Ques1. What are the major problem(s) you see in this case?
The primary problem is altogether contradictory statements by Yvonne and Jerrick. While Yvonne blamed Jerrick squeezed her butt, Jerrick alleged Yvonne of being too close to him. The same clash occurs in the statements made by two witnesses, Jeff and Sam.
Another problem with this case includes Jerrick's so called violation of part of the warning stating that he would not make any physical contact with female employees on company premises. Jerrick, known for his informal and friendly gestures, was warned once in the past also to ameliorate his behavior, considering the cultural differences.
Ques 2. Do you think there is any additional information that may be crucial? Why or why not?
No, there is no need of additional information as such. Main players of this story include Yvonne, and Jerrick; additional actors being those eight alleged victims whom Jerrick invited and two witnesses, Sam and Jeff. HR managers have noted their statements carefully. The statement of a lady who complained against him in January leading to disciplinary notice could have also been considered, but I do not think that it will be able to impart any further proof.
Ques 3. What would you report to Anne and when, as she has asked about the case?
After interviewing Jerrick, Yvonna and eight other ladies, I would first report that Jerrick has continued his same approach despite previous warning. This information is necessary for Anne because she believes in following the rules and procedures strictly. At the same time, I would also report that all eight ladies have termed him as " harmless." It will support Jerrick as a jovial Jamaican rather than an amorist.
Ques 4. What will be your approach in handling separate stories of Sam and Jeff?
Different stories of Jeff and Sam have added a further twist in this case. However, they both agreed that Yvonne became upset and departed from there. Sam, in saying that Yvonne walked past Jerrick, might be a bit inattentive at that time. Alternatively, it may be because of the crowd that he sensed so. Therefore, I would back their statement about Yvonne being upset and conclude that there must be something that disturbed Yvonne, willingly or unwilling on the part of Jerrick.
Ques 5. As the file of Jerrick reported a similar incident, what procedure would you follow as you made your decision?
Despite the allegations against him in the past, I would follow a policy of persuasion and would recommend training sessions for better understanding of company's harassment policies, valuing diversity at the workplace and adhering to the company's work guidelines.
Ques 6. Is there any need to improve upon the overall diverse cultures at Wheels, Inc.?
Yes, I do feel the need for an overall improvement. Not only Jerrick needs to understand other cultures, other employees also need to understand Jamaican culture of warmth and openness. I felt that there was a misunderstanding from both sides. Jerrick failed to understand the conservative aspect of Yvonne's cultural practices and Vyonne failed to understand the openness involved in Jamaican habits.
Succinctly put, getting to know others' approaches and practices will make the workplace inclusive; it is duly required given the diversity in organizations.
Ques 7. What would you do about Yvonna coming back to building?
The behavior of Yvonna is no less than a surprise. Reporting the incidents to several supervisors already, regularly denying providing information to Alex and Nancy, returning back to the premises and narrating the incident despite continuous requests by seniors, and finally reporting to Darrell that 'nothing has been done about my case' reflect confusion on the part of Vyonna's response.
As Alex and already did, I would have noted about Vyonna's intractable approach in the file. Though I would not take any action in this particular incident concerning her psychological status, I would not let- go this attitude unnoticed in the future.
Ques 8. What about the other eight employees who had training in harassment and never came forward?
The case of eight women employees, who were trained in diversity and harassment, outlines the importance of diversity training in a multicultural organization. These were the women whom Jerrick invited and made physical contacts as placing the arms around and hugging them. Still, none of these women came forward to make any complaint about Jerrick.
Though these women remain a silent spectator in the present incident, their case strongly backs Jerrick's and Vyonna's positions as amateurs in cultural understanding.
Ques 9. What would your decision be and why?
I would retain Jerrick in the company with a strong recommendation to send him to further trainings. I believe that that Jerrick, being a Jamaican, just does not understand the cultural differences among people. It may be the reason that women; he invited and cheered, did not make any allegation against him. In addition, following points also form the basis of my decision:
• Eight women, trained in diversity sessions, terming him harmless
• Contradictory views of Jeff and Sam
• Openness imbibed in Jamaican culture
• Less space and overcrowd at the time of Jerrick and Yvonna case
Thus, there are not strong evidences proving Jerrick guilty. I further believe that dismissing Jerrick would be like disrespecting a particular culture and approach. However, it will be the final warning for him and a similar charge in the future will draw nothing shorter than dismissal.