• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the case Freedom of Expression in the Workplace Barbara Hill is an employee at American Plastic Products Company. In order to do her job Barbara has to walk down a hallway to a meeting room at least once every day. On the walls of the h

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

CaSarah Severs Business Ethics Paper #3 December 8, 2011 Freedom of Expression in the Workplace In the case "Freedom of Expression in the Workplace" Barbara Hill is an employee at American Plastic Products Company. In order to do her job Barbara has to walk down a hallway to a meeting room at least once every day. On the walls of the hallway are pin-up photographs and calendars of, what one can assume scantily clad females. Barbara went to her supervisor and told him that these photographs offended her. The supervisor immediately removed all the photographs. The next day Barbara overheard two male employees talking about women in an unkind way. Barbara again went to her supervisor and said that conversation between the two male employees offended her. The supervisor discussed the situation with the two male employees, who argued that they were merely expressing their opinions. The question that needs to be answered about this case is was the work environment a hostile work environment? In my opinion the pin-up photographs and calendars and the conversation between the two male employees do not make the work environment a hostile work environment. However, if the supervisor does not handle the situation with careful consideration it could very quickly turn into a hostile work environment. ...read more.

Middle

If the photographs and calendars were placed on the walls after Barbara was hired and hostile comments and situations took place prior to the removal of the photographs then it is very possible, and highly likely, that a hostile work environment existed. This situation is not a hostile work environment because according to our discussion in class five criteria must be met for a situation to be considered hostile. The five criteria according to Epstein are: (1) the harassment must be gender-based, (2) the employer or its agent must perpetuate or condone the harassment, (3) the harassment must be severe or pervasive, (4) the harassment must be unwelcome to its target, and (5) the harassment must create a subjectively and objectively hostile work environment. Although Barbara's situation meets requirements 1, 4, and 5 it does not meet requirements 2 and 3. Therefore because her situation does not meet all five requirements it is not considered a hostile work environment. According to the case when Barbara approached her supervisor and informed him that the photographs on the wall offended her, his reaction was to immediately remove all of the offensive materials. This action shows that criteria 2 - the employer or its agent must perpetuate or condone the harassment - is not met. ...read more.

Conclusion

The conversation was gender-based and it was unwelcome to its target (Barbara). I don't disagree with these facts, however this only meets two of the five criteria (criteria 1 and 4) that must be met and the conversation was most likely generated out of anger. The men were merely looking for someone to blame and because Barbara was the one to go to the supervisor she was the one they blamed. As far as we can tell this was the male employee's first offense and one single isolated event doesn't prove sexual harassment or a hostile work environment. As stated earlier the photographs and calendars were probably offensive in nature. It is also possible that they offended other employees, even male employees. With that in mind, although they were inappropriate and offensive, a hostile work environment did not exist because of the photographs and calendars. Even after the offensive material was removed and the two make employee made inappropriate comments, a hostile work environment did not exist. Sexual harassment would be hard to prove, the supervisor no the company perpetuated or condoned the behavior and the harassment was neither severe nor pervasive. The overall workplace was not pervaded with sexual harassment and Barbara was not hindered from doing her job and performing her duties. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level People & Operations Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level People & Operations Management essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    NVQ2 Business and admin assessment 1. Know the employment rights and responsibilities of ...

    4 star(s)

    do your work in order for them to do theirs for example I currently work as a packer in a warehouse, if someone who works on picking does not do their job quickly enough and within their timescales I have no work to do and the customer does not get

  2. Describe, with examples, how working environment can impact on motivation and contribute to an ...

    This lays down the following: 1. A maximum 48-hours week, averaged over 17 weeks 2. at least 4 weeks' paid annual leave 3. a weekly rest period of at least 24 hours in each 7-day period 4. a daily rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours between each working day 5.

  1. Recruitment. I am writing this report to describe how each organisation plans and conducts ...

    why they didn't get the interview, and they also keep them on file for reference for if someone leaves there job, people in the definite pile get kept on file for twelve months and those who were successful with their application form and got the job get kept on file for life.

  2. Teamwork. There are several reasons why a business may organise their staff into teams. ...

    There is a sales leader target sheet drawn up which all employees must sign to ensure they are going to try and achieve those goals in the day. As our manager decides our targets for the day , I think the meeting could be improved by employees being able to chose their own targets in what they want to achieve.

  1. Private and Public Limited Company

    McDonald's sales depend on the advertising the corporation does through television and radio. Information McDonald's depends on certain information for its business process. McDonald's uses the cash registers to track the transactions done during the day. McDonald's executives then use the information about what menu product or what merchandise is

  2. Business Ethics

    giving them their share in the market so instead of doing the right thing which is to improve the health and safety issue in the workforce they do the wrong thing by maintaining a good relationship with their stakeholders which is also the right thing to do but perhaps not

  1. The main aim of this research is to evaluate the information on the human ...

    the programs so as to manage the development of an organization's human talent. Mainly the human resource has to calculate the organizations: competencies, leadership, culture, arrangement, and learning (Norton, 2001). By calculating these problems it provides the structure for relating the drivers of the organization's strategy.

  2. Motivation within a workplace - examples from Asda.

    Overall he believed that along with money a person?s social needs also need to be fulfilled. ASDA is a supermarket which employees hundreds of workers, therefore communication and social interaction is a huge aspect of the job. Elton Mayo?s theory is one that applies with ASDA as they ensure that

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work