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Sexual Harassment Like Discrimination Form

Section 1

Brademore Electric Corporation is the enterprise sticking to ethical norms and regulations in business running. The case under analysis discloses the Keith Sturdivant’s unethical behavior in relation to his assistant Maura who has been employed only for several weeks. Keith’s invitations directed to Maura were a kind of obligatory steps to be made by his assistant. Maura’s declines ended with their weekends spent together. Keith’s persistent manner of behavior sounded like an order; Maura had to feel owning Keith for his giving her a good position at the company.

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Sexual harassment is considered to be a sex discrimination form violating employees’ freedom through unwelcome sexual advances and favors requests. The case demonstrates a clear sexual harassment taking place in business atmosphere. Keith’s behavior can be characterized by verbal sexual conduct in his attitude to assistant Maura; such actions are referred to the sexual harassment which means the implicit affection of individual’s employment and creation intimidating work environment. (Sexual Harassment, 2009)

The case under consideration shows that Maura felt completely dreading trying to avoid Keith; Her perfect qualification and skilled work encouraged to continue taking her position though Keith’s persistence interfered with her personal working environment. The case can be considered as sexual harassment as Keith used to stick to blackmail reminding about his role in the woman’s career making.

The inconvenience Keith made to Maura’s work environment was expressed through his constant staring at her, talking about sexual fantasies with supervisors and persistent behavior in the work process.

The cases of sexual harassment are usually predetermined by unethical behavior on the part of employers towards their employees; Keith’s actions are characterized by offensive nature aimed at limiting Maura’s working opportunities and restricting her personal space. (Smith, & Johnson, 1996) The victim being under the pressure of her employer’s behavior and perseverance is unable to change unethical atmosphere; the only thing Maura does is her attempts to avoid Keith’s presence in the office of the company.

The case refers to environmental sexual harassment because it predetermines humiliating working environment through Keith’s talking about his sexual desires with Maura. The conditions of Maura’s work are characterized by sexual pressure on the part of her employer and his unethical behavior in the process of cooperation.

Section 2

Sexual harassment at Brademore Electric Corporation was not taking into account by Mr. Singh, the Vice president and Keith’s supervisor. He was informed about the situation at the company and Keith’s unethical behavior towards new assistant Maura. Taking into account the general definition of employment, stating that it is a working under service or apprenticeship contract aimed at executing labor or work under appropriate working conditions, it should be noted that Maura has the right to complain to the upper company structure to take measures and avoid further persistence and sexual pressure. (Boatright, 2003).

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Mr. Singh took the position of nonintervention ignoring the signs of sexual harassment performed by Keith’s behavior. The company did not develop the corporate harassment policy; the vice president did not consider the situation to be critical stating that it was just the case of employer’s asking out in order to express his sympathy to the colleague.

The problem was dissolved for Mr. Singh who did not strive to make the working environment be hostile through taking up the matter. He considered that the recognition of sexual harassment on the part of Keith and taking the case to the president of the company would worsen the employee’s advances.

Ethical norms predetermined in business sphere cover various moral sanctions and obligations on the part of top management representatives; the vice-president was to take into account Keith’s behavior, at least because of the following factors:

  • Mr. Singh was informed by his employees about Keith’s actions towards Maura and his sexual fantasies, which means that problem was discussed within the staff;
  • Vice president had to make attempts to prevent more serious forms of sexual harassment leading to moral injuries and breakages.

According to the ethical norms and standards to be followed at every company, chief representatives are to develop special harassment policies in order to present unethical behavior of employees and hostile working atmosphere. (Bowie, & Beauchamp, 2009)

Mr. Singh was to adopt the position of active participator in the problem solution; in case of no special policies at the company he had to communicate to all the employees, informing about the fact that sexual harassment would not be tolerated. The steps could be aimed at establishment of special training for the staff and providing grievance process and effective complaint in order to avoid such inappropriate behavior and ethical standards ignorance.

Mr. Singh was afraid to ruin the employee’s chances in career making and advances he had though such Keith’s behavior could result in sophisticated conflicts within human rights policies influencing the working environment of the whole company. It should be noted that business ethical norms providing moral sanctions raise lead to powerful incentives for employees.

Section 3

The case study shows that Maura adopted first Keith’s invitation after several unsuccessful declines; the woman tried to stick to the point that business and pleasure are not to be mixed though Keith’s persistence and offensive remarks made her visit the Annual Renaissance Fair with Keith. It is important to stress that Keith demonstrated signs of unethical attitude from the very beginning of their communication treating other employees in the most uncivil way.

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Maura’s action can be characterized from two different aspects:

  • She adopted Keith’s invitation and encouraged him for further actions and sexual fantasies;
  • She adopted the invitation under the pressure of offence and blackmail of losing the job and good chance of career making.

Analyzing the first aspect it is necessary to underline the fact that Maura could adopt Keith’s offer perceiving it as the opportunity not to loose the position she had and go to the fair she wanted to visit long time ago, though her acceptance was perceived as the encouragement and stimulator for further contact. The woman followed her personal aims and unexpectedly got into the trouble of sexual harassment. (Trevino, & Nelson, 2003)

The second variant means that Maura never wanted to go anywhere with Keith though was under the influence of offences and could not break the reputation of a good specialist because of Keith’s moral dissatisfaction. Keith’s remarks sounded like a kind of threat for Maura who had no strong moral position within the staff because of the short period of her work for the Brademore Electric Corporation. Maura had the feeling of being obliged to Keith though she was sure in her qualification and perfect job quality.

From the position of business ethics and business human rights policy Maura had the right to take measures in stopping Keith’s sexual attacks by informing about Keith’ behavior, though Mr. Singh managed to know about it from other employees. Being sure in professional skills and qualification, Maura as a perfect specialist could be more confident and stand her ground without accepting any invitation. The threats of serious harassment consequences were to be the principle stimulator for the woman’s complaint. (Fisher & Lovell, 2006)

Unwelcome sexual physical or verbal violation in the work place is completely prohibited in accordance with state law. The company is to introduce special harassment policies and conduct training for the staff in order to avoid the problems of interfering with working environment.

The problem of sexual harassment is closely connected with the issues of class and gender equality which are to be strictly observed by any business institution. Environmental harassment could be easily turned in any other serious form of the problem causing breakage of company ethical regulations.


Beauchamp, T. L. Harassment at a Brademore Electric Bowie, T. and Beauchamp, T. 2009. Ethical Theory and Business. 8th Edition, Prentice Hall.

Boatright J.R. 2003. Ethics and the Conduct of Business, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall.

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Carroll A. B. and Buchholz, A. 2003. Business and Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management. 5th Edition, Thomson: South-Western.

Chryssides, G.D. and Kaler, J.H. 1996. Essentials of Business Ethics. McGraw-Hill.

Chryssides, G.D. and Kaler, J.H. 1993. An Introduction to Business Ethics. Chapman and Hall.

Crane, A. and Matten, D. 2004. Business Ethics: A European Perspective. Oxford Edition.

Fisher C. and Lovell A. 2006. Business Ethics and Values, 2nd Edition. Prentice Hall.

Jennings, M.M. 1996. Case Studies in Business Ethics, 2nd Edition. West Publishing.

Larmer, R.A. 1996. Ethics in the Workplace. West Publishing.

Smith, K. & Johnson, P. 1996. Business Ethics and Business Behavior. Thomson Business.

Sexual Harassment. 2009. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Web.

Trevino, L.K. and Nelson, K.A. 2003. Managing Business Ethics, 3d Edition. Wiley.

Weiss J. W. 2003. Business Ethics: A Stakeholder and Issues Management Approach. 3d Edition. Thomson: South-Western.

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