The kind of sexual harassment
The 1994 Civil Rights Act of the United States under the federal law and the 1991 Civil Rights Act legislated remedies state that sexual harassments happen when a worker is unjustly treated because her or his sex (Petrocelli & Barbara, 1998). Such harassments occur in businesses that employ either fifteen or more workers. Therefore, according to the case study, Mary experiences the type of sexual harassment dubbed hostile work environment harassment (Wagner, 1992).
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Nowadays, this is the most common type of harassment and it proves to be very difficult to pinpoint legally. However, the case depicts this kind of harassment in that while at workplace, Mary feels uncomfortable because of the sexually charged comments and behaviours that Bob deliberately makes to her. For instance, after Mary had called off their two months dating, Bob told Mary she would regret it. Bob does this by making workplace life to be very miserable for Mary and this negatively affected her performance.
The HR manager’s obligations
To avoid the reoccurrence of workplace sexual harassment incidents, the HR manager is duty bound to investigate the harassment complaints and comments without ignoring any of them. In fact, the HR manager is obligated to establish what took place, solve the problem and end the illegal conducts at workplace (Mathis & Jackson, 2011).
To achieve these, the HR should first thoroughly interview the complainant by touching on various facets. These include reconstructing incidences that incited the complaints, the circumstances and contexts under which they transpired, the kind of allegations charged against every party as well as the disciplinary measures that the complainant expects to be given to the offender. The HR manager should then investigate the events accounts for the accused (Wagner, 1992).
The probability of finding Bob guilty of harassing Mary sexually
From the case study, the probability that Bob will be found guilty for harassing Mary sexually is high. First, Bob made both physical and verbal contacts to the complainant, requested for sexual favors and made unwelcomed sexual advances that provoked and affected Mary (Petrocelli & Barbara, 1998).
Secondly, Bob used Mary’s rejection as a basis for intimidation and issuance of regret threats. These in turn affected the employment decisions and productivity of Mary. These were even noticed by other managers above Bob. In fact, the case reveals that Bob’s conducts were intended to unreasonably create an offensive, hostile and intimidating work environment as well as to interfere with Mary’s work attitudes and performances.
Corrective actions to handle the situation
After completing the sexual harassment investigations and having established the truth, the HR manager should issue sexual harassment charges and implement corrective actions. Provided the remedial actions are guaranteed, the HR executive can opt for service termination, removal from office, transfer or even counseling.
Despite being sensitive and serious, both the accused along with the complainant ought to take the measures as such (Mathis & Jackson, 2011). The sternness of the remedial measure is determined by major aspects such as office impacts resulting from such an occurrence, the appellant wishes and the kind of sexual maltreatment offence.
Options the HR manager has for remedying the sexual harassment situation
If the sexual harassment investigations favor Mary, the human resource manager may decide to do the following:
- Terminate Bob’s employment
- Transfer the accused to a different plant or,
- Offer counseling sessions to both the complainant and the accused.
However, the option that the HR manager wants to take will depend on the effects of the incident on the entire workplace, Mary’s desires as well as the type and nature of the offence committed. All these actions may assist the HR manager to salvage the prevailing circumstances (Petrocelli & Barbara, 1998).
Mathis, R. & Jackson, J. (2011). Human resource management. Boston, Massachusetts: South-Western Publishing.
Petrocelli, W. & Barbara, K. (1998). Sexual harassment on the job: What it is and how to stop it. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press.
Wagner, E. (1992). Sexual harassment in the workplace: How to prevent, investigate, and resolve problems in your organization. New York: AMACOM.