Do you think Ms. Browne Saunders had the basis for a sexual harassment suit? Why?

First student

Do you think Ms. Browne Saunders had the basis for a sexual harassment suit? Why?

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According to chapter 2, sexual harassment is harassment on the basis of sex that has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Therefore Ms. Browne Saunders did have the basis for a sexual harassment suit from the statement of “Ms. Browne Sanders accused Mr. Thomas of verbally abusing and sexually harassing her over a 2-year period.  She said the Garden fired her about a month after she complained to top management about the harassment.”

  1. From what you know of the case, do you think the jury arrived at the correct decision? Defend your answer.

I can’t say that the jury came to the right decision because there isn’t enough detail about this case. It would have been helpful for either one of them, the Garden or Ms. Browne Saunders, to have witnesses to support their cases. “According to one report of the trial, her claims of harassment and verbal abuse had little corroboration from witnesses but neither did the Garden’s claims that her performance had been subpar.”

In my eyes this looks like it could have gone a few ways. However, what is presented in the article shows me that she could have been fired for the complaints of sexual harassment being that she did not show any bad performances at work. Another scenario, she could have also been fired because she could have been dishonest about this situation and put the company’s publicity at risk. Another way could be an affair gone wrong because neither one of them had witnesses for their complaints. (Things like this do happen.)

I need more to this story.

  1. Based on the few facts that you have, what steps could Garden management have taken to protect itself from liability in this matter?

First thing I would say, they should not have fired Ms. Browne Saunders a month after her sexual harassment complaints to top management. Second, Gard management should have had better documentation on Ms. Browne Saunders on any course of action prior to firing her. They should have had their documentation together while preparing for this suite with witnesses. Also Mr. Thomas should have someone in the room with her whenever they’ve encountered one another.

  1. Aside from the appeal, what would you do now if you were the Garden’s top management?

If I were Garden’s top management, I would certainly appeal the case for the sake of the company and try to clear the companies name from any bad publicity that would be tied to it.

  1. “The allegations against MSG in this case raise ethical questions with regard to the employer’s actions.” Do you agree/disagree and defend your answer.

Ms. Browne Saunders wouldn’t have gone through with this case if she didn’t think she had a chance at winning this suit. Besides her dragging the company down with her they could have made any agreement outside of the courts. Instead, this showed us that she had no issue with going public that the company was not taking care of their employees. The reaction of the company to fire Ms. Browne Sanders after the harassment complaints just shows that they do not take care of their employees. They should have handled this case better by documentations and having witnesses. Therefore, they should be held accountable for that and having better expectations and rules for company as a whole.

After reading the Wells Fargo Case (located in the read & review folder) answer the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with the bank’s decision to fire the employee?

No.

  1. Do you see any other alternatives to the firing?

I do not think that Eggers should have been fired for something that happened 50 years ago.

  1. With respect to recruitment and selection standards listed in chapter 2 of your text, what are some potentially discriminatory practices that organizations must avoid?
  • Age
  • Equal pay
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy
  • Equal employment opportunity
  1. Lastly, what important precedents were set by the Griggs v. Duke Power Company case and the Albemarle v. Moody case?

Griggs was a landmark case because the supreme court used it to define unfair discrimination. The court ruled that the discrimination doesn’t have to be overt to be illegal. The court held that an employment practice must be job related if it has an unequal impact on members of a protected class. Chief Justice Burger’s opinion placed the burden of proof on the employer to show that the hiring practice is job related.

In the Albermarle case, the court provided more details on how employers could prove that tests or other screening tools relate to job performance.

Example of student response

Hi Alexis,

I agree that the case is missing a bit of evidence to decide if Ms. Browne Saunders claims of harassment were valid. However, I think that in situations like this I would feel very inclined to almost instantly believe the person that is the victim of sexual harassment. I don’t think Ms. Browne Saunders, especially considering she was the senior vice president of marketing and business operations, would have gone through all of this and then lost her job if what she was saying wasn’t true. According to eeoc.gov, it takes about 10 months for the EEOC to investigate a charge (eeoc.gov, 2021). It seems like a very lengthy process to go through, and I don’t think someone lying would be willing to go through it all. What do you think? 

Reference

eeoc.gov. (2021). What you can expect after you file a charge. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. https://www.eeoc.gov/what-you-can-expect-after-you-file-charge (Links to an external site.).

Second student

  1. Do you think Ms. Browne Saunders had the basis for a sexual harassment suit? Why?

Yes, she did because the attention given was unwanted and when she complained she was fired shortly after. The textbook talks about the Fifth Amendment, “”no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law”” (page 33). Ms. Browne Saunders was deprived of apiece of her life when Isiah Thomas sexually harassed her. Not only did she have to go through that, but she was also fired even though she was a good employee to her job. These people in her life took advantage of her and tried to cover it up.

  1. From what you know of the case, do you think the jury arrived at the correct decision? Defend your answer.

I believe the jury arrived at the correct decision, because verbal abuse and sexual harassment are against the law. There was no evidence the Garden was able to show that would give another explanation as to why Ms. Browne Saunders was fired. What makes her termination suspicious was the swiftness of it, like this wasn’t the first time they’ve had to this. Rather than trying to talk with her and figure out exactly what was going on to deal with Mr. Thomas, they got rid of her.  

  1. Based on the few facts that you have, what steps could Garden management have taken to protect itself from liability in this matter?

Something the Garden management could have done to protect itself from liability would’ve been to talk with her about the necessary steps she could take to file a complaint promptly. If her performance was an actual issue, they also could’ve talked to her about that before firing her. If the problems didn’t stop after these steps, they could’ve kept them away from one another or if necessary, fire Mr. Thomas.

  1. Aside from the appeal, what would you do now if you were the Garden’s top management?

If I were the Garden’s top management, I would take the necessary actions against Mr. Thomas to make sure this isn’t and doesn’t become a pattern. There would need to be a meeting or conference emphasizing the code of conduct within the organization and going over consequences for those who act out. I would put in place a no tolerance sexual harassment policy. There could be a press release put out about the actions the organization is taking to ensure this doesn’t happen again and explaining the courses of action that will be taken if it does. This way no one’s issue would be swept under the rug and would hopefully feel more comfortable speaking up.  

5.”The allegations against MSG in this case raise ethical questions with regard to the employer’s actions.” Do you agree/disagree and defend your answer. 

I agree with this statement because and employee was fired over speaking up about problems with an abusive top manager. People shouldn’t have to feel like they’re in danger in the workplace, it’s supposed to be a safe space for everyone. Every employee’s problem should be listened to and taken care of. It’s part of an employer’s job to keep the workplace safe for their employees and if they can’t do that then they shouldn’t be in charge.

  1. Do you agree with the bank’s decision to fire the employee?

I don’t agree with the banks decisions to fire the employee because the incident didn’t happen at the workplace and didn’t affect his performance at work. It a mindless act performed in his youth and shouldn’t have been a factor considering his termination. People change and there weren’t any further criminal activity issues or at work.  

  1. Do you see any other alternatives to the firing?

It seems like there wasn’t an alternative to the firing because of the rule that was put in place. Maybe if every Wells Fargo came forward about having a problem with the rule it could make a difference. It seems like the Wells Fargo employees were all for the rule since majority didn’t have a criminal record.

3: With respect to recruitment and selection standards listed in chapter 2 of your text, what are some potentially discriminatory practices that organizations must avoid?

Potentially discriminatory practices that organizations must avoid are recruiting by word of mouth, with misleading information, or by help wanted ads. They must also avoid selection standards that include educational requirements, tests, or asking physical characteristics.

Lastly, what important precedents were set by the Griggs v. Duke Power Company case and the Albemarle v. Moody case?

The important precedents that were set by the Griggs v. Duke Power Company case and the Albemarle v. Moody case is the “disparate-impact” lawsuits involving instances of racial discrimination.

Example of reply

Hi Kylie

I have to disagree with your response to question number two involving the Wells Fargo Case. I do think there were alternatives to firing Mr. Eggers as soon as the guidelines changed. I don’t think it was fair that because they changed their guidelines, he had to lose his job that he was clearly well suited for because he was hired in the first place. It seems as though the standards were meant to get rid of people in executive positions that committed serious crimes. I don’t think what he did 50 years ago was very serious and worth losing his job over. There has to be an alternative. 

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