Sexual harassment

Assignment Details:

Mr. Thomas, a 10 year executive with XYZ Corporation, continued to engage his secretary in a conversation regarding the female body part that was a subject of a recent television program, even after she indicated she did not wish to discuss it further. Mr. Thomas subsequently copied a page from a dictionary containing the name of a body part and gave it to the secretary, which in addition to prior behavior she interpreted as sexual harassment. His employer terminated him because of this incident and other alleged incidents of poor judgment. In a suit for wrongful termination, Mr. Thomas won compensatory damages plus punitive damages against the company and his secretary.

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Discuss the following questions about the case:

  1. Do you think Mr. Thomas’ actions constituted sexual harassment? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think termination of Mr. Thomas was justified? Why or why not?
  3. What factors might have influenced the jury’s decision?
  4. Can you share with the class if you, your friend or colleague have had an encounter with a sexual harassment case at work? Do not use names of individuals or businesses.

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