Case Study Brief #8
Management made a job offer to a candidate for a vacant mid-level management position. The candidate accepted the offer and subsequently resigned his position one-week before his start date with the new company. Two days before the candidate’s start date, an HR manager was contacted by a business acquaintance that was employed with a recruiting firm. The acquaintance told the HR manager that the candidate was facing a sexual harassment complaint at his former employer’s business. The candidate’s former employer is also a recruiting firm and a major competitor of the acquaintance.
An investigation found the allegations to be true. This information did not surface earlier due to the former employer’s concern about liability. The information was learned by the acquaintance of the HR manager through industry gossip. The verification of the information by the company was made through legal means based on the original source to HR.
What should the company do?
Final Case Study
As your final project for the class, each of you will receive a case study brief involving an incident with the potential for employee discipline and some type of liability exposure to your company. You should identify all potential employment related liability issues in your brief, thoroughly research and discuss these, determine the various steps the company could take and make a recommendation to management on how to proceed detailing the potential outcomes of your recommendation. Your paper should be written from the perspective of an HR director providing advice to senior management
The briefs are straightforward. If an employee is not identified as a protected class, they are not. You should assume that your employer has policies prohibiting sexual harassment, drug and alcohol abuse and workplace violence and subscribes to “best practices” regarding all forms of illegal workplace discrimination. Your company also has a progressive disciplinary procedure. As you read your brief (which you should do many times) you should enumerate all potential discrimination issues as well as any ADA, FMLA, substance abuse issues and so on. Do not forget such issues as employment-at-will, just cause, wrongful or constructive discharge, and negligent hiring and/or retention.
As you identify potential liability issues, your paper should provide a discussion on the source of the protection or liability created by the law. You should also discuss how the issue does or does not apply in these circumstances and your insight on how it might affect the company.
As you form your recommendation to management remember we do not live in a black and white world. You need to balance potential liability to the organization with the impact each option you identify will have on other employees and the organization itself. This may include employee relations/morale issues as well as public relations concerns. Your recommendation to management should include a defense of your position.
Topics to cover – Outline
Did the investigation reveal the claims of sexual harassment is substantiated?
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