Jose A Ventura
Prof Mark Davis
November 4, 2012
Improper conduct in the workplace can have many implications that can lead to people to misunderstand what is actually going on. When management acts in an improper manner, employees can take that specific behavior and complaint to HR. In the case of 1212 Restaurant Group, LLC v. Alexander, 2011 IL App (1st) 100797, Demetri Alexander a previous employee of 1212 Restaurant Group, LLC was fired after the restaurant build out was complete and ready open. Mr. Alexander was fired and the bases of his firing were explained in the lawsuit by the owners of the 1212 Restaurant Group, LLC. The ownership of 1212 Restaurant Group, LLC explained in the lawsuit that Mr. Alexander began to show signed of poor performance and expressed bad behavior in his position. Demetri Alexander, counter with by saying that his firing was not due to his performance but it was ultimately his sexual orientation that lead to his firing from the restaurant. Mr. Alexander, complaint that during the period of about two years, the ownership of 1212 Restaurant Group, LLC made derogatory comment toward him and it was expressed freely in front of other people in the restaurant. It was also stated in the hearing that the ownership freely expressed their desires to not have someone like Mr. Alexander working in the restaurant.
It is very important for management to understand that whatever goes on in the place of business employees can be affected by the behaviors that go on inside the business. During the hearing proceedings of 1212 Restaurant Group, LLC v. Alexander, 2011 IL App (1st) 100797, the owners of the restaurant began to make comments that were not proper. Witnesses began to testify on behalf of both sides that each owner made comments toward Mr. Alexander who they thought was a homosexual. In this type of situation, the management group should have had common sense instead of making comments like they did. The sexual orientation of an employee is none of their business and they should have just left the subject alone. They should of also kept their comments to themselves and not share this with no one else. We see situations like this when employees are involved and managements has to be brought in to report the problem. In this particular case you have actual management being accused of improper behavior. The group was just getting started that they did not have a hierarchy for Mr. Alexander to report the issue. The risk management that we normally see in companies was not there for the business to resolve the issue long before the lawsuit came into play. The management group could have done other things to not have this issue come up in court. They could have gone to take classes that deal with such issues and everyone in the company could have dealt with the problem a different way.
When we take a look at this case there are many questions that are brought up by the way things were handled. One of the issues that were contested in the hearing case was how bad the work environment was for Mr. Alexander. The Appellants argued that the findings of the hostile environment were not credible because motional distress was not evident in Mr. Alexander. He did bring the issue up to the ownership, but they turned the other way and just brushed it off. They made it cleared to other people that they did not want someone of his sexual orientation to work in the restaurant. They even went as far to say that they did not want to have any sort of connection with these types of people. Along with the argument for hostile work environment, we also saw that some of the issues that the case had might have been overlooked by the way the burden of proof was handled. This was done more to favor Mr. Alexander to show that the hostile work environment was so bad that no one would be able to stand the conditions. The case also demonstrated that even though