1. Keeping in mind the facts and timeline of this situation, discuss Lavonda’s situation in terms of legal and ethical issues. This case has many aspects of sexual harassment, and is very complicated. Karline is partially correct in that it was common knowledge that Lavonda and Allen were intimate. It was because Lavonda crossed that line, and did not report the relationship, that Lavonda’s sexual harassment suit becomes unstable. Her legal suit would carry more weight if she had gone through the proper channels to report the misconduct when it occurred. There is also an ethical problem if she tries to convince the new hire to work for Allen.
2. Discuss Lavonda’s alternatives and possible professional and private outcomes for her. The probable cost to Lavonda if she reports the sexual harassment case is a long legal struggle and possible loss of her job. We are aware that Lavonda’s mother has cancer, is undergoing chemo, and Lavonda needs the income to care for her mother. If Lavonda loses the case, she faces a risk of not being able to help her mother, especially if Allen spreads nasty rumors about her throughout the industry. She should probably be aware that if she pursues legal case that this will follow her throughout her career. This could negatively influence future employers or could show them that she has a moral character.
3. Is Allen in violation of sexual harassment and/or sexual discrimination laws in United States? Yes. He has displayed intimidating behavior, sexual harassment, and is very manipulative of women in the workforce. Whenever Lavonda asked him to stop, and he continues his behavior, this becomes harassment.
4. Certainly Allen has damaged Lavonda’s performance level: however, discuss whether he has created a legally hostile work environment. By definition of a hostile work environment, he has created it. There are three criteria that must be met: (1) the conduct must be unwelcome; (2) the conduct becomes severe, pervasive, and regarded as so offensive to alter the conditions of employment; (3) conduct was so bad that a reasonable person would find it hostile or offensive. All the employee needs to prove is that the conduct interfered with her work performance.
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