Anti Harassment and Discrimination Scenarios

Harassment and Discrimination Scenarios – What would you do?

Bao has stopped responding to Javier’s emails and has not included him in important group emails. Javier recognizes this as an act of retaliation for reporting Bao’s harassment of Francois.

Which two actions are appropriate for Javier to take?

  •  Talk to Bao and inform her that she is acting inappropriately.
  •  Stop emailing Bao. She probably won’t reply.
  •  Ask a colleague to forward him any emails from Bao.
  •  If these actions continue, report Bao.
  • Do nothing. Hopefully, she will get over it soon

Javier should try speaking with Bao first, if he is comfortable taking that step. If not, he should report her to the Human Resources department.
Her actions will affect the team’s work. If Javier decides to speak directly with Bao and the retaliation continues, Javier must report Bao’s actions to the Human Resources department.

Remember, it’s important that you:

  • Can recognize retaliation that may follow reporting a colleague.
  • Know the actions that may be considered retaliation.
  • Can appropriately respond to and report retaliation

Managing Different Perspectives

I’ve just come from lunch and when I was leaving I passed Raheem, Doug, and Daljeet. Raheem and Doug were openly mocking Daljeet for wearing a turban. I know they there were just having fun, but Daljeet seemed really offended. He’s a devout Sikh and he looked genuinely upset.
Ben overhears Raheem and Doug mocking Daljeet, who is a devout Sikh, for wearing a turban. He knows Raheem and Doug believe this is just harmless fun, but Daljeet is very upset.

What is the best course of action for Ben?

  •  Have a word with Doug and Raheem to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
  •  Report the incident immediately because this is clearly a case of discrimination and Raheem and Doug should be disciplined.
  •  Speak to Daljeet and explain that Raheem and Doug are only joking around and they didn’t mean any offense.

Taking Action Against Verbal Abuse

The next day Ben is walking by a conference room when he again overhears Raheem ridiculing Daljeet for what he’s wearing.
What is the best course of action now?

  •  Ben should report the incident to the appropriate manager.
  •  Ben should ask Raheem to stop and then explain to Daljeet that Raheem is only joking and he needs to stop being so sensitive.
  •  Ben should ask Raheem to stop making fun of Daljeet because Daljeet could file a discrimination claim against him if he continues.

Drafting the Job Advertisement

I have to fill a managerial position, so I have to draft the job advertisement. This is a strategic hire so it’s vitally important that I get the best possible person for the role. I’ve got three drafts done and I’m very conscious that I have to ensure that I don’t discriminate against any potential candidates.
I want the best hire regardless.

  • Managerial position at a fast-growing international company. 25% travel required, both national and international. Degree level candidates
    with at least five years managerial experience required.


Employers cannot reject candidates based on a disability or age or any other groups protected by law.
Remember, discriminatory conduct is prohibited in all aspects of the employment process, including recruitment.
You must not discriminate against protected groups during the recruitment process.

Javier has shortlisted five candidates. One uses a wheelchair and has requested suitable parking and access to the building.
Which two actions are acceptable for Javier to take?

  •  Check access routes to the building and the room where the interviews will take place, ensuring that the candidate will not encounter any difficulties.
  •  Contact the candidate and explain that as the role will involve a lot of travel, she probably isn’t suitable for the position.
  •  Offer to meet the candidate in a coffee shop across the road instead of his office.
  •  Check with building maintenance to see if they can reserve a parking space for the candidate so that she has easy access to the building.

Possible Pregnancy

Javier’s first choice candidate tells him that she is getting married in the summer and would like to have children ‘in the next few years.’ What are the consequences if he rejects her application because she might become pregnant and vacate the position?
Which two of these are possible consequences?

  •  Javier would leave himself open to potential legal action that could result in liability to the company and potential personal liability for himself.
  •  None. Javier would be perfectly within his rights. The candidate could become pregnant and take maternity leave, forcing Javier to fill the position again at great cost.
  • Any case of discrimination brought against the company could have a negative impact on the workforce, company productivity, profitability, and reputation.

Pregnancy is a class that is protected under law. Marital status is a class that is protected in many jurisdictions. Rejecting a female candidate on grounds related to gender, pregnancy, or marital status is discrimination and can result in legal action, along with negative impacts to the workplace.
Remember, it’s important that you:

  • Do not discriminate against individuals or members of protected groups.
  • Reasonably accommodate employees or interviewees with disabilities.
  • Understand the penalties for discriminating against an employee either in employment or in the interview process.
  • Take responsibility for accessing and using the policies, procedures, communications, and training opportunities made available to you.

The Spiteful Rumor

Recently I’ve had a few disagreements in work meetings with Jose. I have the distinct impression that Jose just straight up, doesn’t like me. It’s getting awkward to the point that our work relationship is really strained. And now he’s spreading rumors about my sexuality which I find upsetting.

Punnavith asks you if this might be considered sexual harassment.

What two things should you say to him?

  •  Jose’s comments constitute sexual harassment and need to be addressed.
  • Jose is only venting his frustrations to his colleagues. Jose’s attempts to spread rumors are petty and mean, but they don’t constitute sexual harassment.
  •  As long as Punnavith doesn’t overhear the comments, what Jose is doing is within the law. If he hears, and is offended, then Jose would be guilty of sexual harassment.
  •  Jose’s comments could create a hostile working environment and lead to a claim being made against the company

This content is an extract from the  anti harassment and discrimination course

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