Submission 4 equal employment | Business & Finance homework help

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In the last few weeks as a human resources (HR) consultant at Elora Jean & Co., you have reviewed several issues, made recommendations, and developed policies. In addition to the issues previously reviewed, the owner has advised you of the following situation:

A charge was recently filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by an employee. The charge states that two female employees in one of the nonunion satellite offices were subject to repeated and unwelcome sexual advances by their male supervisor. The charge further states that the two women previously complained to the supervisor’s immediate superior, letting him know that they felt uncomfortable and would like the behavior to stop. The harassment did not stop; rather, it continued over a period of 3 months. At that point, the female employees decided that the company would not help. They decided to file a claim with the EEOC, stating they were being sexually harassed at work.

The owner is certain that the company can put together a response that will clear it of the charge, and she asked if you felt they had a strong case. You state that you are not legal counsel for Elora Jean & Co.; however, you request permission to investigate the claim before giving your thoughts on the company’s documentation for legal defense. 

Given your knowledge of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, you are concerned with Elora Jean & Co.’s ability to defend the EEOC charge. You plan to engage in your own investigation into the claim to learn more about the complaints made, who had knowledge, what type of investigation was conducted (if any), and what actions were taken. As part of your investigation, you learn that Elora Jean & Co. does not have any policies or procedures relating to sexual harassment in the workplace. 

You need to address and advise the owner of Elora Jean & Co. on courses of action. Present your evaluation in a written memo to the owner. As you prepare your strategy for investigating the claim, consider the following: 

  • What is the legal definition of sexual harassment?
  • What investigation process should Elora Jean & Co. have engaged in when the claims were first made? Why will that be important to the defense of the EEOC charge?
  • What is the legal liability for Elora Jean & Co. if the EEOC investigation finds the charge to be factual with employer knowledge of the events? Consider the options of mediation versus litigation with regard to organizational cost.
  • What elements would you recommend be included in a sexual harassment policy?
  • What should Elora Jean & Co. do to prevent this type of charge in the future?
  • Research and briefly summarize a recent case of sexual harassment that was won by the employee. Provide information relating to the financial outcome of the case.
  • What implications does the Civil Rights Act of 1991 have for employers?
  • What are your overall recommendations for the owner with regard to preparing a response to the EEOC charge?

add to the attached assignment 

  

Date: 

To: Owner of Elora Jean & Co.

From: 

Subject: Sexual Harassment Policy

After conducting my own investigation due to the claim filed to the EEOC by one of the employees at one of our satellite location, where two females were sexually harassed by their male supervisor. It has come to my attention that Elora Jean & Co. does not have any policy or procedure in order to prevent sexual harassment at the work place.

The first thing that Elora Jean & Co. should had have is a sexual harassment policy in place in order to have the correct investigative procedure, without guidelines to follow in a situation such as sexual harassment is hard take the necessary actions when the claim was made at the beginning, as well as to make sure every employee knows the policy about sexual harassment; this will have been of great help for the company for preparing its defense against the EEOC charge. Elora Jean & Co. should have the proper complaint system for harassment claims, followed by a promptly investigations of the claims; having an investigation committee to investigate will help speed the process, since their entire purpose will be to investigate the complaints made by the victim 

If the EEOC finds the charge to be factual with employer knowledge of the events that triggered an individual employee to file a complaint, the company will be held responsible for punitive actions however, “An employer’s liability for sexual harassment depends on the harasser’s position in the company or workplace, and the kind of sexual harassment being alleged. So, even if you can prove that you experienced sexual harassment, it is possible that your employer may not be liable” (Kourosh, 2017); Elora Jean & Co. will be held responsible because in this particular case, the offender was a supervisor and in addition to the offender being a supervisor, his supervisor knew of the complaint and did nothing to fix the issue. We have two supervisors. 

Elora Jean & Co. should have a sexual harassment policy that will effectively prevent any type of sexual harassment in the workplace; the first element in this policy that I will recommend is that Elora Jean & Co. would have a zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and not let any complaint taking lightly. Making sure that everyone knows and understands the policy, as well as making sure that there will be a procedure in place for complaints and actions will be taken for the offenders. Letting everyone know that any complaints will not be taking lightly will bring peace of mind to the employees, “The employer should take immediate and appropriate corrective action by doing whatever is necessary to end the harassment, make the victim whole by restoring lost employment benefits or opportunities, and prevent the misconduct from recurring” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1990), by taking immediate action as well as any disciplinary actions we will show everyone in the company that we do not take sexual harassment lightly. 

Here is a recent case of sexual harassment which involves Costco Wholesale, Inc. where the EEOC charged for “Failure to Intervene Against Harassing Customer Created Hostile Work Environment” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2017). What happened here in Costco warehouse located in Glenview, Illinois, for over a year a customer was harassing and stalking a Costco Female employee. The harassment included the following: unwelcome touching, unwelcome advances, and stalking; which the employee reported to management but the store did not take any action to prevent the harassment. The employee got a restraining order against the customer. 

“At trial, EEOC Trial Attorneys Richard Mrizek and Laura Feldman argued that Costco knew about the customer’s conduct, but failed to take appropriate steps to correct the harassment and prevent it from recurring. According to EEOC, this conduct created a hostile working environment for the employee, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires an employer to take reasonable steps necessary to maintain a workplace free from harassment based on one’s sex” (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2017), in this case the jury rejected Costco’s arguments that were saying that the employee was excessively sensitive to the issue at hand and that the harassment wasn’t sexually sufficient. What happened here is that Costco fail to take the necessary steps to prevent their employee, who complained with management about the situation she was having with a customer. The compensatory damages that the former employee received were $250,000. 

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 was enacted by Congress on November 21, 1991, this 1991 Act do prohibit any discrimination “in employment that is based on race, gender, color, religious or ethnic considerations” (Reference for Business, 2017). This 1991 Act, will protect future employees from being discriminated against due to their race, color, religious, etc., when seeking employment within our company or any company. This Civil Rights Act of 1991 will allow for jury hearings as well as compensatory and punitive damages in any case that involves intentional discrimination by both government and private companies. 

I hope that the information presented here within this memorandum helps you in order to take the necessary actions not only for the implementation of a policy that will outline everything that is necessary to prevent sexual harassment and what to do if any of our employees are victim of sexual harassment. Also, that the example in reference to the Costco case will help understand what could be some of the consequences due to the complaint filed with EEOC, as well as some recommendations in order to prepare the company defense and some options that could be take place instead of any hearings. Bottom line is that Elora Jean & Co. should not have waited for an incident to happen to be prepared, but now we need to take the necessary steps to prevent any future issues within this topic.

References

Kourosh, A. (2017). Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment. Retrieved on January 24, 2017 

from http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/employer-liability-for-sexual-harassment.html

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2017). Sexual Harassment. Retrieved on 

January 24, 2017 from https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm

   

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