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Legal Dimensions of Sexual Harassment

Ruth Linsky, a sales manager at Triton, storms into your office (i.e., you are taking the role of Barbara, the HR Director) and claims that she has been discriminated against in the selection of a new marketing director at Triton. Given these difficult circumstances, your human resources management team has decided to notify George, the CEO, to explain the severity of the situation and potential solutions.

Your call should include answers to the following questions.
1.From the HR manager's perspective, what is the best approach to handling this conflict in the short term?
2.Does Ruth have a strong sexual harassment case? Elaborate.
3.What should Triton do in the longer term to assure more effective career management for other minority/female employees?

Legal Dimensions of Sexual Harassment
1.Quid pro quo: to get something (promotion), you have to do this (go out with me.
2.Hostile environment: conduct that "alters the conditions of (the victim's) environment and creates and abusive working environment."
a.Can the employee document a history of hostility?
b.Are there witnesses to the harassment?
c.Has the employee told the harasser that his/her actions are unwelcome?
To avoid liability the employer has to prove it exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct the sexual harassing behavior and the employee failed to take advantage of the preventive/corrective opportunities.


Solution Preview

In the short term, I think that the best thing the HR manager could do is to get the men and Ruth in the same room and try to have a very calm, mature conversation about what has transpired. All sides could voice their feelings and ideas on the issues and discuss how to right the situation. This may not make everyone completely happy, but it might help save the company from the pain of a lawsuit. It might also open a lot of eyes to problems at Triton. If at the end of the discussion no one is happy and there are still major problems, then I think that Ruth could take the next steps to look at a lawsuit. Although, she is going to have to get a saavy lawyer who can work around some of her past history. Because she did have the ...

Solution Summary

Legal Dimensions of Sexual Harassment are described.