Hostile Work Environment: Closed-door Meetings Violate Company Policy Essay

Hostile Work Environment: Closed-door Meetings Violate Company Policy Essay

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Facts of the case: Anna’s immediate supervisor, Michael, repeatedly required that she have “closed door” meetings with him. Closed-door meetings violate company policy. Other employees were aware of these closed-door meetings and, as a result, rumors began to spread that Anna and Michael were having an office romance. In fact, in these closed-door meetings Michael tried to convince Anna to lend him money, a practice that also violates company policy. Anna repeatedly denied the request and Michael stopped asking. However, the rumors continued and affected Anna deeply. She was treated like an outcast by her co-workers. Anna asked Michael to clear up the rumors, but he found them amusing. Anna had two evaluations where she scored low points for “integrity” and “interpersonal relations” as a consequence of the rumors. She was passed over for two promotions for which she applied where her skills and experience were superior to the employees who were promoted. She filed an action against her employer on the ground that her supervisor had created a hostile work environment because he refused to stop the rumors.
Question: Assess whether Anna has a valid claim under Title VII.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Anna’s claim comes under the broad rubric of the unlawful employment practice of sexual harassment which has become known as “hostile work environment” developed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
(a) Employer practices
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer -
1. to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s...


... middle of paper ...


...e Court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. (1994), and the employer can be held vicariously liable under the standards of Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth (1998), so she should prevail in her case against her employer.


Works Cited

Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (U.S. Supreme Court 1998).
Colorado State University-Global Campus. (2014). MGT 515-1 Module 3.
Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17 (U.S. Supreme Court 1994).
Kubasek, N., Brennan, B., & Browne, M. (2012). The legal environment of business: A critical thinking approach (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (U.S. Supreme Court 1986).
Remington, J., Heiser, R., Smythe, C., & Sovereign, K. (2012). Human resources law (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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