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Gender Discrimination: Preferential Treatment in the Workplace

Case Study #3

Gender Discrimination: Preferential Treatment in the Workplace

Will is an intern at a county government office where he works within a team of four other interns; they all report to one primary boss, Jim. Will notices that Jim has drastically different approaches in dealing with male and female interns. He often sends Will and his fellow male interns on projects that take them out of the immediate office area or tedious tasks that he never assigns to the only female intern, Meghan. On her part, Meghan is also unhappy with this extra attention as she only gets in-office projects working alone with Jim and therefore is getting no experience of being in the field. As a prestigious conference approaches, Jim predictably selects Meghan as the representative for the office without even informing the other interns about the opportunity. This will require her to travel alone with him.
The interns collectively get a little more curious about Jim’s background and do a little Internet search on him. They soon realize that numerous sexual harassment cases have been filed against Jim in the past, though he has never been prosecuted. They are informed that these types of charges in government offices have to be followed with strict adherence to state policies including having an investigator ask the whole office specifics regarding the situation.
Despite the urgings of her teammates, Meghan is reluctant to file her own report as she does not want to confront Jim directly and an anonymous report would easily be traced to her, as she is currently the only female intern. Fearing that the report will compromise her prospects at full-time employment at the office, or even a good recommendation for another job, she tells Will that she will just deal with it for the rest of the internship: “It’s only another three months anyways.”

Case Study Analysis Template

Case Study Number and Name
Introduction Give a brief review of the case, including the main characters.
State the Ethical issue or problem. Who is/are the “moral agent(s)” in this case? Who is/are the
doer(s) of the action(s) in question ? There can be more than one.
Was what they did illegal? What ethical system were they
following? What philosophical school of thought is that most
aligned with?

Kohlberg stage of Moral Development What stage of Moral Development is each of the main Moral Agent at? What actions, statements or indicators make you think they are in that stage?
As the Moral Agent(s) did they: (Address each actor identified above)
Act with integrityProvide a high standard of serviceAct in a way that promotes trust in the profession or office Treat others with respectTake responsibility
What would you have Done? Would you be content for your actions to be made public in the newspapers or on the internet?

Alternative Actions What are some other actions they could have taken in this situation?Are these optionsin line with ASPA or ICMA codes of Ethics?

Last Updated on February 11, 2019

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