Addressing Workplace Discrimination: A Comprehensive Case Study Analysis

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In recent years, workplace discrimination and harassment have become increasingly prevalent issues in the modern workforce . Employers and employees alike are confronted with the challenges of addressing and resolving these problems. This analytical case study delves into one particular case study from the content item “Case Studies on Legal Issues in Employment.” The selected case study highlights a significant problem related to discrimination or harassment in the workplace, explores how the issue was resolved, and evaluates the appropriateness of the course of action taken. Furthermore, as an Industrial and Organizational (I/O) psychologist, this paper proposes preventive measures to avoid such issues in the future while applying Saint Leo University’s core values.

Case Study Selection

The chosen case study for this analysis is titled “Gender Discrimination in the Workplace.” This case study revolves around a female employee who reported experiencing gender-based discrimination at her workplace. She alleged that she was passed over for promotions and subjected to offensive comments and unequal treatment based on her gender (Smith & Johnson, 2020).

Key Problem Addressed

The key problem addressed in this case study is gender discrimination in the workplace. Gender discrimination encompasses any unfair treatment or bias towards an individual based on their gender, which can manifest in various forms, such as unequal pay, unequal opportunities for advancement, and hostile work environments (EEOC, 2018). In this case, the employee faced issues related to both unequal opportunities for promotion and a hostile work environment created by offensive comments and unequal treatment.

Resolution of the Issue

The issue was resolved through a combination of internal investigations and legal action. The organization conducted an internal inquiry into the employee’s claims of gender discrimination. After finding evidence to support her allegations, the company took corrective actions, which included providing the employee with a promotion that she had been unfairly denied and implementing anti-discrimination training for all employees (Smith & Johnson, 2020).

Additionally, the employee filed a complaint with the appropriate legal authorities, leading to a legal investigation. The organization cooperated with the investigation, and the matter was settled outside of court, with the company agreeing to pay compensation to the employee for damages incurred (EEOC, 2019).

Appropriateness of the Course of Action

The course of action taken appears to be appropriate in this case. The internal investigation allowed the organization to rectify the issue within its own structure, providing the employee with the promotion she deserved and taking steps to prevent further instances of discrimination through anti-discrimination training. The legal settlement also ensured that the employee received compensation for the harm she endured (Smith & Johnson, 2020).

Preventive Measures for the Future

As an I/O psychologist, here are several proactive measures that can be implemented to prevent gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace:

  1. Employee Training: Conduct regular training sessions for all employees on topics such as diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias, and respectful workplace behavior. This will raise awareness and promote a more inclusive work environment (Smith et al., 2021).
  2. Clear Anti-Discrimination Policies: Develop and enforce clear and comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that explicitly state the consequences of engaging in discriminatory behavior. Ensure that these policies are accessible to all employees (EEOC, 2018).
  3. Diversity Initiatives: Promote diversity at all levels of the organization by implementing diversity hiring practices and mentorship programs. This can lead to a more inclusive workplace culture (Smith et al., 2021).
  4. Anonymous Reporting Mechanism: Establish an anonymous reporting system that allows employees to report discrimination and harassment without fear of retaliation. Ensure that these reports are taken seriously and investigated promptly (EEOC, 2019).
  5. Regular Audits and Assessments: Conduct regular audits of workplace practices to identify potential areas of bias or discrimination. Use these assessments to make necessary changes and improvements (Smith et al., 2021).
  6. Leadership Training: Provide leadership and management training to ensure that leaders are equipped to recognize and address discrimination and harassment effectively (EEOC, 2018).

Application of Saint Leo Core Values

In this case study, the core value of responsible stewardship is particularly relevant. Responsible stewardship, as advocated by Saint Leo University, emphasizes the ethical use of resources, which includes creating and maintaining a fair and equitable workplace. By addressing and rectifying gender discrimination, the organization demonstrated responsible stewardship of its human resources and upheld its commitment to ethical conduct.

Moreover, other Saint Leo Core Values, such as community, respect, and integrity, also apply to this case. Community is reflected in the organization’s efforts to foster an inclusive and respectful workplace, while respect and integrity are evident in how the case was handled, with a commitment to respecting the rights and dignity of the affected employee (Smith & Johnson, 2020).

Extended Content

The issue of workplace discrimination, especially gender-based discrimination, has gained significant attention in recent years. It is essential to delve deeper into the impact of such discrimination on individuals and organizations. Discrimination not only harms the individuals who experience it but can also have detrimental effects on workplace morale, productivity, and overall organizational culture.

Gender discrimination, in particular, is a pervasive issue in many workplaces worldwide. It manifests in various ways, including disparities in pay, promotion opportunities, and unequal treatment based on an individual’s gender. In the case study of “Gender Discrimination in the Workplace,” the female employee’s experience is sadly not unique. Many women continue to face challenges and biases in their careers due to gender-based discrimination.

The resolution of this case study, involving internal investigations and legal action, demonstrates the importance of organizations taking a proactive stance against discrimination. Internal investigations serve as a crucial first step in addressing such issues. They allow organizations to identify problem areas, gather evidence, and take corrective actions. In this case, the internal investigation led to the employee receiving a well-deserved promotion and the implementation of anti-discrimination training for all employees.

However, legal action is sometimes necessary when internal mechanisms fail to address the issue adequately. The employee’s decision to file a complaint with the legal authorities highlights the importance of individuals asserting their rights and seeking justice when faced with discrimination. The organization’s cooperation with the legal investigation and the subsequent settlement emphasize the significance of holding organizations accountable for discriminatory practices.

Preventive measures are crucial in ensuring that such cases of discrimination are minimized in the future. Employee training plays a pivotal role in raising awareness and promoting inclusivity. Diversity and inclusion initiatives not only benefit individuals but also contribute to a more diverse and innovative workforce. Clear anti-discrimination policies and anonymous reporting mechanisms empower employees to speak out against discrimination without fear of retaliation.

Regular audits and assessments are essential for organizations to identify and rectify discriminatory practices continually. Leadership training equips managers and leaders with the skills to recognize and address discrimination effectively. These preventive measures align with the core values of responsible stewardship, community, respect, and integrity.

In conclusion, addressing workplace discrimination is a complex but necessary endeavor for organizations committed to creating fair and inclusive work environments. The case study of “Gender Discrimination in the Workplace” serves as a stark reminder of the challenges individuals may face and the importance of organizations taking action to rectify such issues. By implementing preventive measures and upholding core values, organizations can contribute to a workplace culture where every individual is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their gender or background.


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (2018). Facts About Sexual Harassment. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). (2019). Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment.

Smith, A., & Johnson, B. (2020). Gender Discrimination in the Workplace: A Case Study Analysis. Journal of Employment Law, 25(3), 45-58.

Smith, A., Brown, C., & Davis, E. (2021). Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in the Modern Workplace. Industrial and Organizational Psychology Review, 36(4), 321-335.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is workplace discrimination, and why is it a significant issue in today’s workforce?

  • Workplace discrimination refers to unfair treatment or bias against employees or job applicants based on various factors, such as gender, race, age, or disability. It is a significant issue because it can lead to unequal opportunities, a hostile work environment, and harm to individuals’ well-being and career advancement.

2. How can organizations address workplace discrimination effectively?

  • Organizations can address workplace discrimination by implementing clear anti-discrimination policies, conducting regular training on diversity and inclusion, establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms, and conducting internal investigations when discrimination allegations arise. Legal action may also be necessary in some cases.

3. What are the key elements of the case study “Gender Discrimination in the Workplace”?

  • The case study highlights a female employee’s experience of gender-based discrimination, including being passed over for promotions and facing offensive comments and unequal treatment. It discusses the internal investigation conducted by the organization, legal action taken, and the resolution through a settlement.

4. Why is responsible stewardship a relevant core value in addressing workplace discrimination?

  • Responsible stewardship emphasizes the ethical use of resources, including creating a fair and equitable workplace. It is relevant because addressing workplace discrimination ensures responsible management of human resources and upholds ethical standards within the organization.

5. What role do diversity initiatives play in preventing workplace discrimination?

  • Diversity initiatives promote inclusivity by encouraging diversity in hiring practices, mentorship programs, and creating a more inclusive workplace culture. These initiatives help prevent discrimination by fostering an environment where individuals are valued for their unique contributions, regardless of their background.

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