He should have never let them finish the joke. Telling these kinds of jokes at work are against the policy and very unprofessional. If the female dispatcher happened to hear the joke and it was about women and sex in any way, it would be considered sexual harassment. Officer Sergeant Stevens should have taken care of this, instead of telling me about it, his actions did not maintain good order. Leaders like Officer Sergeant Stevens should be looking for these kinds of issues and taking care of them immediately, not pushing them off to someone else.
If the problem is pushed aside and complaints or concerns are shingled, it looks bad on the whole department, not just one or two people. It is the Sergeant or leaders responsibility to make sure that the policies about sexual harassment are followed and that every measure has been taken to make sure that this type of issue has been prevented and that the other subordinates have training on the subject and that they know there is a zero tolerance for this kind of misconduct (International Association, 2011).
Sergeant Stevens should have had some sort of training on sexual harassment before becoming a sergeant, so he should have known that both the state and federal laws protect employees from sexual harassment at work. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI’), states that sexual harassment is a type of discrimination. There are two types of sexual harassment, they include; quid pro quo, which is where a supervisor demands that employees have to tolerate sexual harassment to keep their jobs.
Hostile work environment is when the misconduct is unwelcome, based on sex or the working environment becomes abusive or offensive (Reuters, 2015). I believe that sexually explicit jokes is more of a hostile work environment, because no one wants to hear sex jokes at work, which makes it unwelcome. Sergeant Stevens should have tried to stop the misconduct along with more required training on Sexual Harassment for the subordinates. If they do not have this policy replayed and replayed in their brains they may not understand how important it really is (More & Miller, 2014).
By Sergeant Stevens pushing the incident onto me, tells me that he must let this type of thing happen all the time and that he condones it. If there was not a female dispatcher in the men’s presence, I am sure nothing would have been said. According to More & Miller, (2014) it is the responsibility f the supervisors to report and deal with any complaint or concern about sexual harassment. An investigation should be taken place, so that the supervisor where this misconduct has started and who was involved.
The supervisor should have also gone over the policy’s disciplinary action that goes along with sexual harassment (p. 402). To ensure good order in the department, Officer Sergeant Stevens has the “responsibility to reinforce the department’s anti-harassment training and behavior modification efforts by actively counseling subordinates on the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace (More & Miller, 2014, p. 402). I believe that this is not the first time that this has happened, but I think that Sergeant Stevens should have made an example out of the two men and used the zero tolerance policy that is in place.
I think that this has gone on long enough and if one supervisor turns their head, there are others that do the same thing and it needs to stop. I believe that after the discipline action then the sergeant needs to start having training courses on sexual harassment that he leads, since apparently he has forgotten his role as a first-line supervisor. The victims need to be able to turn this type of misconduct in, without the fear f being harassed more. It should be confidential and handled discreetly, along with immediately according to More & Miller, (2014, p. 402).
While the sergeant is taking care of the two joke tellers, he also needs to have some concern for the dispatcher, to make sure that she is not in need of a counselor or someone else to talk to. Scenario 2: Difficult Employee Officer Smith is very difficult to deal with; he is sarcastic during roll call about anything new. He is a very productive officer and everyone respects his leadership. After being disciplined recently, he has become less productive. The Sergeant in this scenario did his job by suspending the officer for acting out and demonstrating those kinds of actions in front of officers that look up to him. Hind that his negativity could possibly influence the other officers to act the same way and then the department would be out of control and the Sergeant would never find the end to the chaos. Officer Smith seems to be a “defeatist,” someone that fights with new ideas along with not liking change. Therefore he has to act out instead of being professional. Defeatists like to disrupt other people and like to make a scene. I believe that the sergeant sees this in him and had to and did put a stop to it. The Sergeants actions ensured good order to his department, but I think he may have been a little too rough on the officer.
He did what he was supposed to, by confronting him about the issue and letting him know that his attitude and demeanor was not going to be accepted (More & Miller, 2014). I think that the Sergeant could have given him a warning instead of just suspending him, especially if he has never been verbally warned before. The Sergeant should have a policy to go by and he did not follow it. The Sergeant should have tried to find out what the issue is or was, sit down with him and figure out what is causing him to act the way that he has been.
If Officer Smith’s behavior does not improve then a more drastic approach would be needed, like the suspension. Communication is a very important skill that is needed by the Sergeant and the officer. Without communication, this is exactly what can and will happen. Things can get thrown way out of proportion. When it comes to defeatists, everything and anything you can think of needs to be done to make sure that the resistances and any problems are clarified (More & Miller, 2014).
The Sergeant needs to let Officer Smith know that he needs him to be productive and follow the policies as written, without all the negativity. Officer Smith needs to know that there is a whole department of officers that look up to him and he needs to show them that he can be a leader and that he can be professional. He may not know that other officers do look at how he acts and what he says, they may respect him for his productivity, but people will get tired of the negativity if they do not get sucked into it before then.
Communication alone could have nipped this in the bud a long time ago, if it had only been applied. The officer needs to understand that policies need to be followed and that things never stay the same, which means there is going to be change and he needs to find a way to cope with the change, even if he has to go to the Sergeant and get clarification on why and how things are going to change. Sometimes employees need to be involved with the changes. If the Sergeant would find a way to make it look like the employees made the change, it is accepted better.