The Dismissal on the Grounds of Religious Practices: Case Overview and Conflict Analysis

Date:  2021-04-16 04:18:36
7 pages  (1840 words)
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The paper presents a case evaluation of Kareem an ex-employee of the ABC Corporation who was fired on the grounds of religious practices that affected his productivity at the call-center. On this note, a customer care representative is required to pick each, and every call made, and hence, his frequent prayer breaks can be attributed to his low productivity. Consequently, it led to the call center manager, Thomas, to fire Kareem when Janet reported the case to him. Janet was Kareem's supervisor at the time. For this reason, Kareem felt the termination was unwarranted and thus, pressed charges on religious grounds. It is identified that most of the entities in the conflict acted in line with what they assumed to be cognitively right on a personal basis- self-perception. Janet and Thomas acted on hearsay with the whistleblower, Michael, raising many ethical and moral queries (Fee, 2014).

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On these grounds, the ABC Corporation lacks an effective HRM department that would effectively be awarded the responsibility of hiring, firing and transferring employees. In addition, the communication practices in the institution are wanting. The management treats its employees like robots, and thus, Kareem was not at one asked at one point what was ailing him. This is despite the fact that he had a valid reason. Communication at the company can be connoted to be implicit. Implicit communication can be said to refer to expression with the use of gestures to single persons or on a consolidated basis ignoring the perceived messages by people around them. On the other side of the coin, explicit communication is centered around the messages individuals say or write; objectified at influencing the conduct of individuals.

On this note, communication is seen as an effective approach in the de-escalation of conflicts. In the case, it can be achieved through roundtable discussions by the parties involved- Janet, Thomas, and Kareem- in the presence of an ER representative.

Conflict Resolution and Management

The most fundamental factor in the settlement of conflicts underlies acceptance that employee and employers can be at loggerheads. In this regard, it is essential to devise a conflict resolution strategy to mitigate the dispute before it transcends to destruction. In the case of the ABC Company, lack of proper communication between the employees and management is identified or established as the main issue causing contention. Kareem feels his termination was irregular (on religious grounds) with his manager justifying his decision as driven by the lack of productivity by the individual from his frequent breaks taken to pray. In the institution, a culture of high productivity is assumed, and thus, nothing else is condoned.

From the transcripts, Janet and Kathy acclaim the fact that Kareem was a hard worker adding to the fact that Janet (as the supervisor) had complimented him at various situations for his good work. After Janet had reported Kareem's issue, the step taken by Thomas was not bent on identifying or establishing communication channels to investigating the underlying problem. Thomas's intention was to prove the complaint was valid and hence, deserving of termination. In the same breadth, Kareem lived in fear of admitting and informing the management of his frequent breaks and hence, evidence of an intense environment that did not promote any form of communication.

Excellent reflexive communication is necessary for the department. In the same vein, sound communication requires the choosing of right words to utilize at the right time, listening with the mind and skillfully acquiring information from the different departments. It can be said that maintaining high productivity cannot be regarded as enough in ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the call center department.

Heuristic techniques in de-escalating conflict

The heuristic techniques that conform with the study can be said to be educational guesses, stereotyping, and intuitive judgment. It was the conception of Janet that Kareem was up to no good even though she had not asked him about it. From the fact that the company is characterized by high-productivity, she condemns the behavior of Kareem and thus, it can be said that her decisions are driven by pre-conceived notions. On the other hand, Michael takes an educational guess by commending Kareem on his problem-solving skills. In addition to an educational guess, it forms part of an intuitive judgment.

Michael has seen Kareems potential and ability to solve problems for the clients. Thomas is quick to disregard the significance of the interviews and terms them a total waste of time. This can be connoted to be a formed stereotype by the individual as concerns interviews and meetings with his employees. Also, Janet is seen to be apprehensive about the meeting as she assumes it is a call for trouble. This too can be termed to be a form of stereotype- she perceives unforeseen misfortunes.

Janet is aware of what is transpiring with Kareem and chooses to ignore it. Instead, she opts to report the individual to Thomas regardless of knowing the correct steps and measures to take. This can be said to hamper employee interactions in the workplace. Michael chooses to ignore what Kareem is doing also presuming that his idling (Tversky, 2002, p. 145). On this note, he highlights the fact that Kareem kills the spirit of teamwork and that the individual should be lowly paid. Kareem himself felt he was doing everything required of him by the company. Allegations directed at him seemed to demotivate him fully and thus, can be linked to adverse employee productivity (Hertwig, 2013, p. 268).

On this note, it is crucial for the employer to take the step of understanding and to engage with an employee before a decision is made. By this approach, the employees will feel like part of the organization and thus, have the ability to focus their efforts towards the success of the company.

Dispute Resolution and Legal Ramifications

It can be highlighted that many employees find termination as a difficult process regardless the founded reasons for dismissal. When the employer finds dismissal necessary, then the following are fundamental issues to be considered by the employer: -

Act in accordance with legislation

The fair treatment of employees and acting in good faith

The professional termination of employees and preservation of employee's dignity.

Applicable laws

Termination with just cause

It can be highlighted that if an employee is incompetent or shows serious misconduct that influences the organizations and leads to a breakdown in the employment relationships, then one can terminate the employment of the employee without nay notifications or payment in lieu. Some of the grounds for dismissal may entail the following (Brewster, Sparrow, Vernon, & Houldsworth, 2011):

Incompetence: - The failure of an employee to improve his productivity regardless of being awarded the appropriate tools, support, guidance, training and time required to improve and make the necessary improvements.

Dishonesty- this can be attributed to theft or fraud that can be connoted to be severe enough to warrant a dismissal.

Insubordination- this entails an employee continually breaking organizational policies, and any meaningful disciplinary measures have not resulted in a change in behavior.

In the case of Kareem, insubordination as the reason for termination can be implied for his dismissal. This is because the individual flaunted organizational rules by going for unpermitted breaks and neglected his position in doing so. However, it is suggested that for termination with cause to be applied for insubordination, evidence of a continuous disciplining process must be provided that shows consistent discipline was applied. However, in this case, there was no indication of Janet and Thomas applying any disciplinary measures or to say the least, advising against his behavior. In fact, Kathy highlighted the fact that she has seen employees being sent home for the littlest things and acclaimed the fact that there existed an intense environment which led to a lack of trust with the leaders of the organization.

On this note, it is possible for the management to hide behind the mentioned law. However, it can be highlighted that the reasons for firing Kareem did not comply with the law completely. In addition, the action was not in good faith since Janet reported the matter in fear of losing her job while understanding that the situation could have been handled in another way.

Religious Discrimination & Reasonable Accommodation & Undue Hardship

It can be connoted that an employee is not required to accommodate the religious beliefs of an employee if they impede or result to hardship for the employer. On this note, an accommodation of such practices might be costly for the organization, reduces workplace efficiency, impedes the rights of other employees and requires other employees to do more than their share-burdensome. According to Janet, the production levels shown by Kareem were fair, and a few times she commended him on how he handled his clients. Therefore, the practices did not cost the organization, and neither did it reduce workplace efficiency significantly. In fact, Michael's claims can be termed unethical and thus, can be put in contention. The practices made by Kareem can be said to have affected two employees since he conducted them in the bathroom. However, most of the employees did not care about what he was doing and hence, did fully impede on the rights of other employees. In addition, his practice did impose any undue burdens on any other employee. Therefore, as Janet acclaimed, the situation would have been handled in a more understanding way.

Risks of direct negotiations, mediation, and arbitration

Direct negotiations

Negotiations are definable as any type or kind of direct or indirect communication that involves parties who have opposing views or interests endeavoring to come up with joint resolutions that might mitigate and solve the conflict between them (Leede, Huiskamp, Oeij, Nauta, & Kwakkelstein, 2007). In this light, negotiation can be utilized in the solving of an existent problem and laying the groundwork for future interactions between two or more parties. The method comes with good resolution, saving time, saving energy and low cost as additional advantages. The method does not involve a third party in the negotiation process.

However, the process might involve certain risks highlighted as follows: -

It can be connoted that where parties have unequal power, the weaker entities might be placed at a disadvantage. In this case, Kareem might be placed at a disadvantage when trying to negotiate since Thomas as the leader of the corporation is feared. The fear is evident among his immediate subordinates such as Janet. Therefore, where an individual is underrepresented, the value of the agreement is reduced and thus, can be subject to future challenges.

The absence of a third party can also be said to hamper the ability of the parties reaching a formidable agreement. The presence of the ER in conducting the interviews presented a neutral environment where the parties freely expressed their sentiments. At first, Janet did not take the meeting positively since meetings at ABC were already stereotyped as the popular means of termination. Therefore, the lack of a third party reduces the capability of defining the issues and any progress towards an amicable solution.

The direct negotiations approach is also seen as a ploy to infringe the assertion of the rights...

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