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The Shoe Store Incident

Autor:   •  October 1, 2017  •  1,165 Words (5 Pages)  •  191 Views

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To prevent or avoid discrimination lawsuits, all businesses need a written policy stating the company's stance on discrimination and their prevention techniques. For this company, their policies are clearly defined and cannot be changed or altered in any way. The policies clearly state that two employees will work the store at a time, and they will alternate the front and back positions to allow for fairness of pay for all employees.

Salespeople by nature rely on their ability to persuade the customer to buy the product and to buy more of it. Most salespeople earn commission either as a bonus of pay or as their main earnings. When salespeople are earning commission pay only, they know if they do not make the sale they do not make money. This can lead to some unethical behavior, and put stress on the customer.

In the past, most people did not want to go to a used car dealership because the salespeople were so pushy and seemed to care only about getting you to purchase a car. These salespeople cared only about the money they were going to make from the sale of a car. They would try to convince customers to buy a higher priced car than the customer could afford because that meant more money in the salesperson’s pocket. However, today’s salespeople are more ethical not just in car sales but in every industry. By setting guidelines and communicating them to all employees salespeople have the ability to handle situations concerning pay, fairness, and possible discrimination.

In the instant Imelda made her request for a female employee the manager, Bob, was obligated to ensure the store's policies were maintained to prevent any possible lawsuit. Although the store will lose money if Imelda walks out or buys fewer shoes because Tom helped with her fitting, Bob behaved ethically concerning Tom. In addition, Bob would have prevented any possible gender discrimination lawsuit.


Managers must be aware and have an understanding of the federal and state laws concerning discrimination. Without that knowledge and understanding companies can face unwanted lawsuits. Title VII laws does not allow discrimination against anyone for their gender, male or female. Since the company does not allow commissions to be split Bob could not ask Tom to give up his possible commission from Imelda legally. It is the customer's choice to stay and allow Tom to help her or to leave for a different store or just come back when Mary is working in the front of the store. Although retailers would always like to please customers, they must first do what is legal and ethical to ensure the happiness of their employees. Happy employees make for better business.



Bennett-Alexander, D., & Hartman, P. (2007). Employment Law for Business (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

University of Phoenix. (2015). Week Three Individual Assignment: The Shoe Store Incident. Retrieved from the University of Phoenix online classroom HRM/546.


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