Misplaced Affections

Topics: Harassment, Human resources, Termination of employment Pages: 7 (2040 words) Published: October 26, 2011
| Case Study 1|
To:Abbe Siver
From:Nihad Polimac
Re:Misplaced Affections
In the case of “Misplaced Affections” sexual harassment occurred by creating a hostile environment for Mrs. Beverly Gilbury by Mr. Peter Lewiston. Lewiston started changing during the 2007-2008 school year. Lewiston created this hostile environment by paying more attention to Mrs. Gilbury and participating in visiting her classroom more often, writing Mrs. Gilbury letters and sending her flowers. On June 8, 2008 during the close of the school day, Lewiston showed up around Gibury’s car trying to explain himself. The parking lot scene got more disturbing and physical as Lewiston reached to touch Gilbury by her shoulder, but touched her head instead. This made Gilbury very uncomfortable so she drove away, very upset. Mr. Lewiston was frequently told by Gilbury that she thought of him nothing more than a friend. On June 9, 2008, Gilbury received another letter from Lewiston. The letter stated that he was wrong for trying to develop a relationship with her and hoped they could still remain friends. June 11, 2008 Gilbury obtained an injunction prohibiting sexual harassment by Lewiston from the Western Justice Court. Lewiston appealed the injunction shortly after and Gilbury received a notice in the mail showing her the dates of the appeal hearing. Failing to appear at the hearing meant the injunction may be vacated. On July 11, Gilbury filed a sexual harassment complaint with the district’s EEOC officer against Lewiston. In the end the court concluded that Lewiston’s actions created an “extremely sexual hostile’ environment for Gilbury. The court recommended dismissal based upon the previous conduct of Lewiston and the initial injunction granted by the Justice Court. Main Problem:

As a result of Mr. Lewiston’s sexual harassment behavior towards Mrs. Gilbury the key problem arises. Mr. Lewiston has created an extremely sexual hostile work environment at the workplace. By taking actions into his own hands he made Mrs. Guilbury very uncomfortable; therefore, impacting her performance at work. The situation got worse when Mr. Lewiston did not get the message that Mrs. Guilbury was happily married and did not want to have anything more than a friendship with Mrs. Lewiston. This was told to Mrs. Lewiston more than once but he simply did not care, therefore escalating the problem and pushing Mrs. Guilbury to obtain an injunction thus resulting in the termination of Mr. Lewiston. Key Issues:

The key issues that resulted in Mr. Lewiston’s sexual harassment behavior as well as his termination include the following. * The first issue started when Mr. Lewiston sent letters and flowers to Mrs. Guilbury hoping to start a relationship with her. * Following Mrs. Guilbury to the parking lot Lewiston created an uncomfortable situation, by accidently padded Guilbury on her head instead of her shoulder. Guilbury knew Lewiston meant no harm, but his actions made Guilbury nervous so she drove away quickly. * One of the biggest issues is the fact that Mrs. Guilbury only wanted a friendship with Mr. Lewiston but Lewiston wanted more than just a friendship, describing how he felt about her in some of the letters he wrote her even though he knew she was happily married. * Mrs. Guilbury decided to tell a co-worker/friend about Mrs. Lewiston’s action, but she did not tell the right people. Instead of a friend Mrs. Guilbury should have had a talk with the human resource department to see if they could stop the problem from escalating. * The last and most important issue that cannot be overlooked is the fact that Mrs. Guilbury obtained an injunction prohibiting sexual harassment by Lewiston. The problem that occurred is that Guilbury did not attend the hearing therefore the injunction was set aside. The problem could have been resolved by her attending the hearing in court. Alternative Solutions:

1) A final warning...
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