This paper is going to examine the difference between Black Bike week and Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally (predominantly white) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We are going to see if the NAACP had a valid reason to file a lawsuit against Myrtle Beach and several of its businesses. If so, we are going to see how risk management could’ve played a bigger role in preventing the lawsuit from happening. We will also be discussing ethical considerations that might be applicable to this case. Then, we’ll determine which sources of law would be most relevant in this case and how management could leverage knowledge of sources to prevent similar instances in the future.
Summarize the actions that lead to the lawsuit. Myrtle Beach is a popular tourist destination among people of all walks of life throughout the world. One of the things Myrtle Beach is known for is its Bike rallies. One is called Black Bike week and the other Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally. For years they have been trying to ban/restrict the activities that go on during Black Bike week. The NAACP took it amongst them to sue the city of Myrtle Beach and a few of its establishments for discrimination. The only time during the year where the majority of tourists are black is on Memorial day weekend, during Black bike week. So, the NAACP filed a pair of Federal lawsuits stating that Molly Darcy’s and the American Pancake and Omelet house refused to serve visitors of Black Bike week. They closed their businesses during peak times to refrain from serving the black customers.
Another complaint states that even though during the Harley Davidson Spring Bike Rally, a portion of Ocean Boulevard was closed off for an afternoon to control a fight between two motorcycle gangs, the Hell’s Angels and Pagans. Even with things like this happening during white bike week and nothing of this nature during black bike week, restaurant owners and businesses still refuse to service visitors of the black bike week. Discuss what management could have done in terms of risk management to have prevented the events that lead to the lawsuit. Risk management is an important business function and a major part of the business planning process. The roles and responsibilities of risk management are to try and eliminate or reduce the risk of having certain things happen that can pose a threat to your business. The risk manager/team has to be identified and then the risk manager will devise a plan to get rid of any risks that may have a negative impact on the business.
The management of these businesses could have taken better steps and precautions to avoid this. Even though this is 2012 and we have a Black President, the world still sees color. Race is a big part/the reason for a lot of lawsuits against businesses. The company’s should’ve either closed for both biking events or if it was a matter of safety that they were concerned with, they should’ve beefed up the security. All in all, they should have had better risk management in place to prevent this. Most small businesses don’t have the funds to handle litigation. Money is a fueling factor for any and all businesses and all money is green. For them to close during one of the busiest weeks of the year would have been a tremendous loss. The businesses, more than likely did not have a risk management team in place since they are small businesses. Most small businesses don’t invest in risk management or a legal team. Companies have a social responsibility to be fair, just, and treat all customers equal.
The management teams of the restaurants were using discriminatory customer service by closing while the Black bike week was going on. Discrimination can cause companies an immeasurable amount of money and deprive them of qualified workers. Discuss the ethical considerations reflected in the laws applicable to this case. Going forward these companies need to figure out how they are going to promote ethical behavior. First they must re-write their mission statement to reflect their new ethical behavior. Or they can create/adopt a code of ethics. The code of ethics will let the company’s’ employees know their expectations and clarifies the rules and regulations of that company. The company could also provide ethics training to its management and employees. Ethics is very important in life and business. If a company doesn’t have a good ethical standing and reputation among its customers then they are likely to lose a lot of business because of it. So, when a company gets sued for something as serious as discrimination, whether it is true or false, people are going to take a step back and really examine that business to see if maybe they experienced something similar when they visited the establishment but didn’t really pay that much attention to it.
So, now the company has to work five times as hard as its peers to try and build their reputation and so that people can see them for a great ethical company. Determine which sources of law would be most relevant in this case and how management could leverage knowledge of those sources to prevent similar instances in the future. In regards to the case of the NAACP versus Myrtle Beach, I feel as though statues would be the most relevant source of law in this case. Everyone should be entitled to equal services, good etc. without discrimination of gender, race, etc. This wasn’t the case here. A group of people were allegedly discriminated upon during a certain period of time because of the color of their skin based upon notions that black people bring trouble. Well, trouble doesn’t see color, trouble will follow whomever whenever. It seems quite obvious that management wasn’t aware or didn’t really care to be aware of the statutes of the law. Had they been aware, they could’ve stopped the lawsuit from happening.
In the world we live in, sad to say, but some people look for opportunities to make a financial gain. So, as a business owner you should always, always know more about laws than your customers so that you can stay a step ahead and prevent things like this from happening. Also, Regulations is a source of law that could be used for this case. Since the NAACP filed the case federally, regulations would help in deciding the fate of this case. Regulations would help to determine and specify for the company the mandatory requirements that it must adhere to. Recommend what management might be able to do to pursue alternate resolutions (outside of court). The said businesses and the city of Myrtle Beach may be able to settle or come to an agreement outside of court; and by doing so, it will help to lower legal fees, come to a solution sooner than later, and avoid a huge media scandal. Negotiation is a popular way that people come to agreements. You can view negotiations as either good or bad to look at the past or the present and future. Some don’t like to do negotiations without legal representation present because the mediation can be difficult and it can put a strain on the best of relationships.
Another alternative dispute resolution is mediation. It is substantially less costly and less antagonistic than a lawsuit. The mediation process consists of a neutral third party who helps the two parties come to a mutual agreement. The difference between a judge and a mediator is that a mediator cannot dictate the resolution they parties must come to an agreement on their own and stand by it. The mediator is there just to be a listening ear so there isn’t any back and forth and so no one goes back on the agreement. A minitrial is also another alternative dispute resolution that could be used to help come to a resolution. Both parties are represented by legal counsel and in the end both parties mutually decide on the final decision. The resolution will be enforced by a contract that the courts will enforce. Lawyers from both parties take a few weeks to build their case and then they will sit down in a trial format. If they cannot reach an agreement the third party representative can give an opinion that is nonbinding.
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