HRM/546 - Human Resource Law
27 July, 2015
Professor Denise Brown
June 27, 2015
To: Bob Brown, Shoe Store Manager
From: Rebecca Hardy, Regional Manager
Re: Shoe Store Incident
Dear Mr. Brown,
I have done research regarding the incident that you encountered in your shoe store today and have found that the customer’s request would be considered a form of gender discrimination according to Title VII guidelines. Therefore, although Imelda is a regular customer and is more comfortable dealing with a female employee, in this situation we simply cannot grant her request. This request would not only violate our company’s policy regarding the rotation of employees to ensure an equal opportunity for earning commissions but also would violate Title VII laws. Let’s take a look at how granting Imelda’s request would violate Title VII laws.
Title VII Laws Discrimination can come in many different shapes and sizes. Due to this fact, managers need to be careful that they follow all company policies in regards to the Equal Employment Opportunity Council guidelines. In regards to the situation at hand, your customer Imelda does not realize that her request for a female employee versus a male employee could be deemed gender discrimination. Imelda’s only concern is that she feels more comfortable dealing with a female employee. However, since Imelda’s request is a form of gender discrimination, if you comply with her request you would be in violation of Title VII guidelines and could be held liable for gender discrimination if Tom decides to file a lawsuit. Under Title VII customer preference is not a legitimate and protected reason to treat qualified employees differently based on their gender. (Bennett-Alexander & Hartman, 2007) Therefore, legally and ethically you cannot switch Tom and Mary’s positions in order to accommodate Imelda’s request.
I understand that Imelda’s request has put you in a tough situation. On the one hand, Imelda has promised to purchase five pairs of shoes if you are able to grant her request. This would mean a large purchase for the store, an increase in profit margins, and a huge commission for the employee. On the other hand, if you grant her request you could be held liable for gender discrimination. In this situation, you do not have a choice but to explain to Imelda that due to company policy you will not be able to