Harassment & Discrimination: A Call for Action in DGC Workplace

3 pages
758 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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The following is to bring to your attention concerns about harassment and discrimination here at DGC. The workplace is an environment in which people with different personalities, worldviews, and communication styles meet and interact. Studies indicate that a significant portion of our adult life is spent at the workplace. Therefore, the places we work can be a source of problems and conflicts or be the core source of satisfaction and fulfillment in life. It is also effortless for problems to arise at the workplace, be it interpersonal conflicts, harassment or discrimination. In a big a company as DGC, it might not be easy for the management to notice problems affecting their subordinates or their employees. Regardless of all employees having equal rights to fair treatment and need to feel safe at the workplace, some inevitably face harassment, discrimination, and other forms of bullying. This encounters lead to conditions such as depression due to stress and anxiety which then affect the victims' performance of work.

It saddens me to inform you that our human resource manager and a group of other colleagues are involved in harassment and discriminatory cases involving other employees. It is hard enough having to deal with how to disclose your mental health problems to your boss without having to deal with the change that follows, in attitude and sometimes just outright discrimination. Working in an always busy company such as DGC can be daunting on some employees due to the pressure to deliver on projects within a short timeline. Stress or demand related to work has been documented to cause, in addition to mental health issues, a list of other physical and emotional complications such as hypertension and heart attacks. Regardless of the existence of laws prohibiting the discrimination, harassment or firing of employees based on their mental health condition if they can deliver on their duties and responsibilities, such is not the case in some instances.

Sophia, who has been the head of the IT department, recently came out to the HR manager about her mental health condition explaining that she recently started experiencing bouts of anxiety and short-term depression. Even though several statistics show that work-related stress can be the cause of both of these conditions, these do not stop people from bullying and setting the victims apart. For instance, the HR manager continuously suggested that Sophia takes a few days from work which most people usually take to be code for you are being fired. Furthermore, he started putting Sophia's assistant in charge of projects that Sophia headed before. After confronting him, he told Sophia that the operations of the IT department require the leadership of a person who has no glitches. This is even though Sophia is meticulous at her work and no issues have been found with it.

Sophia took no further actions against the manager as she believes that she can only go on leave if her condition affects her work but not because of being honest. The manager has been reported to walk into the IT department and ask to see her assistant even when she is present before all the other members of the department. Public humiliation is a form of harassment as some of her subordinates could think she has become incompetent and is about to be replaced. Having to deal with such issues is what could affect an employee's quality of work and overall performance of a department. When a leadership figure or a person in a position of power sets the trend on something, those under their leadership are bound to follow it. When the HR manager seems to demean Sophia before her colleagues and subordinates, some of them pick it up too. This makes it hard for Sophia to carry out her duties which is not per the workplace stipulations.

These problems could be solved by educating the employees on the importance of workplace equality. Regulations and guidelines should be provided to govern the conduct of employees as well as employers. Adhering to these guidelines promotes organizational cohesion at the workplace with everyone understanding their responsibilities and working towards their fulfillment. Also, the company should develop new channels, or improve on existing ones, of conflict resolution. Everyone should be made to understand how detrimental harassment and discrimination at the workplace can be on an individual's efficiency and performance which then affects the overall productivity of the company. Policies should be put in place that indicates what happens to those found guilty of discrimination and harassment as these issues should not be taken lightly.

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