Employee XYZ has been sexually harassed while discharging her duties within the company’s premises. Employee XYZ is a 30-year-old lady, an American citizen, who was formally employed as a sales representative discharging her duties under the Sales Manager, Mr. Howard James, in the Sales and Advertising Department of the company. She has been a full-time employee for the last three and half years, with one year being serving on probation. She has handed her resignation with immediate effect regarding her alleged sexual harassment by one of her colleagues, Mr. WVY, who has vehemently denied committing such an atrocity on the said date of 30th February 2014 during employees’ annual workshop.
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On 30th February 2014, during the annual company workshop in town, Mr. WVY, who is the Sales and Advertising Department Assistant Manager, is reported to have sexually abused Mrs. XYZ during the workshop break. Mrs. XYZ claims that Mr. WVY forcefully asked her for sexual favors in order for him to examine her yearly sales report that is as per the departmental requirement. All sales representatives are required to prepare an annual report that shows the number of companies or quantity of customers each managed to get for the company and the amount of sales they managed to make.
The Assistant Sales Manager has to examine and either notify the manager for appraisal of the sales representative, give a warning for future improvement or suggest subsequent termination of employment. Mrs. XYZ claims that her report was above board, and she expected the Assistant Manager to suggest an appraisal as she had superseded the target the department had set for her at the beginning of the year.
After the workshop, Mr. WVY refused to take Mrs. XYZ report suggesting that she sleeps with him first before he can go through and subsequently recommend her report to the departmental head. Mrs. XYZ has resorted to resignation from the company, and she has formally reported the case with Wisconsin Police Department and sort legal aid with the attorney of the Wisconsin Justice Department to sue both the company and the alleged perpetrator, Mr. WVY, under the US Federal Law Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the advent of seeking to be paid damages for her loss of a source of income and the mental torture that resulted after that incident (Andersen & Taylor, 2007).
According to Broderick, Broderick, & Saleen (2011), workplace sexual harassment violates the US Federal Law Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964, which includes quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. The occurrence of Quid pro quo sexual harassment happens when “a term of employment is expressly or implicitly conditioned upon acceptance of an unwelcome sexual advance” (Broderick, Broderick & Saleen, 2011).
The victim can be of lower or equal status with the perpetrator. In addition, sexual harassment involves a type of behavior that goes beyond the requirement of job performance as a supervisor to include demands for favors of sexual nature in return for service delivered from an employee, mainly for personal gratification. One example of a similar case is that of Jones vs. UBS Financial Services, where a state court awarded $ 10.6 million to a stockbroker who had been sexually harassed and subsequently subjected to retaliation for her complaints (Fisk & Antilla, 2011).
The plaintiff’s attorney reiterated that the company failed to create an environment that would maintain an atmosphere that is free of harassment. UBS Financial Services violated that condition, leading to being slapped with a $ 10 million punitive award to the victim in damages (Walsh, 2013). The XYZ’s sexual harassment case is related to the Jones vs. UBS case in that, in both scenarios, loss of a source of income has caused the victims to include an award for damages while the employment environment of both, to some extent, influenced the perpetrators to indulge in the sexual harassment (Walsh, 2013).
The company has legal liability according to the circumstances that culminated in the alleged sexual harassment of employee XYZ by a senior employee, WVY. Mrs. XYZ’s case was brought about by the company’s rigid system of having only the Assistant Sales Manager’s position as the only option the sales representatives could use to handle their annual report for their assessment. This means that employee XYZ lacked any better option other than resorting to resigning after being sexually harassed by her senior, Mr.WVY. According to Edmund, our case is a quid pro quo kind of sexual harassment, as sexual favors were asked for certain employment benefits (Dromm, 2012).
Sexual harassment does not occur only if a superior or employer is a bit tough on the employee in order to get the job done, but it is also conduct that is not significant for the performance of the supervisory job and is outside the scope of the normal job duties. Under the Laws of the State of California in the US on liability for sexual harassment, the victim does not necessarily need witnesses to back up her claim or even substantiate her claim (Levy & Paludi, 2002).
Mrs. XYZ has subsequently resorted to seeking compensation, as her only source of income was cut short by her inability to work in a compromising environment created by Mr. WVY, who is her senior. Importantly, both their jobs require daily coherent interaction. That is, Mrs. XYZ’s job cannot be completed effectively without Mr. WVY playing his role as a supervisor.
There are several recommendations that I am forwarding to solve this problem before it runs out of hand and causes larger damage to the company. Forceful sexual advances by superior employees to junior staff are illegal under the US Federal law Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964; its violation spoils a good working environment (EEOC, 1964). The perpetrator, Mr. WVY, should be immediately suspended as we wait for the determination of the case against him.
An internal investigation should be instituted, and the victim is internally interrogated. In addition, an overhaul of the company’s system of administration is required in order to augment layers of power, as one should not be answerable to only one person. The issue of compensation should be counteracted by the company’s legal arm, seeking an audience from the victim or ex-employee, Mrs. XYZ, to have an out-of-court settlement.
Andersen, M., & Taylor, H. (2007). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society, Updated. OH, USA: Cengage Learning Publisher.
Broderick, T., Broderick, T., & Saleen, K. (2011). A Victim’s Guide to Sexual Harassment-For California. CA, USA: Broderick Law Firm.
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Dromm, K. (2012). Sexual Harassment: An Introduction to the Conceptual and Ethical Issues. Ontario, Canada: Broadview Press.
EEOC. (1964). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Web.
Fisk, M., & Antilla, S. (2011). UBS Unit Loses $10.6 Million Sex Harassment Verdict in Missouri. Web.
Levy, A., & Paludi, M. (2002). Workplace sexual harassment. NY, USA: Prentice Hall PTR.
Walsh, D. J. (2013). Employment law for human resource practice. OH, USA: Cengage Learning Publisher.