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Human Resources Management      HRM 5010     Midterm Exam

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The number in the parenthesis corresponds to the number of issues the student must identify in the paragraph.

 

Please be advised, there may be more issues in the paragraph than the number in the parenthesis.

 

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Students must submit their answers in the order of the paragraphs. There are twelve (12) paragraphs, and there will be twenty (20) identified issues. Answers shoulda) identify the legal/HR issues, and b) analyze why it is an issue. The analysis should incorporate a brief reference to the law and/or the relevant facts. Generally, a student should be able to adequately answer each issue within one paragraph.

 

Additionally, students must choose one (1) of the establishments mentioned in the fact pattern, and advocate one (1) human resource recommendations, or best practices, forthe employer to adopt. Please explain the rationale.                                                                    

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  1. (One)

Beth and David, fresh from finishing their junior year at JW Miami,walked along Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road searching for a summer job. David had workedas a waiter at Bella Luna in the Aventura Mall since starting at JW, whereas Beth’s only job had been as a lifeguard the past three summers.

 

They first walked into the News Café. The manager interviewed each separately. In each interview, he started with the same questions:

“Are you legally authorized to work in the US?”

“Have you graduated?”

“What is your relevant work experience?”

“Have you ever been addicted to illegal drugs or treated for drug abuse or alcoholism?”

“What year did you graduate college?”

“Do you have any references?”

“What is your primary language?”

 

  1. (Two)

During both interviews the manager expressed concern that Beth and David were not “experienced enough” to handle the pace and clientele demands.  Beth and David left with a promise from the manager “to be in touch”. When the manager walked by the bar after the interviews, the bartender asked him how the interviews had gone.  The manager stated, “The female has no experience and the other one looked too young.  My customers want to order a drink from someone who can have a drink”.  The bartender recommended a friend. “If he looks like he’s old enough to shave bring him in, we need someone immediately.”

 

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  • (One)

The next stop was the Clevelander Hotel.  David and Beth squeezed their way through the throngs of people and around the multiple bars, tables and pool.  Inside they met with the manager.They were immediately hired.  David was hired as a bartender while Beth was hired as a housekeeper.

 

  1. (One)

Beth had worked at the Clevelander for a month when she was called to the head housekeeper’s office.  She was informed that another member of housekeeping, Janet, was suffering from lupus and was unable to sweep the stairs throughout the hotel.  As such, Beth would be assigned to sweep the stairs, while Janet would clean the small kitchen in the employees’ lounge thatBeth usually performed.  Beth felt that this was unfair and retaliatory, yet said nothing.

 

  1. (One)

It seems that over the last month, not a week had gone by without Beth being approached by a drunken male guest saying sexually inappropriate comments.  Usually she just let it

go, however, after one guest grabbed herand tried to kiss her, she had enough and informed the head housekeeper.  He was not pleased, yet the guest had already checked out. “Next time, let me know immediately when this happens.  But remember, this is not the Fontainebleau.”

  1. (Two)

David was having issues of his own.  The food & beverage manager, Taylor, was continuously asking David out for a date, and he was continuously saying no.  When David started at the Clevelander, he was assigned to the 9:00 am-4:00 pm shift.   From 9:00-11:00 David prepped the bar, along with five other bartenders, for the 11:00 am opening.  The shift ended at happy hour. The more lucrative shift was 4:00 pm to closing. However, all of the bartenders started out on the morning shift, and it was Clevelander practice to transition bartenders to the later shift strictly by seniority.  When David heard that Juan, the most senior bartender, was leaving to work at Mac’s Club Deuce, he decided to accept a date with Taylor.  They went out a couple of times and things went well. Two weeks later after Juan left, David was assigned to the coveted 4:00 to closing shift.

 

  • (One)

Meanwhile, Beth was unhappy about the change in assignments.  The stairs took longer and the work was dirtier.  More importantly, Beth’s asthma appeared to flare up after sweeping, causing her to use her inhaler more frequently.  She informed hermanager that she was having trouble breathing after sweeping the stairs. She described how she hashad asthma her entire life, that it was allergy-induced, and that it was usually controlled by her inhaler.  The manager asked her whether the inhaler was effective after sweeping

 

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the stairs. Beth said yes, but that she did not need to use it when cleaning the rooms,

kitchen or other areas.  The manager said that since her medication was effective in countering the asthmatic affects of sweeping, he would allow her to take a break, when necessary, to use her inhaler.

 

  • (Two)

Another month went by, mid-July, and David was enjoying the night shift. Tips were good and his relationship with Taylor was going well.   Perhaps too well.  Smiles and prolonged glances transitioned to laughter and whispering in the corner that eventually transitioned to frequent public displays of affection.  The other bartenders were feeling uncomfortable, and were disturbed that David always seemed to disappear at the end of the shift when it was time to clean the bar.  Having enough, Tony and Francesca discussed with the manager how they were feeling uncomfortable about Taylor and David’s continuous display of affection, and how David appeared to be

getting a pass with the nightly cleanup. The manager couldn’t understand how Taylor and

David’s PDA was so uncomfortable in light of their daily clientele’s behavior.  Everyday was like spring break at the Clevelander.“This isn’t the Fontainebleau!”, he said.

Yet, he was concerned that David wasn’t doing his share of the work and assured them that he would speak with Taylor.

 

  1. (Two)

Beth quit her job at the Clevelander and applied for a job at Dolce Italian on Collins Avenue. As the name suggests, the restaurant specializes in Italian food and prides itself on giving its customers an  “authentic Italian experience”.  During the interview, the manager asked Beth Whittaker whether she was Italian? “No.”  Speak Italian? “No.”

Have you ever been to Italy? “No”. Nevertheless, Beth assured the manager that her favorite food was Italian and she was familiar with most of the items on the menu.  The manager told the blonde, blue-eyed Ms. Whittaker that he only hires Italians as waitresses, that all 12 of his employees are Italian, and wished her luck.

 

  1. (Three)

Back at the Clevelander, David and Taylor were upset about Tony and Francesca’s discussion with the manager.  David now joined in the bar cleanup but the PDA continued.  The atmosphere became tense, especially between Taylor and Francesca. Tony eventually quit after a couple of weeks.  Francesca needed the job and stayed.  Yet, Francesca soon learned that things would be different.  She was always the last to be able to take a break; she seemed to be the bartender chosen most of the time to help the barhands bring thebeer cases up from the cellar and fill the coolers; she was also denied vacation time in July (unlike last year) to go home and visit her family.  July was when her family had their annual family reunion.  She wasn’t going to miss it.  She took the

time anyway.  Taylor informed the manager that Francesca had taken unauthorized

 

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vacation that was a clear violation of written policy. The manager in turn fired her for leaving on an unauthorized vacation.

 

  1. (Two)

Rejected after the Dolce Italian interview, Beth found herself in front of the Fontainebleau.“Situated on oceanfront Collins Avenue in the heart of Millionaire’s Row, Fontainebleau Miami Beach is one of the most historically and architecturally significant

hotels on Miami Beach”.Beth interviewed and was soon hired as a housekeeper.  She was required to attend a two-day orientation during which she learned about the hotel’s history, policies and expectations.  The pay was better than the Clevelander but the head housekeeper was very difficult.  Yelling and swearing at all housekeepers, men and women alike.  Yet, Beth noticed that his manner was harsher towards a male housekeeper that was apparently gay, Sean.  For example, he would occasionally refer to Sean as “her” or ask him whether some of the women walking around in bathing suits could “change

him”.  Turnover was frequent in housekeeping because of the head housekeeper’s behavior.

 

  • (Two)

One day, Beth was cleaning a guest room when a male guest returned to the room.  The male guest approached Beth, making overtly sexual advances.  When she tried to leave, he attempted to prevent her from leaving the room, but Beth escaped.  She went straight down to HR, pursuant to the policy.  She explained what had just happened.  When the HR Director looked in the computer to see who’s room it was, she stated that Mr. Chaddington was one of the wealthiest men in Florida, stays at the Fontainebleau at least one week every month, and spends tens of thousands of dollars at the hotel each year.  She would just have to “get over it”.  “We can’t embarrass our loyal guests.  They pay premium prices, and expect discretion on our part during their stay.  After all, this is the Fontainebleau!”

 

Additional facts:

 

  1. The News Café hired the bartender’s friend who was thirty years old and had no restaurant experience.
  2. Sweeping the stairs and cleaning the small kitchen are marginal tasks for a housekeeper.
  3. Julie and Stacy were more senior bartenders than David on the 9:00 to 4:00 shift.
  4. There is no written policy at the Clevelander that states most senior bartenders will work on the evening shift.
  5. Taylor had asked Tony out on a date one time, just before David was hired; Tony refused.
  6. Janet and Beth are not the only two housekeepers on their shift.
  7. The Clevelander manager did speak with Taylor about David not doing the nightly cleanup. He did not mention their PDA.
  8. One of the policies Beth was given at Fontainebleau’s orientation was the Sexual Harassment Policy. It included a complaint procedure.  She signed the document acknowledging receipt of the policy.
  9. Sexual orientation is not a protected class in Florida.

 

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