EmploymentLaw, Case Study
Thereare several issues that were faced by MarShawn DeMur in his six yearsof work at Treton. While applying for promotion and transfer to theMidwest station, he was concern about the demographics of the region.He was however assured by the managers at Michigan facility as wellas the Midwest facility director and immediate boss, Clive Jenkinsthat the facility was committed the company’s philosophy ofdiversity and inclusiveness. This was demonstrated by the invitationto a church meeting by Jenkins to assist his in the transition. As aresult, DeMur enjoyed his stay and work in the facility. However, hehad joined African American religious community, known as the Churchof International Spirituality. The existence of this African Americancommunity in the region is one of the factors that had encouraged himto relocate. The new age religious group served an important role inhis transition in the new location. However, the situation at workchanged after he requested a week long break from work to attend aspiritual function that would confirm him as a member of thecongregation. When he approached the facility director, Jenkins, heasked my questions regarding the religion some of which indicatedthat he doubted the authenticity of the religious group. AlthoughDeMur was amused by the strange questions and suspicions, he was ableto get some time off to attend the spiritual function (Combs, 2009).
Afterthe vacation, things turned from bad to worse. Before he left for thevacation, his colleagues asked suspicious questions about hisreligion. He also received information from his coworkers about someof the perceived perceptions about the spiritual group in the region.Although he tried to counter some of the misconceptions about thereligion group by providing the collect information, he did notestablish the source of the information. After being confirmed in thereligious community, his name changed to Maalick and the humanresources director, Marta Ford give his all the support in formallychanging his name in the company’s records. However, he received anunfriendly welcome in the department. When he walked in, he waswelcomed by strange faces and ridiculing laughter from the coworkers.Also, his office was decorated with strange symbols depicting Africanblack magic. When he reported the matter to Jenkins, he also mockedhim saying that due to his African decency and his religion, heshould have expected such reaction from the coworkers. Despite theassurance from the facility director that the matter will bereceived, he continued to receive different forms of harassments dueto his religion. When things got worse, he approached the HRdirector, Ford who responded swiftly by calling a meeting of allheads of departments and circulating memos on the diversity policiesin Treton and warned the employees against any form of religious andracial harassments. Ford also made several visits to ensure thatthere was no more harassment. He also advised him to apply for newlycreated vacancies. Despite his qualification as well as performanceand experience in the company, Jenkins picked a member of his churchfor the position (Combs, 2009).
AlthoughFord, the human resource director acted swiftly when DeMur launchedcomplains against religious and racial harassment, he did very littleto promote diversity and inclusiveness in the facility. First, whenDeMur changed his name to Maalick, he accorded his all the support informalizing the new name. Although he assured DeMur that he shouldnot worry about the questions asked by his coworkers regarding hisreligion, he did nothing to protect him. Immediately after thisassurance, DeMur received all forms of religious and racialharassments. It was not until DeMur launched complains in his officethat he sent memos and summoned departmental heads that he tookaction. Secondly, despite advising DeMur to apply for the newpositions, he did nothing as the HR director to ensure that there wasno discrimination in the recruitment process. He acted after DeMurcomplained. It is the responsibility of the HR department to enforcethe diversity policy in an organization and prevent any form ofdiscrimination and harassments. Ford should have adopted a proactiveand not a reactive approach to DeMur problems (Combs, 2009).
CliveJenkins is a bad leader and coworker. His actions indicate that he isan unethical and discriminative leader. First, he assured DeMur thathe would have a smooth transition in the new environment and that heupholds the company’s diversity policy and therefore would ensurethat he had a comfortable stay in the white dominated community.However, Jenkins expected DeMur to join his religious community toget his support, which is unethical. Secondly, when DeMur was facedwith the problems, instead of assisting his as the director of thefacility, he mocked him and did nothing to correct the situationdespite the assurance. He also recruited a member of his church tothe newly created position, which is against the company’s policy(Combs, 2009).
Asthe company’s vice president in charge of EEC and diversity, JudithDixon has the responsibility of ensuring that incidences ofdiscrimination and harassments based on race, religion or gender doesnot occur in all Treton’s work stations. She should investigate thematter and take action against all the individuals found guilty toavoid similar incidences in the future. Since workplace harassmentand discrimination is against the law, it is also important to takelegal action against those responsible.
Thereare numerous impacts of harassment and discrimination in workplaces.Some of the negative impacts on Treton include dissatisfied employeesleading to loss of productivity. The affected employees are alsolikely to suffer from depression and stress. This will disrupt thenormal business in the office and negatively affect the morale of theaffected workers. It is also a leading cause of employee absenteeismand turnover. Discrimination and harassment will also affect thereputation of the organization. There are also criminal charges thatcan be taken against the organization, senior management or theperpetrators since there are federal laws against discrimination andharassment in workplaces (Willian & Jane, 2011). It is thereforethe responsibility of Dixon to strictly enforce diversity policies inTreton by adopting effective strategies.
Combs,G. M. (2009).Religious Discrimination and Racial Harassment: WhatEver Happened to MarShawn DeMur? Societyfor Human Resource Management.
Willian,E & Jane G. (2011).Evaluation for workplace discrimination and harassment,New York: Oxford University Press.