Most organizations do not have legal counsel on staff, and therefore must rely on business managers who are knowledgeable in employment laws and compliance regulations, and have the ability to identify violations of specific laws and regulations, as well as make recommendations to mitigate liabilities that may result from the violations.
This week’s assignment outlines three different workplace scenarios of NewCorp, which require team members to identify the liabilities and rights of all involved parties and determine the legal principles that support these findings. Some legal principles to consider involve employee discharge under an at-will employment agreement, sexual harassment, discrimination, and violations to regulatory compliance.
Legal Scenario 2
The liabilities of NewCorp include discrimination and sexual harassment. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal for a company to discriminate against a woman for being pregnant, excluding a woman from health plans, sick leave and health benefits because of pregnancy, discriminating against a woman for having the thought of becoming pregnant. Although there may be material in the wire-coating department, NewCorp has the responsibility to protect the workers from this material and cannot deny employment to a qualified candidate on the premise that she may become pregnant. NewCorp can also be held liable for the sexual harassment taking place in the department Paula is currently working in. Numerous incidents of Sam’s behavior and attitude toward Paula in the workplace along with demeaning her work ethic, is also covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states, It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex.
Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general. Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer (“U.s Equal Opportunity Commission”, 2013). NewCorp should investagate and stop these actions immediatly as well as implement a dating policy between supervisors and employees.
The three scenarios focused on events involving hiring and firing practices, discrimination, sexual harassment, and regulatory compliance. Although it is not common or always economical for organizations to staff legal counsel, it is beneficial to staff management with the ability to identify legal principles and convey recommendation to mitigate liabilities in the event that these principles are misunderstood or violated.
U.S Equal Opportunity Commission. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm