How important are company policies related to discrimination and harassment in the workplace? How could you use such policies in your communications plan?
The company discrimination and harassment policies are essential in ensuring equal employment opportunities prevail at the workplace for all (Shaw, 2000). The discrimination and harassment policies are integral in ensuring an ethical work environment is established. An environment where the rights and dignities of all personnel are taken into consideration (Zaremba, 2010). The policies can come handy in various ways in creating an effective communication plan. They can offer distinct definition or rather a clearly worded definition of harassment and discrimination. Circumstances, consequences, and complaint procedures surrounding harassment and discrimination can also be addressed in the communication plan. These elements are primary to the effective enforcement of the policies within the work setting (Zaremba, 2010).
In the GE case, what did you think of the Sheffer versus Schaefer statements? Who do you think had the upper-hand, won the war of words?
Schaefer versus Scheffer statements reflected the grave situation at G.E regarding promotion and remuneration structure discriminations. The statements show resoundingly her concern over other female employees who were also facing discrimination on the basis of their gender. Her decision to seek class action from the judge cements this point further. It was not about Lorene Schaefer but rather a concern shared by female employees at General Electric. In the war of words traded between the two parties, Ms. Schaefer emerged the victor. She managed to bring the world’s attention to General Electric poor work policies consequently bringing change to the modus operandi of the company’s human resource management. Ms. Schaefer managed to clinch a settlement with the organization as well as proper scrutiny to policies and practices in order to incorporate an inclusive culture at General Electric.
In the ESPN case, why do you think Hal Reynolds described the alleged harassment as an innocuous hug?Reynolds described the alleged harassment as an innocuous hug since he deemed it as non-offensive. In Reynold’s defense, he gave the complainant a hug with no ill intentions whatsoever. The female intern who happened to be the complainant might have misinterpreted it as an invasion of personal space, therefore, alluding it to sexual harassment.
Could the Letterman case be considered one of "quid pro quo" harassment? The following article may be of interest: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/2009/10/david-letterman-200910.By focusing on the article “Letterman and Me”, the Letterman’s case can be said to be a “quid pro quo” harassment. The author, Nell Scovell, notes that her stay at the Late Night show there was a relatively small number of female employees. The workplace was male-dominated as “in 27 years the show had hired only seven female writers” (Scovell, 2009). Aside from this, the author observes that during her tenure she received more attention from Letterman, which was noted by other writers. There were also rumors that some of her female counterparts had sexual relationships with high-level male employees. These relationships created a “quid pro quo harassment” scenario as they led to the female employees in question wielding disproportionate power to their titles (Scovell, 2009). The writer further cites that these female employees were also benefiting professionally creating hostile working environment. It is evident that these relationships brewing at the Letterman’s show were based on the promise of advancement at the workplace ultimately making them a form of quid pro quo harassment. These observations coupled with a hostile work environment are enough to link Letterman’s show to an unethical workplace.
Would Legal and Human Resources staff be members of the crisis team in a discrimination or harassment matter? What roles would they play?
The Legal and Human Resources personnel ought to be enjoined in any discrimination or harassment matter. The two parties are integral to this any of the processes regarding personnel and company policies (Zaremba, 2010). The Legal department will be vital in the interpretation of the discrimination and harassment policies. This department will be integral in ascertaining whether a complaint fits the harassment or discrimination criterion (Shaw, 2000). If the claims are established as valid, it is this department that will suggest punishment to be instituted against those on the wrong. The Human Resource personnel, on the other hand, ought to be the reporting desk for the employees in case of any discrimination or harassment complaints (Zaremba, 2010). The staff should liaise with the legal department in implementing the disciplinary measures and also extend counselling services to the affected.
Scovell, N. (2009, October 27). Letterman and Me. Vanity Fair. Retrieved from http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/features/2009/10/david-letterman-200910
Shaw, V. F. (2000). Coping with sexual harassment and gender bias. New York: Rosen Pub. Group.
Zaremba, A. J. (2010). Crisis communication: Theory and practice. Armonk, NY [u.a.: M.E. Sharpe.