Jake has a speech impediment. Some coworkers have been ridiculing him and Jake is so upset he finally informs his company’s Human Resources department. However, Jake does not wish to make a formal complaint—he just wants the teasing to stop.
The Human Resources department believes that the situation amounts to a violation of Jake’s human rights, and feels compelled to initiate a formal investigation. At the same time, it appreciates Jake’s wish to keep things quiet and not be seen as a “finger pointer.” Not knowing how to approach the situation, and particularly the issue of confidentiality, it calls The Integrity Group.
The Integrity Group meets with Jake and provides him with a forum to speak his mind about the comments he has found offensive, and how has been impacted by them. Jake has an opportunity to express his concerns and what he needs, including preferred outcomes. The Integrity Group also meets with representatives of the Human Resources department to determine the kinds of programs (if any) it has in place to address such situations. This review confirms that the organization has no policies or “sensitivity awareness” programs to educate its employees about respectful workplace issues, or issues of harassment/discrimination.
Without having to identify Jake, The Integrity Group develops a customized Respectful Workplace workshop and delivers it to all of the organization’s employees. Shortly after the workshop, The Integrity Group meets with Jake who reports that the offensive comments regarding his speech impediment have stopped. The Integrity Group also follows up with Jake as well as the Human Resources department six months later to ensure that there have been no further incidents: Jake says he enjoys his workplace more than ever, and the department reports increased job satisfaction amongst all its employees. None of Jake’s coworkers know that it was his complaint that initiated the workshop, and he has avoided getting his coworkers “in trouble” by identifying them.
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