Must you give an "embarrassed" employee a transfer?

Emma Goldsmith was finding it increasingly uncomfortable to work in the maintenance department. Her discomfort stemmed from unwanted sexual advances made by Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Harry Force a few months back.

06/01/1998


Emma Goldsmith was finding it increasingly uncomfortable to work in the maintenance department. Her discomfort stemmed from unwanted sexual advances made by Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Harry Force a few months back. Force persisted for a while, then finally gave up. There was no significant change in Goldsmith's clerical duties or the way she was treated, but she found her continuing contacts with Force "somewhat embarrassing."

Her embarrassment increased sharply, she claimed, after it became widely known that Force was having an affair with Mary Graybar, Emma's close friend and coworker.

Goldsmith complained to Force's boss, Maintenance Supervisor Fred Stone, and requested a transfer.

"Everyone's gossiping about the affair," she told Stone, "The rumors are flying like lint in a windstorm. Since I'm a close friend of Mary's, people are including me as part of that crowd."

"That crowd" referred to Graybar, Force, and a small group of employees who were known to socialize together.

Stone asked, "Is Harry giving you a hard time on the job because of this business? Is your work being hampered in any way?"

"No, but it's uncomfortable working in such a hostile environment."

Stone frowned and said reluctantly, "I'll check it out. If a transfer is possible, I'll see if I can swing it."

Goldsmith thanked him. Two days later, Stone informed her that no openings existed anywhere else in the plant. "I'm sorry," he said, "that's the best I can do."

He advised her to ignore the rumors and gossip. Still dissatisfied, Goldsmith threatened a grievance unless she was given the transfer.

Question : Under the circumstances, is the company obligated to grant her request?

Sheerer's decision: When Stone informed Plant Engineer Arthur Sheerer of Goldsmith's threat, he replied, "Much as I dislike keeping a disgruntled employee in the department against her will, I don't see what other choice we have. Her complaint that she's embarrassed is a far cry from a valid charge of sexual harassment. Since no opening exists elsewhere in the plant, we can't manufacture one to her convenience. If she can't stand the heat in the kitchen, as they say, her only recourse is to resign. If she persists in grieving, I think the chances are pretty slight that she'll win."





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Diagnostic functions for system safety; Specifying industrial enclosures; Effective decision support for a crisis
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me