Subject: Business and Management
Topic: MEMORANDUM FOR THE VP OF HR
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 2
Instructions
This Case Study is based on a work scenario. For this scenario, pretend that you are an HR representative and you are preparing a memorandum for the VP of HR. The memo will analyze a set of facts that occurred in your company and conclude with an assessment as to whether your company is liable. This is a role-play assignment, and your objective is to develop a unique scenario and then play the role of the HR representative all the way through your memo, just as if you were the HR representative and this really happened! For this memo, you may develop any scenario you desire, and the legal issue can be based upon any of the topics that you have reviewed during this course. However, the scenario must include that the supervisor of the employee(s) in question is advocating for the termination of one or more employees. You may or may not agree with the supervisor’s sentiment and will address this in your memo to your boss. You will break your memo into at least five paragraphs (make sure to assess whether termination will lead to any liability in paragraph four, and include in your recommendation paragraph five whether termination is warranted), as follows:  Paragraph 1: Identify the issue that you are dealing with; present the problem to your boss. Is it a concern about discriminatory treatment? Are the employees engaging in concerted activity? Is an employee being sexually harassed? You decide.  Paragraph 2: Outline the facts of the case. Tell the story. What did the employee(s) do that is of concern to you and prompted the drafting of this memo? In your scenario, advise your boss that you believe the employee (or ex-employee if the person has quit or has been fired) is preparing to sue the company.  Paragraph 3: Identify the statute that is in question (is this a potential FMLA, FLSA, ADA, or some other issue?) and a legal case from the textbook that seems similar to your scenario. Look up the case on the Internet and read about it. Be sure you understand the important facts of the case and why (or why not) the court ruled in favor of the employee/employer. Analyze the case in this paragraph of your memo. Explain its relevance and how the facts are similar to the facts involving your scenario. You are not limited to discussing only one relevant case, but do not discuss more than two so that your memo is not too long.  Paragraph 4: Determine if the company has any legal liability or exposure based upon your comparison of the facts in your scenario with the facts and decision of the court case(s) you analyzed.  Paragraph 5: Give your boss a recommendation. Whether you think the company might be liable or not, you should have recommendations to your boss relative to how to deal with the situation (defuse it) and how to guard against future situations like this arising. Lastly, be sure to include a reference list at the end. You should have at least three sources/citations for your memorandum. It is likely that one will be the textbook, one will be the court case you reference, and a third might be a statute, article, a second case, or some other relevant case.

Memorandum for the VP of HR

TO: Managing Director,

FROM: HR Representative

SUBJECT: Sexual Harassment Allegation

It has come to my attention as the HR representative of the company that one of our employees is alleging sexual harassment by her supervisor. The female employee claims that her supervisor threatened to fire her if she came forward with the allegations. Prior to this development, the supervisor in question had sent my office an email with the recommendation that the female employee’s contract should be terminated. According to the email, the supervisor found the employee’s performance in executing some critical tasks was below par.

I carried out an investigation into the performance of the employee in line with the company’s internal affairs policy. After thoroughly searching through her employment file, I discovered that she is one of the best employees in her department. The files show that she is a high-performing employee who shows exemplary abilities to follow orders, and execute her tasks effortlessly. What was even more shocking was that her previous supervisors were all full of praise for the promising employee. Her record was spotless, and her fellow employees are full of praise for her. I even carried out interviews with some of her workmates and the overwhelming opinion is that she is a gem to work with and is extremely instrumental in maintaining and increasing the productivity of the company.

This discovery prompted me to dig deeper into the supervisor’s remarks regarding terminating the employee’s employment contract. That is when I discovered a slew of sexual harassment complaints against the supervisor from the employee in question in this case as well as other females. The discovery shocked me because as the HR representative, I should have been made aware of the allegations leveled against the supervisor. However, I was soon to discover that the supervisor had used his position as well as his long-enduring tenure in the company to cover up the allegations. Most women he had threatened ended up fired or retrenched early under very suspicious circumstances.

This is when I realized that the supervisor’s recommendations of terminating the employee were baseless, false and meant to mislead the management in the case. It has further come to my understanding that most of these women have now decided to pursue a legal recourse against the company. The female employee whose accusations led me to this startling discovery is the on leading the group of women in the suit against the company.

From my investigations, the company is extensively liable if the matter were to go to court. Based on the analysis of the case, the women followed the formal complaint process that the company employs in such cases. The women wrote letters to the human resource department complaining about the supervisor in question. The supervisor attempted to cover up these complaints using his position in the company. The formal complaints mean that the company is now liable for the women’s irregular discharge from the company (George, 2007).

Given the information presented above, it is my recommendation that the company attempts to avoid a legal battle with these women. The company should try to settle the matter out of court so that the company can save face on what could possibly become the biggest human resource scandal the company has had to face to this day. It is also my recommendation that the supervisor in question is promptly fired, and his pension withheld. Criminal charges should also be filed against the individual for tampering with company policies based on the recommendations in the case of EEOC and Katy Degenhardt versus Hudcor Incorporated in 2015. The company should also place stringent policies on the reporting, the handling, and investigation of sexual harassment allegations in the company.      

References

EEOC and Katy Degenhardt v. Hudcor, Inc. (2015). d/b/a Total Quality Plastics, No 2: 14-cv-1186.

George, B.G. (2007). Theory and Practice: Employer liability for sexual harassment. William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 13 (3): 727-755.