$0.00 – $6.00
Albie Davis and Ericka Gray
Six-party mediation with employees, employer, and legal counsel over the contested result of a sexual harassment grievance procedure
Six months ago, Liza Brown filed a grievance with Systech's Human Resource manager. She claims that every time she had to go into the back room of the print shop either to pick up or drop off documents she felt extremely uncomfortable because of the suggestive, and even pornographic, calendars hanging in the back room. Liza says that the printer also began to make suggestive comments and even brushed up against her unnecessarily. At that point Liza complained to the print shop manager who told her to keep out of the back room if it bothered her. The results of the grievance procedure that Liza filed were a reprimand in the printer's file and orders for Liza to avoid the print shop. Liza believes that she has been denied a promotion since her grievance procedure because this situation gave her a reputation as a trouble-maker. Since Liza is unhappy with the results of the grievance procedure she asked to enter a formal mediation with an outside mediator, which is allowed in Systech's policy manual.
- This scenario makes it easy to slip into a negative, reactive mode, with unsatisfactory outcomes resulting.
- Those parties willing to consider the perceptions and interests of the other party as relevant can usually engage effectively in mutually beneficial joint problem-solving.
- Participants can discuss how partisan perceptions affected their acceptance of differing interpretations of the case, and how they tried to educate the other members of their group as to their perceptions.
- Fairness and power imbalance questions are triggered by the issues of sexual harassment in the exercise. These two problems can be specifically addressed, or they can be broadened to serve as a base for a discussion of difference issues in negotiating.
- Some of the managers have to decide how much information they wish to reveal. Where do their loyalties lie?
At least 7 players are required. This exercise takes 45-60 minutes to run it is suggested that the participants will need 20 minutes to prepare and 30-60 for debriefing.
Agenda control; Anchoring; Coalitions; Consensus building; Grievance procedures; Meaning of "success"; Systems of negotiation
Case of the Puerile Printer Attributes
|Time required:||1-2 hours|
|Number of participants:||7|
|Neutral third party present:||Mediator|
|Teaching notes available:||No|