There seems to be an inherent cultural issue here as the SEG Manager is not taking these accusations seriously and when confronted with this in a meeting between the President, the HR Director and himself he repeatedly calls the HR Director “sweetheart” and “honey”. This implies that he is unable to really appreciate the seriousness of these issues. If we look a little deeper into the company’s culture we discover not only sexual harassment issues but discrimination and diversity problems too.
We learn about one case where is heavily overweight woman was rejected for a job, even though she passed the required aptitude test, but the SEG Manager believed that she was not appropriate for the job after he witnessed her struggling to climb three flights of stairs and later on “swearing at the candy machine” because it swallowed her money. The candidate in question later complained to the HR Director, which the SEG Manager found inappropriate too.
This could become another potential issue for firm as the EEOC are investigating their recruitment practices too. They need to check whether the above applicant could be covered by the Disability Act because of her size. If she is it would only compound their HR issues. There is another case of a Vietnam War veteran in a wheelchair who was rejected for the job simply because the company has no wheelchair access facilities. Now this is a grave matter as the Disability Acts clearly states that every company with 15 employees or more should provide this facility.
The final HR issue we need to at is the diversity situation. As we saw above DOTA employs 53 males, of which 47 are white and six are of minority groups. This looks to be very skewed. There are only 11 females with equal diversity amongst race. The EEOC are sure to ask about the validity of the special programming aptitude and problem solving test and why it requires a 95% pass rate for the recruitment decision process! They will also address the question of why so few women are employed at DOTA.
Under the “Title VII adverse impact” law the company has to prove how their test actually relates to performance in the workplace. Can DOTA provide this proof? Again we need to look at the basic law of economics too – if there is simply no supply of women to perform these particular jobs then the company could explain why there is such diversity within the firm. In summary, these serious HR issues could potentially destroy the company.
If news of this spreads, either through word of mouth or in the media it will give DOTA a bad reputation. This is likely to impact not only the customers’ perception of them but may lead to less people applying for vacant positions as well. In additional to this there are huge potential legal risks that could force DOTA to close down (as it is a small company with perhaps not enough cash liquidity to pay for lawyers, settlements etc. ).
They are losing good employees in India already but with bad publicity and the resulting poor reputation this may happen in the US too. This applies to their customers too – once word gets out about these issues the clients may lost their trust in the company and terminate their working contracts and go elsewhere for the similar services. So really the future of the company is in jeopardy here and they need to take some immediate strong actions to combat this.