Running head: MISPLACED AFFECTIONS
Case Study: Misplaced Affections: Discharge for Sexual Harassment
Our Lady of the Lake University
Human Resource Management
Dr. Hamid Khan, BSME, MSIE, MBA, EDD, PE
September 29, 2013
My initial reaction to this case study is one of disbelief. I cannot believe an employee of eleven years would be terminated based on the events listed in the case study. In my opinion, Gilbury played a crucial role in the allegations as well. If she just wanted to be friends with Lewiston, why did she accept the roses? What kind of signals, body language was she sending when she would talk to Mr. Lewiston. If she believed he was a nice, lonely older man, she should have kept her distance from him and just acknowledge him when the occasion called for. I believe Gilbury may have led him on and when she could not get rid of him, she got scared and decided to file a sexual harassment case against him. She may have confided in him by sharing personal information regarding her home life, joked with him and laughed with him. This may have cause Mr. Lewiston to feel “alive” again and he took it as “she likes me”. Of course this is just an assumption of mine given I don’t have all the facts. I’m just basing my assumption on the events listed in the case study. In my opinion, Mr. Lewiston should not have been terminated. When I completed my reading, I was angered by the termination. I believe he should have been able to keep his job given the time he had already invested with the school district. If Gilbury was so bothered by Mr. Lewiston’s actions, why didn’t she approach her supervisor about Mr. Lewiston’s actions? Maybe a supervisor could have addressed the issue with Mr. Lewiston and verbally counseled him on what was going on. I still believe Gilbury had a bigger part in this case. I do not feel she is a victim in this case but rather the one who toyed with a lonely individual’s affections. If she really felt uncomfortable, threatened, and weird, she should have taken care of the problem as soon as it started and not prolong the issue. By accepting Mr. Lewiston’s tokens of affection, she made the issue worse by leading him on.
As stated earlier, I believe Mr. Lewiston should not have been terminated. He had already invested eleven years of employment with the school district giving him some sort of seniority with the district. If anything, I believe he should have been placed at another school within the same district allowing him to keep his job and time invested. I also feel the school district handled the case unfairly. I feel Mr. Lewiston’s events were not taken into account and the only one who was heard out was Gilbury. Gilbury was made out to be the “victim” in this case. The moment she failed to appear that alone should have showed some sort of fault of her own. Yes, it could be that she did not want to see Mr. Lewiston but in my eyes I feel when an individual fails to appear, there is some fault to be taken into account. The failure to appear should raise the question of the credibility of her statement of events.
The other thing to look at is the time frame taken to reach a decision in this case. As stated in the case study, Gilbury reported that her relationship with Lewiston began to change during the last month of the 2007-2008 school year (Snell & Bohlander, 2013). The school year usually runs from August to May and a decision in this case was reached on June 11, 2008 and by July 15, 2008 Mr. Lewiston was terminated. How can a thorough investigation be conducted in a period of two months? I feel there was no true investigation and the school district based their decision on hearsay. I feel the school should have looked at all the evidence before reaching a decision. I feel the school reached a decision in haste. It could be they did this because they didn’t want parents to hear...
References: Snell, S., & Bohlander, G. (2013). Managing Human Resources (16th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.
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