• 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)

    1. Prioritise how urgent or important something is i.e. if something is urgent and important do it first and if it is urgent but not very important do it after 2. Make sure you have a back up plan in case something takes longer than you thought it would try and give yourself a little extra time to complete

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

    An employer may offer alternative employment. If the employee unreasonably refuses it they are not entitled to redundancy pay. * EU Directives on hours and pay The European Working Time Directive was enacted in the UK through the Working Time Regulations 1998.

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

    I think it depends on your budget, your time, and the role the Internet plays in your business. If you've got the time and tendency, doing online marketing yourself will be more cost-effective than hiring a dedicated employee or outsourcing to an agency.

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

    Negotiating with others: Sven made this statement to his critics; "I know there are people who don't want me here, and I am sorry for them. But if people have an opinion about me, I try not to respond."

  1. Private and Public Limited Company

    some billboard like in McDonald restaurant, buses and anywhere where people see the promotional campaigning to find or recruit a staff. * Newspapers * And commercials from the TV or in Radio Recruitment and selection The purpose of recruitment is to buy in and retain the best available human resources to meet McDonald's needs.

  2. Unit 13 - Organising an Event

    travel arrangements going to the airport and coming back from the airport. My research can be found in the appendix at the back of this project. Although this was the country I was researching for my group, I gathered some information about some of the other group's information about their

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

    In order to be the strategic contributor the human resource should show all its competencies and skills. The great human resource personal needs to construct their business knowledge, financial skills along with the consulting skills. In addition, the human resource personal should be able to have the technologically oriented knowledge,

  2. Motivation within a workplace - examples from Asda.

    In his experiment he found that whatever the change in lighting or working conditions, the production levels of the workers improved or remained the same. From this research Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by: better communication, greater manager involvement and working in groups of teams.

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