BUSI642: Case Study 1
Religious Discrimination and Racial Harassment: What Ever Happened to MarShawn DeMur? January 17, 2015
Case Discussion Questions
1. Identify and describe the specific issues Maalick encountered in the workplace. Do the actions of other workers at Treton represent discrimination and harassment? What elements of law are important for Treton to consider?
Maalick encountered religious discrimination on several occasions while at work. The first instance was when he requested vacation for a religious event and his manager was reluctant to grant the request because of his religious beliefs. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 employers are required to “reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer” (Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2015 para 1). Reasonable accommodations may include flexibility in scheduling, job reassignments, or voluntary substitutions. (EEOC, 2015) Although the manager eventually granted the vacation request because he questioned Maalick about it when it would not cause the company undue hardship would be considered religious discrimination. After Maalick changed his name he experienced teasing about his religious choices from his co-workers and his manager. This created a very hostile work environment for Maalick. The abuse that Maalick endured is considered religious discrimination and harassment. It is illegal to harass someone because of their religious beliefs. According to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2015), “harassment includes offensive remarks to a person about their religious beliefs” (EEOC, 2015 para 5). The law does not prohibit simple teasing or mocking however when it becomes so severe that it creates a hostile work environment for the employee it is considered religious discrimination and harassment. (EEOC, 2015) Treton must consider that the company could be liable for civil actions by the commission, attorney general, and the victim if they allow the practice to occur. In addition, criminal charges can be brought against the accuser by the commission or attorney general. 2. Evaluate the actions of HR director, Marta Ford, in response to Maalick’s situation. What could she have done to prevent the situation and what more could she do to ensure that this type of situation does not occur in the future?
When Maalick originally went to Marta Ford he spoke to her about the questions regarding his religion his co-coworkers had been asking. Rather than disregard his concerns she should have been proactive in addressing the issue rather than waiting until it got worse. She could have held a meeting with everyone in the facility and reminded them of the company policy regarding harassment. According to Gomez-Mejia, L., Balkin, D., & Cardy, R. (2012) companies that are proactive toward issues are better prepared to deal with future problems. Had she done this the issue likely would not have escalated to the point that it became a hostile work environment for Maalick. To prevent the situation from happening in the future Marta Ford could provide additional training to all employees and require annual retraining so that all employees and management are aware of company policies. 3. How would you characterize Clive Jenkins’ behavior and response to this situation?
As a member of management Clive Jenkins is responsible for boosting employee morale to ensure that company goals are met as well as ensuring that the employees he supervisors follow company policies. In order to identify policy violations Jenkins must be well versed in company policies. By allowing other employees to play jokes on Maalick he is encouraging bad behavior and putting his own liability as well as that of the company at risk. His lack of good decision making places his...
References: Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2015). Religious Discrimination. EEOC.
Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/religion.cfm
Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2015). Facts about Religious Discrimination. EEOC. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-religion.
Gomez-Mejia, L., Balkin, D., & Cardy, R. (2012). Managing Human Resources (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
Deadrick, D., McAfee, B. & Champagne, P. (1996). Preventing Workplace Harassment: An Organizational Change Perspective. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9(2), 66 – 75.
Salin, D. (2009). Organizational responses to workplace harassment. Personnel Review, 38(1), 26-44. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483480910920697
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