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Lonestar Case

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Julia Martinez is a secretary that is been harassed by Ron French who happens to be her boss. However, Jack Decoste is the Manager that finds out about the situation. He is the decision maker. His responsibility as a manager is to help Julia with her situation


Julia Martinez is not comfortable working with her boss. Her boss is making graphic comments and touching her when nobody is around. He is basically harassing her. However, it is her word against his because nobody has witnessed the incidents. This issue is of high significance for the organization. The company could be held responsible for what happens in the workplace.


Jack Decoste is involved in the situation because he overheard Julia talking on the phone about her problem. Jack then called the General Counsel's Office and learned that he should report the problem to the Equal Employment Office. If he ignores the problem and fails to report it, it will look like he condones it. Mr. Decoste is legally obligated to report he issue.


There is an urgency to resolve the issue. The company is undergoing a takeover and many employees might loose their job. Julia thinks she could transfer to another position but Jack Decoste knows the company will experience a re-engineering process. Julia and Jack have agreed to meet at the end of the day to decide what to do.



The immediate issue to resolve is the problem of sexual harassment by Ron French towards Julia Martinez. This issue is of high importance and high urgency.

The basic issues are the following:

- Ron French might be harassing other employees.

- It seems like no one has witnessed the sexual harassment.

- If Julia's husband knows about the issue he might try to take matters in his own hands.

- Julia is afraid of being fired if she accuses her boss.

- Julia wants to transfer to another position instead of reporting her problem.

- Julia's chance of transferring are slim because of the re-engineering process the company was going to face after the takeover and many might even loose their jobs.

- The company could be held responsible of what happens in the work place.

- Jack Decoste has to take action because otherwise he will be condoning the problem.

Case Data Analysis

Julia seems to be a victim of sexual harassment, which involves "advances of unwelcome nature" by her boss. She is not comfortable in her working environment but fears to report the situation. She does not want to loose her job or upset her husband. However, Jack Decoste overheard a telephone conversation and he now has to take action. Otherwise, he will be condoning the situation and the company could be accused of ignoring the problem.

The cause and effect diagram shows the events that generate the problem.

Exhibit 1: Cause and Effect Diagram

Jack has the opportunity to help Julia. The company has a Corporate Counsel Office that is aware of employment laws. In addition, if the Equal Employment Office is notified a fair investigation will take place.

However, there are some constraints that may affect a fair resolution. Julia may not be willing to file a report because she fears her boss and her husband. Another constraint is the fact that there are no witnesses.

Alternative Generation

There are different ways to address the problem:

- Take no action

- Transfer Julia to another department

- Report the issue to the company's HR Department

- Report the issue to the Equal Employment Office to begin an investigation

Decision Criteria

The selected criteria to evaluate the best alternative are summarized in the following list:

- Employee morale: the preferred alternative will aid to maintain a positive spirit in the work place.

- Corporate image: the image of the company should not be affected by the way the issue is confronted.

- Ethics: the solution will have to meet universal principles of conduct.

- Goodwill: the solution should guarantee a harmonic relationship between co workers and a positive attitude towards the company

Alternative Assessment

Advantages and disadvantages help compare and contrast each alternative:

Alternative Advantages Disadvantages

Take no action

Julia will not have to confront her husband. Ron will continue to harass Julia and/or other employees.

Later on the company could be held responsible for not taking action.

Transfer Julia to another department

Julia will escape from her actual hostile work environment. Ron will continue to harass Julia and/or other employees. In addition, Julia could loose her job because there might be layoffs in her new department.

Report the issue to the company's HR Department

Issues could be resolved internally by handling a throughout investigation with discretion.

In addition, Ron could be given a written warning and counseling and Julia could also be sent to counseling and maybe be transferred. The internal investigation seems to be difficult because no one has witnessed the sexual harassment.

The company may not have the resources or expertise to resolve the issue.

Therefore, an internal investigation may not be effective to provide prove of sexual harassment.

Report the issue to the Equal Employment



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