BUSI 642- Individual Policy Manual
February 18, 2015
This employee policy and adherence to it is vital to organizational operation in a variety of aspects. Informing employees of the company’s policies creates a productive and safe work environment for the benefit of the employee as well as protect the company from a variety of potential lawsuits that may arise from noncompliance. The policy is part of the process of hiring and can be overlooked by the employee and employer and if not followed can seriously leave a company in a compromising situation. The following will explore a variety of different policies and the importance of particular components being included.
Sexual harassment is a great concern to organizations and if allowed to go unchecked can cost a company millions of dollars. According to Cabral, “in 1980 the Supreme Court said that sexual harassment was a breach of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. From the years 1978 to 1980, sexual harassment cases brought in opposition to companies costing them $189 million. This amount elevated to $267 million from 1985-1987” (p.16). Kubasek, N., & Brennan, B states “That according to the EEOG Guidelines and accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which explicitly or implicitly makes submissions a term or condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment” (p. 567). In accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that is sexual in nature and includes any verbal or physical harassment, unwelcomed sexual advances, jokes and pranks of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, and anything else that is sexual in nature that can be offensive to another (Berlin, 2014). Harassment does not have to be sexual in its nature and its victim and harasser can be both male or female. It can be remarks considered offensive. For example, making comments about women in general. According to Gomez-Mejia et al. (2012), “recent U.S. Supreme Court sexual harassment rulings directly affect employer liability in sexual harassment cases” (p. 103). Title VII states that discrimination based on sex to include refusal to hire adversely affecting that employee’s status. Quid pro quo and hostile work environments are two key forms of harassment. Existing research on sexual harassment and work outcomes has demonstrated that individuals who are sexually harassed are likely to experience diminished job satisfaction, loss of motivation for work, job stress, and loss of commitment to work, among several other negative outcomes Normally when sexual harassment is evident in the workplace, the first thought is to ignore the issue in hopes that it will stop. Most times this tactic does not work and the unwanted harassment becomes increasingly worse than before. This is the exact reason that unwanted harassment should be dealt with in a swift and effective manner. It promotes a healthy and stress free work environment as well as shows employees that management is not willing to allow such behavior in the work place. Proper training, both employee and managerial, as well as an open communication system and a well-written policy made available to all employees at the date of hire are required to ensure this (Boland, 2007).
This is normally presented to employees as a manual or a policy at their time of employment. Several elements must be made clear in order to have an clear and yet effective policy. First, the company’s overall definition and view towards sexual harassment must be made clear. The company must take a zero tolerance stance policy towards this issue and set the tone for this policy overall. Training on sexual harassment needs to be mandated and reflect within the policy. This will prove to be rather useful in the future. Knowledge on the company’s procedures and policy will allow for issues to quickly and effectively be resolved. Lastly, the policy must also set the a certain sequence of consequences and disciplinary actions that will be set forth for all employed by the organization that refuse to comply with the company’s sexual harassment policy. Not only will a thorough and well-designed policy manual give employees a clear understanding of what to expect, and link them with the strategic needs of the business, but also acts as a legal document if there is ever a complaint or grievance filed against the company regarding any issue detailed in the manual (Schuler, 2002).
Scripture addresses sexual harassment. Ephesians 5:3-4 (ESV) states “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” This almost gives the exact definition of sexual harassment. Even in biblical times there was a clear definition as well as acknowledgement that this type of behavior was unacceptable. Equal Opportunity
Equal opportunity is essential to all organizations conducting business. According to Pagura (2012), “Equal opportunity covers a host of laws. Discrimination has been defined as "to distinguish unfavorably". It takes its meaning from the context in which it is used. Distinguish means to set apart, isolate, to treat differently. Unfavorably means in a negative way.” “Fairness in both outcome distribution and procedure determining outcome substantially affects employee attitudes and behaviors. Empirical studies demonstrate that organizational justice leads to positive attitudes such as satisfaction with outcomes (e.g., pay, performance evaluation, pro- motion), organizational commitment, trust in management and supervisor, and positive evaluation of authority (Rubin, 2009). The major laws are the Equal Pay Act of 1963, The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Gomez-Mejia et al., 2012). With consideration to Equal opportunity, employment should not be based on race, age, sex or disability. If this is a practice in an organization it shows clear discrimination and it cannot be tolerated. Employee training to include all levels of management must be aware of the Equal opportunity policies and adhere to it on all levels. If an employee or even potential employee feels he or she has been discriminated against, they have a right to make a case through the legal system based on unfair treatment through the EEOC. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides guidance and examples of how this association discrimination provision applies in employment settings (Parnet, 2014). If proper procedure was followed, and this procedure was communicated to the employee in the form of a policy manual, no legal action can be taken. For this reason, it is extremely critical for organizations to ensure that all employees receive a description of all company policies at their date of hire.
Berlin, R. (n.d.). Sexual harassment in the workplace defined. Retrieved from http://www.alllaw.com/articles/employment/article37.asp
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