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Business Laws - Favouritism in a Shoe Store

I need help with the below scenario:

You are the regional manager of a shoe store chain, which is one of many located in the metro area. Bob, a manager, works at a mall location. One day, Bob calls you with the following situation:

About an hour ago, the store' best customer, Imelda, walked in and asked Bob if an employee could help her get the proper fitting for her shoes. Bob explained that Tom, a sales employee, would be happy to help her.

Imelda, however, said she would prefer to work with a female employee, and that if a female employee helped her, she would probably buy five pairs of shoes.

Bob explained to you that Mary, another sales employee, was working the back room. Each day, two employees work in the store: one working the front, and one working the back. They rotate on a daily basis because the person working the front gets the commissions for the day. This is company policy, and neither Bob nor you have the flexibility to change that policy so there is no chance to split the commission. Today is Tom's day to earn commission.

Bob asks you what he should do. Should Bob swap Tom and Mary so that the store gets the benefit of Imelda's purchases, or should he stand firm that only Tom is available to sell her shoes?

What legal and ethical issues arise in this case, and what legal and ethical principles guide this decision? What choice do you make and why?

Solution Preview

Here are the legal and ethical issues that arise in this case. The customer felt better to have a woman assisting her with her shoes, and this is her way of protecting herself from a man if any form of exploitation takes places within the business; consequently, she feels safer if a woman takes care of her needs, which is understandable. Her ethical code consists of having a woman tend to her needs, which make sense. However, in regards to the company, they are putting women in situations where they are less likely to buy their products because mainly men work with the store. This could put them in a legal bind because of only having one woman on staff. The company has that female, and all the rest are ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a look into both the legal and ethical answers to this shoe store scenario as well as a conclusion drawn from the discussion in 547 words.