NURS 6221 Week 2: Legal-Regulator and Ethical Issues

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NURS 6221 Week 2: Legal, Regulatory, and Ethical Issues essay assignment

NURS 6221: Managing Human Resources | Week 2 essay assignment

Consider the following discrimination and harassment 2011 end-of-year statistics as cited by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

  • Disability-Based Charges: 25,742 cases filed; over 103 million dollars distributed in monetary benefits (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Americans with Disabilities Act…,” n.d.)
  • Race-Based Charges: 35,395 cases filed; over 83 million dollars distributed in monetary benefits (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Race-Based Charges…,” n.d.)
  • Sexual Harassment Charges: 11,364 cases filed; over 52 million dollars distributed in monetary benefits (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Sexual Harrasment Charges…,” n.d.)

NURS 6221 Week 2: Legal-Regulator and Ethical Issues essay assignment

As these statistics demonstrate, workplaces across the United States continue to struggle with instituting effective anti-discrimination policies and creating harassment-free workplaces. As a nurse manager, what can you do to ensure equal opportunity and fair treatment for all employees in your health care setting? Preventing discrimination and harassment in the workplace requires knowledge of legal and regulatory issues, as well as careful consideration of how, when, and why these situations may occur. While you are not expected to know the intricacies of the many laws, rules, and regulations that apply to human resource management, as a nurse manager, you must exercise judgment to know when and how to consult with human resource professionals.

This week, you explore employment discrimination and sexual harassment in today’s workplaces. You also examine the laws that protect individuals.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze Title VII legislation that protects classes of individuals from workplace discrimination
  • Evaluate strategies that may be used to mitigate workplace discrimination
  • Analyze the ramifications of sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Formulate action plans for mitigating and ameliorating behaviors that constitute sexual harassment

Consider your rights as an employee or job applicant. What do you know about the laws that prevent unfair treatment and discriminatory practices in the workplace?

Prior to 1964, employees and job applicants had few rights. Many employers used skin color, religion, or gender as a sole basis to hire or fire employees. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act aimed to protect employees from the prejudices of employers. In fact, after its passing it became the core foundation of workplace discrimination law because it protected five categories, or “classes,” of citizens from unfair employment practices. As time progressed, legislators supplemented Title VII with more anti-discrimination acts and policies. Today, employees or applicants who feel discriminated against due to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, or genetics can seek grounds for legal representation.

As a leader in the nursing field, you must take all necessary precautions to ensure that you and your unit, department, and/or organization adhere to the laws outlined and associated with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

To prepare

  • Review Chapter 3, “The Legal Environment and Diversity Management,” in the course text, Human Resource Management: Functions, Applications, & Skill Development. Examine how Title VII protects classes of employees across all organizations and professions.
  • Review this week’s media, “Legal Issues,” and the laws that address employment discrimination.
  • Conduct research to learn more about applicable laws and regulations pertaining to the protected class assigned by your Instructor.
  • Select one of the following options:
    • Option 1: Conduct research via the Walden Library and other scholarly sites (such as the ones listed below) to locate an authentic discrimination case involving the protected class that you were assigned.
    • Option 2: Recall an instance of discrimination you have personally experienced or witnessed related to your assigned protected class. Consider the events leading up to and the resolution of this instance.

    Note: The case/instance that you choose for this Discussion may be from an organization in any field (not just health care) and must have occurred within the last 10 years.

  • Once you have selected your option and case/instance, reflect upon the following questions:
    • What legal issues (i.e., Title VII and other applicable laws) were relevant to this case or instance?
    • What strategies would you propose to prevent a similar situation from occurring in your unit, department, or organization?

NURS 6221 Week 2: Legal-Regulator and Ethical Issues

By Day 3

Post a brief summary of the discrimination case/instance you selected and how the events impacted the individual(s) and/or the work environment. Describe the key legal issues involved and explain how Title VII legislation applied. Discuss at least one strategy you would employ in an effort to mitigate this type of discrimination from occurring in your unit, department, or organization. Include the APA reference and a hyperlink to your case example (if applicable).

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Provide an additional strategy that could help your colleague mitigate discrimination issues in his or her health care setting.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

Assignment: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace essay assignment

Julie has been a nurse at Memorial Hospital for three years. During that time, she has developed productive relationships with her colleagues and has earned a reputation for providing exceptional care to patients. One day she approaches you, her manager, and asks to speak in private. Once you are alone, Julie explains that over the past couple of months she has heard a physician and two nurses repeatedly make disparaging remarks about people who are homosexual. She appears visibly upset as she tells you this. Julie says that the situation has become so uncomfortable that she no longer feels safe in this environment.

Does this scenario reflect a possible case of sexual harassment? How would you respond to Julie, and what steps might you take next?

Sexual harassment is an important topic in today’s organizations–one that is often addressed through HR presentations and trainings. However, even for experienced nurse managers and HR professionals, it can be challenging to recognize some of the behaviors and actions that may indicate sexual harassment. Nurses in leadership and management positions have a critical responsibility to become attuned to the various interactions that can be problematic, including inappropriate remarks and jokes, improper fraternization, quid pro quo situations, and potentially offensive images.

To prepare

  • Review the articles, “Sexual Harassment – A Touchy Subject for Nurses,” “Why Are Nurses Leaving? Findings from an Initial Qualitative Study on Nursing,” and “Bullying, Harassment, and Horizontal Violence in the Nursing Workforce.” Consider sexual harassment situations most commonly experienced by nurses.
  • Think about a work environment with which you are familiar. Have you witnessed or experienced any behaviors that–perhaps with the benefit of hindsight and increasing awareness–may be construed as sexual harassment, even if you did not think of them that way at the time? Do you recall any instances in which you might have intentionally or unintentionally contributed to or participated in an environment that tolerated harassment against one or more individuals? If so, what were your thoughts and feelings at the time? How, perhaps, has your perspective since shifted?
  • Select one of the following options:
    • Option 1: Conduct research via the Walden Library, or other scholarly sites, to select an article that presents an authentic example of workplace sexual harassment.
    • Option 2: Identify an authentic example of suspected or proven sexual harassment from your professional experience.
  • Conduct research related to your selected example to assess the ramifications that may result from instances of sexual harassment.
  • Consider how you could partner with HR to mitigate situations of sexual harassment in your workplace. In addition, think about specific steps you could take to diminish inappropriate behaviors in the workplace.

To complete

By Day 7

Submit a 3- to 5-page paper in which you do the following:

  • Describe an authentic example of suspected or proven sexual harassment.
    • Explain how this specific instance of sexual harassment impacted the workplace.
    • Identify at least two legal ramifications that could have (or did) result from this situation and how they could (or did) negatively impact the workplace.
    • Briefly explain other ramifications (e.g., organizational culture, staff relationships, individual and team performances, patient safety, quality of care) that could have (or did) result because of this specific instance.
    • Describe the actions that were taken to resolve the situation, if applicable.
  • Formulate an action plan that can be used to mitigate and/or ameliorate behaviors that constitute sexual harassment.
    • Based on your example, explain how you would educate staff on the identification and prevention of inappropriate behaviors. Describe at least two specific steps you would take to diminish similar sexual harassment situations.
    • Describe at least two ways you could partner with HR to effectively accomplish your action plan.

NOTE: For the purposes of this assignment, please do not reveal the name of your workplace or the individuals involved.

Reminder: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at All papers submitted must use this formatting.


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