Workplace Sexual Harassment and Legal Boundaries

Analysis of the Situation

In the case at hand, a supervisor is trying to use his authority to gain sexual favors from his junior staff. Frank, the corporate sales supervisor, wants Mary, the sales associate, to have sex with him so that he can sign his expenses bill (incurred to the benefits of the company) for reimbursement. In this scenario, the boss is said to have such behavior where he promises women workers favors and immunity if they accept to have an affair with him. This is contrary to ethics in human resources management, where such actions should not happen. Mary stands on her ground and refuses the boss’s advances. This is a hypothetical case that is increasingly becoming common in workplaces despite the existence of national and international laws prohibiting such advances.

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Discuss the Potential Legal Boundaries that Frank’s Actions Crossed

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 of the United States of America, in workplaces, the unwelcome sexual advances by either the supervisor manager or colleagues’ should not be entertained. According to the bill of right, a sexual advance is said to have taken place where there is a continued unwelcome request for sexual favors, a language that is offensive, and suggestive looks which suggest such an advance. This may occur in a different form, which includes; dressing mode, jokes, gestures, touching, scratching, and playing offensive music, among others. In the case of Mary, Frank is making unwanted advances. He wants sexual favors, but Mary is not interested. This is the violation that occurs in this case.

Formulate the Best Course of Action to Correct this Work Environment

The first thing that Mary should do is to report the matter to the human resource department (assuming that the company has an effective and well informed human resource team). The department should have measures that are aimed at stopping and punishing offenders. The following are some of the mechanism that the human resource department should be having;

A harassment policy: this should be a general policy where harassment in the organization is defined and explained to all staff. Under the policy, the following should be incorporated;

  • Sexual harassment policy.
  • Policy that controls relationships and sexual harassment in the company; such policies include a policy that a supervisor/ employee should not have an intimate relationship in the office.

Employees should be aware of their rights and freedom that the company aims to protect, i.e., internal rights (defined by the management), national, and international rights.

Use Your Knowledge Gained Within This Phase to Discuss Sexual Harassment, Disparate Treatment, or Hostile Work Environment Elements within This Situation

Sexual harassment has been occurring in the work environment, and nothing much seems to be done to avoid the move. The major hindrance of such moves is fear by junior staff who are mainly the victims to report such matters to the relevant authorities. They fear that they will be discriminated against and mistreated if they were to report their own boss or supervisor.

In most cases, sexual harassment occurs in a set situation where the offended needs some legitimate services or assistance from his colleague, who, in turn, takes disparate times to demand sexual favors. When the employee is in need then to be granted the need, the person responsible suggests having sexual intercourse with the man or woman before he gives the service. This is condemned by international laws on human rights.

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The working environment should be favorable and appealing to workers. It is the mandate of the human resource department to ensure that they create a good environment for staff. Having a dress code and defining how people should interact with each other is important. There should be internal policies set to regulate relationships in organizations (Orkin & Burger, 81-88).

Explain Whether Frank Abuses His Position of Power, Authority, and Trust as a Supervisor

Frank, as the supervisor, misused his powers and authority; he is using his influence to get sexual favors from his juniors. This is violating the trust that the company has in him. He is the one who is given the power to sign for reimbursement of money, but when undertaking this, he takes advantage of his juniors. Such abuse should be reported and punished. Employees should be empowered to report such incidences.

Discuss the Federal Laws, Agencies, and Protections Pertinent to This Situation

United States federal laws recognize the rights of human beings in workplaces. Under 5 U.S.C. §2302(b)(1)-(b)(12) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives a list of all the rights that an employee should enjoy in the working place. He has the right to fair treatment in the workplace and has the right to report to an industrial court any harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is also discussed in the bill of rights. It says that there should be no sexual harassment in workplaces. People are protected from oppression and victimization. The law recognizes the existence of trade unions, and their engagement in affairs of an organization is recognized by law (Anon 173 -189).

Works Cited

Anon. “Federal Public Employee Relations: The Lessons to Be Learned from the New York and New Jersey Experiences.” Labor Law Journal 22.3 (1971): 173-185. Business Source Complete. EBSCO. Web.

Orkin, Neal., & Burger, Sarah. “Employee Invention Rights in the Twenty-First Century.” Labor Law Journal 56.1 (2005): 82-88. Business Source Complete. EBSCO. Web.

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