• 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)

    A benefit for an employer is that people will want to work for them so they may be more likely to find the right person for the job as there will be a bigger pool of candidates to choose from.

  2. Private and Public Limited Company

    US Dollar * Revenue - According to the 2005 Annual Report, the company sells beverage products in more than 312 countries or territories. The report further states that of the more than 50 billion beverage servings of all types consumed worldwide every day, beverages bearing the trademarks owned by or licensed to Coca-Cola account for approximately 1.5 billion.

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

    I do recognise tat in certain working environments other style are better suited. Theorists who have explored theories on management styles include Renis Likert, Fred Fiedler and Victor Vroom. I will now go onto explore each of thee individually. Renis Likert believed there are four basic styles of management; Benevolent Authoritarian, Participative, Consultative and Exploitive Authoritarian.

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

    Departments have encouragement in giving feedback about promotion after related exercise is conducted. 3.13 Performance appraisal Performance of individual performance is compared with previous objectives of work and based on result performance appraisal is assessed. Two functions are served by it.

  1. Recruitment at Asda - creating a job advert and related documents.

    For the person specification I again used Ms word to created the document. I used Ms Word when creating my document because it is easier to insert tables. I state a brief summary explaining why it is important for the candidate to meet all the criteria the document is asking for.

  2. HR Case Study - What mistakes did Diego make in the way he behaved ...

    Diego should have understood that Gloria had already spent a lot of energy to involve her other subordinates and, spent precious time to analyze Diego?s proposals. Fifth, in general, bosses do not require brilliant ideas, but do require workable ones from their subordinates.

  1. Motivation within a workplace - examples from Asda.

    This is not necessarily one of the methods that ASDA use as they are more of a standardized way to motivate their employees, however this is a commonly used technique to inspire and encourage employees. This is one of the techniques that I feel ASDA may not include within their co-operation.

  2. Roles and Responsibilities- River Island case study.

    A supervisor should have good flexibility and time management as well as basic communication skills. A supervisor should be able to motivate his/her employees to perform as well as they can to help the business succeed. Good flexibility can ensure that a supervisor is responsive to changes in the work place and is not blown off by any difficult situations.

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