U S Department of State Public Policy Issue Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

U.S. Department of State: Public Policy Issue and Sexual Harassment


Policy Issue 7

Resolution Procedures

Policy Outcome

Leaders Influence

Role of technology in the process

Diversity Issues Involved

Ethical Concerns and Implications

Protection for Employee


U.S Department of State: Public Policy Issue and Sexual Harassment

Sometime back in 2010, the Albany Fire Department in Georgia established a newer "sexual harassment" policy that was in accordance with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's course of action and Federal Law. At first, the idea of sexual harassment occurred merely in sexual related claims that were against an employer. Ever since the approval of the department's policy, sexual harassment has now been spreading into every part of employment discrimination as well as the creation of a work environment that is hostile. Research shows that hostile work environment claims are founded not just on sex, but likewise on religion, race, disability, national origin, veteran status, age, pregnancy status and even matrimonial status (Cates, 2013).

The Albany Fire Department was first put together in 1969 by property owners who lived within the precincts of the proposed region. The fire department is the individual organized organizational unit that is under the direct influence of the public of Dougherty County. The community of Albany is comprised of approximately 47 square miles, with an additional 19 square miles of Native American Indian land under fire contract with the Albany Fire Department. The community is reliant on visitors who utilize the Flint River and relish the gaming prospects that are obtainable on tribal properties and in the public of Albany, GA.

The workplace environment was changing very quickly at the Albany Fire Department. The culture or diversity of the workplace generates new challenges for management and employees. Whenever dissimilar cultures come together or the diversity within the culture changes, conflicts sometimes occur. The researcher explores the recent workplace environment dealing with sexual harassment and the creation of a hostile place of work at the Albany Fire Department. The research facilitated in developing the understanding of a sexual harassment, hostile place of work environment state of affairs, how to deal with it, what allowed avenues the employer and employee and has, the human rights of an victim to file a complaint, and how to cope a hostile condition.

Over the past year, the Albany Fire Department experienced a high wear and tear rate with six full time fire suppression personnel finding other fire service. Furthermore noticed all through this year, the department has gone through a high employee turnover rate with an increase in the use of vacation time and sick leave. During that time, all of that excessive leave started creating a suffering on the Albany Fire Department as fill-in personnel are required in order to keep up with the continuous manning policies, while having an effect on the budget with increased overtime expenses.

However, an exit interview was done conducted with all six suppression personnel who happened to have been women on their last day of employment with the Albany Fire Department. The exit interview was conducted by the Albany Professional Firefighters Organization, Worldwide Association of Firefighters, Local 6789. Every one of theses six interviews were directed separately with the responses given to the Fire Chief of the department.

The exit interview consisted on numerous questions that were all connecting to the improvement of the Albany Fire Department. The six suppression personnel responded in a different way when asked what changes need to occur in order to assist in helping improve the Albany Fire Department. All six of these women felt that a hostile work environment had been well-known within the department by a few chief field marshals. The hostile environment was not entirely sexual, but then again contained rude remarks, unwelcome touching, shouting, screaming at employees, employees deliberately being placed in awkward circumstances, harassment, all producing a painful work environment, full of aggression. They believed if the hostile work environment continued, more women would find it uncomfortable to want to work there.

The women that left the department were extremely accomplished firefighters with paramedic level certifications. Every one of these six firefighters had been with the Albany Fire Department for a minimum of five years, and was being substituted with male firefighters of less than one year service time with undeveloped level medical documentation. The loss of these women workers will have an intense effect on the department's capability to deliver service to our community in addition to having a most important influence to the department's financial plan. Replacement price of the six employees along with the training costs necessary to bring the new firefighters up to an experienced level will go beyond one hundred thousand dollars, all owing to a work setting that affects an individual's capability to be original and do their work in a way that is most dynamic. It was proven here at the Albany Fire Department that hostile work environments are deadly to production.

Policy Issue

It was obvious that sexual harassment had been an ongoing thing at the department and one of the six women decided to do something about it. Dependable's legal department was informed that Melody, a former worker, was to file a sexual harassment complaint against John, the present CEO, within the next 48 hours. Melody made the claim that she had been enforced to travel and live in sin with John so as to keep her job. Despite the fact John's interest in Karen and overt unsuitable conduct toward her in the company of others was far from a secret, senior management Jackson was, "This woman must have liked it if she keeps going along with what is going on."

The Tactic

To respond, the Albany Fire Department had fundamentally three decisions.

Choice one: not to lift a finger other than prepare for the hearing. In response to outside inquiries, the communication approach would be to deny every one of the charges with not much comment.

"The Albany Fire Department believes these charges to be unsupported and the emotions of a discontented former employee. We will be victorious at trial." "The Albany Fire Department does not know what Melody is talking about; we are not able to comment further because the matter is in lawsuit."

Choice two: Prepare for trial and its associated advertising, work to determine the facts, evade making any statements, and subdue evidence through pretrial motions. Get ready to dishonor the plaintiff if need be, but particularly for the trial.

Choice three: Straightway divide the legal team in two task groups: lawsuit and settlement. Also, have the settlement team come up to the plaintiff, if possible, before filing happens. Effort to attain an assigned settlement at the most primitive time possible. Courts in general support any grave efforts at settlement at any time throughout the litigation development.

The Result

It turns out, the company sought advice too late, already having chosen option two, a destructive anti-victim strategy to discredit Melody. However, when a lawyer was picked as the one that will be the spokesperson, the company did not say that much. Company litigators were the ones arguing energetically against any form of settlement, making the point that it would make John look very weak. When people disagreed, they were excluded from company litigation method gatherings. Mark even advised on being terminated, but they kept him on as chief executive, and that went ahead to suspend him right at the last minute, right before the trial even started.

The trial went badly for Albany Fire Department. Melody was a credible, sympathetic witness. When the defense attorneys started badgering her, it only just made things much more badly. All the way through, Mark upheld his innocence, reinforced by his colleagues and his peers. He was eventually separated from Albany Fire Department with a noteworthy payout, ultimately taking a job with a startup company in Atlanta.

As for Melody, she had been assailed continually by John, who abused his point of power to take advantage of a worker, while his buddies stood around and looked. It is obvious that not even a good day in court will help Melody heal, but some believed that it could be a start.


After the case, The Albany Fire Department had to go back to the drawing board and reinforce a sexual harassment policy. The purpose of this policy was to be able to define sexual harassment and then go on to give out certain procedures for the investigation of sexual harassment claims. Every kind of workers, including managers and supervisors, will be subject to severe punishment, up to and containing discharge, for any act of sexual harassment they commit.

Resolution Procedures

Albany Fire Department now had to address Incidents of sexual harassment or inappropriate sexually oriented conduct and make it clear of what should be reported following an incident that would similar to the above complaint procedures. One of the things implemented is to initiate a formal investigation…

Sources Used in Document:


Baugh, S.G. (2009). On the persistence of sexual harassment in the workplace. 899-908, 34(9), 34-56. Retrieved from Journal of Business Ethics.

Cabrera, N. & . (2010). Understanding and dealing with the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Women in Management Review,, 11(2), 21-26.

Cates, S.V. (2013). The state of sexual harassment in america: What is the status of sexual harassment in the U.S. workplace today? Journal of Global Business Management, 8(1), 133-138.

De Coster, S.E. (2009). Routine activities and sexual harassment in the workplace. Work and Occupations, 26(1), 456-459.

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