the agency for eleven years. He had been a widower since 1992 and was described by his co-working in the district’s Advanced Learning Program. She was twenty-eight years old and married, and had worked for AGENCY for six years. At the time of the incidents, Griffin and Pope both worked at the agency, where their relationship was described as “cooperative.” The following sequence of events were reported separately by Griffin and Pope during the district’s investigation of this sexual harassment case.

Pope reported that her relationship with Griffin began to change during the last month of the 2013-2014 fiscal year. She believed that Griffin was paying her more attention and that his
behavior was “out of the ordinary’ and “sometimes weird.” He began spending more time in her department talking with other employees and with her. At the time she didn’t say anything to Griffin because “I didn’t want to hurt his feelings since he is a nice, lonely, older man.” However, on May 25, when Griffin told Pope that he was “very fond” of her and that she had “very beautiful eyes,” she replied, “Remember, Thomas, we’re just friends.” For the remainder of the year there was little contact between them; however, when they did see each other, Griffin seemed “overly friendly” to her.


June 7, 2014. On the first day upon her return from vacation, Pope returned to her office to find a dozen roses and a card from Griffin. The card read, “Please forgive me for thinking you could like me. I played the big fool. Yours always, P.L.” Later in the day Griffin asked Pope to lunch. She replied, “It’s been a long time since anyone sent me roses, but I can’t go to lunch. We need to remain just friends.” Pope told another employee that she was uncomfortable about receiving the roses and card and that Griffin wouldn’t leave her alone. She expressed concern that Griffin might get “more romantic” with her.

June 8, 2014. Pope arrived at work to find another card from Griffin. Inside was a handwritten note that read, “I hope you can someday return my affections for you. I need you so much.” Later in the day Griffin again asked her to lunch and she declined saying, “I’m a happily married woman.” At the close of one work day, when Pope went to her car, Griffin suddenly appeared. He asked to explain himself but Pope became agitated and shouted, “I have to leave right now.” Griffin reached inside the car, supposedly to pat her shoulder, but touched her head instead. She believed he meant to stroke her hair. He stated that he was only trying to calm her down. She drove away, very upset.

June 9, 2014. Pope received another card and a lengthy letter from Griffin, stating that he was wrong in trying to develop a relationship with her and he hoped they could still remain friends. He wished her all happiness with her family and job.

June 11, 2014. Pope obtained from the Western Justice Court an injunction prohibiting sexual harassment by Griffin. Shortly thereafter Griffin appealed the injunction. A notice was mailed to Pope giving the dates of the appeal hearing. The notice stated in part, “If you fail to appear, the injunction may be vacated and the petition dismissed.” Pope failed to appear at the hearing and the injunction was set aside. Additionally, on June 11 she had filed with the district’s EEOC officer a sexual harassment complaint against Griffin. After the investigation the district concluded that Griffin’s actions created an intimidating, hostile, and offensive employment environment for Pope. The investigative report recommended dismissal based upon the grievous conduct of Griffin and the initial injunction granted by the Justice Court.


  1. Assess the conduct of Thomas Griffin against the EEOC’s definition of sexual harassment.
  2. Should the intent or motive behind Griffin’s conduct be considered when deciding sexual harassment activities? Explain.
  3. If you were the district’s EEOC officer, what would you conclude? Would you take any disciplinary action? If yes, what would it consist of?