United Drill Case
English 3130


Workplace Bias Policy

Your boss Pat Chalmers, a department head at United Drill, Inc. (an internationally successful and conservative midwestern manufacturer of custom parts with ~ 450 employees in 12 countries and a workforce that has 15% women, 18% ethnic minorities and little sympathy for nonChristians or those living alternative lifestyles), is supposed to review a draft of a harassment policy for your division (North American Operations). Melvin White, the Vice President in charge of the division (and Chalmers' boss) has determined that such a policy will impress the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) as they investigate the company because of a charge brought by an employee who claimed to be terminated in retaliation for her charge of sexual harassment.

Because of problems in several of your department's projects, Chalmers, who is not in favor of such a policy, has not had time to research a plan of attack to thwart the policy. To make a long story short, you are given a draft of the policy and then must look into the matter and assemble some data for Chalmers to use in the policy review team meeting.

Chalmers wants to use your analytic memo as the basis for a memo to the other members of the review team. The memo is to have arguments backed by data that challenges the advisability of adopting a formal harassment policy. It is important in this memo to remember that White is in favor of the policy. But, Chalmers adds, White's reason for endorsing the idea may be related to the EEOC investigation. Your task is to gather some data on bias claims and to figure out the ways in which the unit can respond.

Just to be sure that you are on the same page, Chalmers asks you to draft a few of your preliminary ideas in a brief memo before conducting a fuller analysis of the data you find.

EEOC Data You Locate (as analyzed by Barbara Hansen for USA Today, 15 August 1995)

Laws on Workplace Bias (these form the basis of most discrimination suits)

Equal Pay Act of 1963
Prohibits payment of different wages to men and women
doing the same work.
Fiscal 1994 cases = 1607

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Bars employment discrimination based on a person's race,
color, religion, national origin or sex. Also prohibits
retaliation against employees.
Fiscal 1994 cases = 113,385

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Prohibits discrimination against workers 40 and older.
Fiscal 1994 cases = 31,776

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Bars discrimination against workers with physical or mental
disabilities.
Fiscal 1994 cases = 32,993

Resolutions of 127,199 Cases Completed in 1994 (those handled by
EEOC, state and local civil rights agencies)

Claimant received benefits 18%
Discrimination occurred, no benefits 1%
Claimant opted out of system 15%
Claim dismissed for administrative reasons 18%
No discrimination found 48%

Increase in Workplace Discrimination Claims (from 1989 to 1994)

Age 28.6%
Disability NA (act passed in 1990)
Equal Pay 11.5%
National Origin 31.5%
Race 14.2%
Religion 31.6%
Retaliation 82.8 %
Sex 41.9%

Proportion of 1994 Claims filed under each category (can add up to
more than 100% because some claims are cross-filed)

Age 20.0%
Disability 20.8%
Equal Pay 1.0%
National Origin 9.0%
Race 33.5%
Religion 1.8%
Retaliation 14.4 %
Sex 30.7%

Employers Most Often Charged*

Private, 15-100 employees 41.5%
Private, 101-200 employees 9.1%
Private, 201-500 employees 8.9%
Private, over 500 employees 23.9%
Local/state government 16.5%

*if <15 employees, exempted from laws; federal claims are not handled by EEOC

Workload

EEOC Cases Filed (growth of 46.7%)
1989 = 108,120
1994 = 158,612

Annual caseload of EEOC Investigators
1989 = 55.0
1994 = 145.0

Pending Cases
1990 = 112, 897
1995 = 193, 859 (as of July 31)

Cases in Federal Court
(June) 1990-1991 = 8370 filed, 8371 resolved
(March) 1994-1995 = 17,528 filed, 14,380 resolved

Current Draft of the Proposed Harassment Policy

No qualified person will be denied employment, nor be subjected to discriminatory treatment or be excluded based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, disability, or status as a disabled or Vietnam era veteran, except where age or sex is a bona fide occupational disqualification.

United Drill, Inc., does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or intimidation of any employee for any reason. While individuals who choose alternative lifestyles are accorded no special privileges, they are assured of equal protection under federal and state statutes.

Harassment—which is defined as any person's conduct which unreasonably interferes with an employee's status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment—is a form of discrimination. Harassment is typically based on stereotyped prejudices and includes, but is not limited to, objectionable epithets, threatened or actual physical harm or abuse, or other insulting or intimidating conduct directed against the individual because of his/her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or other protected status.

Sexual harassment is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other written, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment for that individual's employment.

Retaliation against an employee for complaining of any type of harassment violates this policy and is strictly prohibited.

Persons found violating this policy will be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action.



NOTES:

  • Paragraphs one and two are already company policy.
  • Company lawyers have not approved the draft.