Since June 2008 up to the filing of this case in January 2009, co-employees of this female lawyer at the law firm she was working with, made continues unwelcome remarks by engaging in frequent banter that was offensive to her. Despite the lawyer’s protests against their rude discourses, these employees continued their malicious talks even calling her “dyke” and “butch” on several occasions, and made a number of other comments on her that contained obvious sexual implication. This situation made her work environment ghastly and inhospitable despite of her effort to maintain friendship among her colleagues.
This created grave effect on her emotionally as she is often distracted by the thoughts occupying her mind why she is being treated unfairly which eventually resulted to a diminished performance as a lawyer and slowed her down from fulfilling her public duty. In connection with this she was reprimanded by her superior and was later fired from the firm due to her unsatisfactory performance. Issue: The female lawyer is known to her colleagues as a heterosexual. Being in the law firm, they knew that heterosexuality is a sexual preference that is recognized and respected by the law.
Heterosexuals belong to the protected classes under the Human Rights Act and yet they continue to torment her with such malicious and often offending remarks. The law recognized sexual preferences as a legitimate right of the individual under sexual orientation. Heterosexually therefore should not be viewed as undignified nor consider a heterosexual female or male an object of any carnal inclination. Rule: Heterosexuality along with homosexuality and bisexuality are recognized by the law as belonging to the protected classes of persons under the Human Rights Act.
The United States law recognized and respect sexual orientation of the individual and guaranteed full protection against any physical force or violence against them, or by any individual person or by threatened damage or intrude on property when such behavior is motivated by, color, national origin, race, ancestry, sexual orientation and gender. The Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) “prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation” (Civilrights. org).
The intention of this law is to protect people who have been discriminated historically and currently. Application The action and behavior of the female lawyer’s colleagues constitute discrimination creating disturbances or distracting the lawyer from being effective and efficient in doing her job, through continued malicious and profane talks about her. Obviously, they knew that she was a heterosexual who under the law, belong to the protected class under which, the government extended protection in view of their sexual orientation.
The right to work, to free choice of employment, and to just and favorable conditions in the work place are guaranteed by the constitution, as well as the right to just and favorable remuneration “ensuring for himself and her family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented if necessary, by others means of social protection” (United Nations Universal Declarations of Human Rights, 1943 Article 23, As cited by Swigonski, M. E. ; Mama, R. S. ; Ward, K. & Sheppard, M. 2001, p. 100).
The actions and other malicious talks directed at her were obviously with reference to their knowledge that she was a heterosexual person. Despite the case seemed to be a different problem, it constitute sexual harassment in the work place. In the international stage, the supreme court of Canada defined sexual harassment as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the work environment or lead to adverse job-related consequences for the victim of the harassment” (Supreme Court of Canada as cited by Emerton, R. 2005, p. xxxii).
In the factual situation, the case from the book will not be applicable in the sense that it lacks specific details. First, the case did not mention how far the lady lawyer was affected by the behavior of her colleagues. Second, it was not clear whether she had done something to stop her co-employees from making such comments. She should have complained to her employer about the behavior of her colleagues in order to settle the issue. In a factual situation, the court will not honor a case that is not founded on valid evidence, or if there is no sufficient ground to file a case on any body. Conclusion
Based on the clear provision of the law regarding sexual harassment in the work place, I believe that this case will be resolved in favor of the female lawyer very soon. In view of the provision of ENDA and the various international sexual harassment cases such as the case Jansen and Govereau v Platy Enterprises Ltd where the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that in sexual harassment case against fellow employees, employers will also be liable on the ground of their failure to take action to remedy the situation, even after specific complaints had been made to them” (Supreme of Canada, As cited by Emerton, p.
xxxiii). I therefore expect for a favorable court decision in order for justice to prevail. Work Cited Emerton, R. (2005) Women’s Human Rights USA: Cavendish Publishing Swigonski, M. E. ; Mama, R. S. ; Ward, K. ; & Sheppard, M. (2001) From Hate Crimes to Human Rights USA: Haworth Press Why You Should Care About GBLT Rights. Civilrights. org. http://www. civilrights. org/issues/glbt/care. html