Question #5   Diversity/Communications


It has been quite a month since you took over this troubled division as the manager where a culture war seems to have broken out.  The administration is looking to you to help calm things down, but simultaneously ensure that any unprofessional behavior stops immediately.  It is a tall order.  The division does a lot of case work with the public so it has both individual case meetings in cubicles (although the vast majority are by letter, email and phone) and front-counter interactions.


Some of the issues at hand include the following:


a) A number of employees wear religious clothing or ornaments.  There have been some complaints from the public about some of them.  One employee’s cubicle has walls with religious pictures and shelves with religious icons on them. The same employee occasionally wears a pressed shirt that has the name of her religious group embroidered on the back in very large lettering.


b) Your predecessor allowed some employees to engage in religious activities in a spare room of the office. There are internal complaints about the separation of church and state, and threats to complain outside the organization. The religious activities have been conducted during the noon lunch hour and an afternoon break around 3:30.


c) A conservative employee is offended by the behavior of a supervisor who jokingly says things like, “now girls,” and compliments people on their “apparel.”   Your supervisor noted in a sneering tone that the employee in question is an “overbearing, judgmental religious bigot.”


d) A female employee has informed you that her new husband insists she start wearing a traditional set of religious clothing which conceals much of her face.

She occasionally deals with the general public at the front counter. State law does not allow switching out positions based on religious garb in general, but it is unclear and legally untested whether this is an extreme or special case.  You know that it will be upsetting to a number of the employees, and clients who are used to seeing the face of the person that they are talking to.


·         Discuss the major managerial and legal issues that you must sort out before you decide on actions.

·         What ethical and/or legal principles have to be balanced? 

·         Discuss the actions that you would take, including consultations.

·         Discuss or amplify how you would show empathy and sensitivity while enforcing rules.


·         Compose a single paragraph that you intend to send to employees as a reminder about civility, diversity, and professionalism. It should be aspirational in tone rather than rule-oriented (which you will address separately). 




I want four pages with Intro and con

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