Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
I think we all should know the meaning of sexual harassment. Sexual Harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” (EEOC, 1980). Although Title VII has been in effect since 1964 which “prohibit sex discrimination in employment,” it was not until 1976 that the courts recognized sexual harassment as a form of discrimination. (Williams v. Saxbe, 1976) and it was not until 1980 when the EEOC issued the guideline concerning sex harassment. The EEOC has also defined that there are two types of sexual harassment (1) there is “quid pro quo” sexual harassment, which happens when a condition for sexual favor is placed upon employment. In other words an employer says “I will hire you for sex, I will promote you for sex or you can keep you job if you have sex with me. Then there is (2) the “hostile work environment” which is much harder to prove since there no clear definition as to what is a hostile work environment. This can be something as simple as a joke or comment, the court says “the conduct is evaluated from the perspective of the victim” (29 C.F.R. § 1604, et seq).
This case involves both type of harassments quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Because of a non-disclosure agreement the names of the parties will be changed. But the fact of the case will remain. In July 2005, Shelly Morris accepted a temp to hire position as a Human Resources Generalist for a well-known company in Los Angeles. Her duties as a generalist touched on just about every area of the Human Resources Department. If she did a good job, the position will turn into a full time position with benefits. Shelly had been moving from temp position to temp position since coming to Los Angeles in October 2004. So when she started her first challenge, was to get the company files back into Federal compliance and handle the benefits open enrollment. The Director of Human Resources never worked in the Human Resources fields and seemed very happy to have her aboard. Now this company had two hundred and fifty plus stores in five states California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas with approximately six thousand employees. The Director told Shelly to hire any temporary help she need to help with the files. Also the company’s benefits enrollments for all the employees was due September first and being handle manual via fax and mail from all five states. In three months Shelly and the temps had the files in compliance, she also had most of the benefits enrollments handled via web base applications by the Healthcare and Life insurance companies. By next year all two hundred fifty plus stores will be online via the web for benefits enrollment.
Shelly was a friendly person and got along with everyone she met in the company including the Owner and Trey Parker, Chief Operation Officer (COO). Who seem too had taken a particular liking to Shelly, at first she didn’t pay much attention to him and just kind of ignore the way he looked at her or compliment her cloths. Shelly had a lot going on in her personal life at the time. Hurricane Katina, had the city of New Orleans underwater and her daughter was missing. Besides she had just loss everything she owned because she still had her house in New Orleans and was in the transition to move everything to Los Angeles. So the COO flirting was not very important or worrisome to her. Then one day he asked her was she his employee yet, and she replied no, I’m still a temp. He then said “well we just going to have to fix that”. He went to the Human Resources Director and asked why he had not hired Shelly, it had been over three months and the agency would not charge the company a fee, if they were to hire her now. Well another few weeks when by and when the COO discovered Shelly still was not a full time...