An organization where there is no law or policy, there willbe no offences therefore conflict and issues are inevitable. The issues faced in the article explained above aregender based discrimination and sexual harassment. Gender based discrimination means being biases based ongender. In some part of the world the feminine gender does not have the sameopportunities as the masculine in areas such as education, meaningful careers,political influence and economic advancement and so on. Sexual Harassment– are unwanted sexualadvances. “According to Renckly the keystone of every company’s defensein protecting itself against any type of employee relations lawsuits, is aclear written company policy signed by the president of the company and statingthe support of and intention to strictly adhere to the provision of theparticular law in question”. Every employee should each have a copy of thispolicy.
(Renckly)No organization shouldtolerate any form of discrimination or harassment of any kind to or from anyemployee, they are expected to create a good working environment for theirstaff, free from any form of harassment, discrimination, bullying and inappropriatebehavior. All employees are to be treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. The human resource department isresponsible for defending the employees against discrimination and harassment;therefore, a policy that speaks to all employee about discrimination andharassment should be enacted, a process of reporting in case of violation andan appropriate sanction for the culprit should be put in place and adhered tostrictly. Employees who violate this policy should be sanctioned. If foundguilty of violating the policy; persons who violate the policy should besubject to termination of employment, civil damages or criminal penalties.
The human resourcedepartment of WestJet airline should have set up a committee to handle the caseand ensure that necessary steps and compensation is taken and made to preventthe company from facing court trials that will lead to financial loss.If the policy was implemented and executed effectively, theLewis case would have been investigated properly and WestJet pilot would havebeen dealt with accordingly if found guilty of sexual harassment and this wouldin turn save the company the risk of being labeled a gender baseddiscrimination airline that encourages sexual harassment. If the humanresources department had been more effective and efficient in resolving theissue it might not have escalated to a lawsuit. Sexual harassment is a cruel form of discriminations andhuman resources professional should ensure that the law that prohibits sexualharassment in workplace is effectively implemented and executed in everyorganization. WestJet telling Mandelena Lewis to remain quiet about theincident shouldn’t be the response, when the policy clearly states that whenharassed, a report should be made to the appropriate authority. The humanresource should have prevented the company from portraying itself to befavoring the pilot, a detailed investigation should have been carried out.
WestJet barred thepilot from flying to Hawaii there by protected him from arrest by Maui police,who had opened an investigation into the case even after sexually assaultingMandelena Lewis, these shows lack of respect and gender discrimination. WestJetcould have prevented the whole issue if they had a proactive human resourcesdepartment. The human resources department should have handled the case wellwhich will make it clear to all employee that all forms of harassment anddiscriminations are not acceptable.
The case could have been settled withoutgoing to court if the appropriate measures were put in place. WestJet HR directorsshould have ensured that after Mandelena Lewis reported the case they arrangedan investigation meeting of the allege harassment, inviting both the complainerand the accused to the meeting, ensuring they are both aware of the seriousnessof sexual harassment, explain the company’s policy and to prepare a writtenreport. Once this is done they should ensure that they submit a summarized copyof the report with recommendations to the company officials, ensuring that the pilotis sanctioned accordingly and notifying the complainer and accused of theactions taken. If WestJet HR directorshas done this it would have made a difference.