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    Legal Liability and Racial Harassment

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    You are the white manager of a large company who has been made aware of allegations that a troubling incident of verbal racial harassment of a black employee has occurred in your workplace and that the white first line supervisor of the black employee who reports to you took no action and joked about the alleged incident. State any assumptions you wish to make about the situation. What, if anything, should you do as the manager to protect your organization from legal liability for racial harassment?

    Maybe the manager thinks that if no one complains, he or she can ignore it, right? No. Because the law requires an employer to provide harassment free environment, even if no one complains, you may need to take action if you observe harassing conduct in the workplace.
    The manager could try to protect the organization from legal liability for racial harassment by creating a compliance program. A compliance program sends a message to employees that you take harassment seriously and allows you to be prepared to handle harassment complaints. The Supreme Court has stated that these types of programs are a way for employers to protect themselves against employment claims. While you may not be able to stop harassment from occurring, you must be able to deal with it in a prompt and effective way to end it. Your program should include:
    ? A written policy that prohibits harassment based on all protected categories, not only sex, and prohibits retaliation against anyone who complains about harassment
    ? A reporting mechanism by which individuals can report any harassment observed by or directed toward them. The reporting procedure must give employees at least two different people to whom they can report harassment (in case one of the people is the harasser)
    ? A training program for managers in which they learn about inappropriate behavior, their responsibility to comply with and enforce the policy and how to handle a harassment complaint
    ? Prompt response to all claims of harassment that includes an investigation procedure to be followed with all harassment complaints and provides follow up to the complaining party as to the outcome
    ? Consistent discipline for those who have committed harassment and for managers who fail to report or address harassment.
    ? Ensure that employees are aware of nondiscrimination policies and procedures; post policies in a visible location.
    ? Ensure that departmental processes, procedures, and systems are nondiscriminatory and free of bias.
    ? Take appropriate and timely action when there's been an allegation of sexual harass

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    Solution Preview

    All the above answers the question pretty well; however, I would make sure I would focus on what the organization is going to do about this particular incident. You have stated what the organization will do in the future. Discuss what they will do to protect themselves now.

    For instance, a manager is required to discipline any supervisor or employee when there has been an incident of harrassment of any kind. If I were the manager for this case, I would put ...