On February 2016 a franchisee of Irving Company called Mint Julep Restaurant Operations L.L.C. that is based in Kentucky, Ohio, agreed to pay $450,000 to 15 female employees as settlement for a lawsuit case involving sexual harassment. The restaurant had sued the organization claiming that the managers solicited sexual favors from them. The employees also complained that the managers harassed them and made negative comments after they refused to give them the sexual favors (Greenwald, 2016). The court concluded that the managers violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Discussion and Analysis
The case about sexual harassment described above demonstrates some of the leadership ethics issues faced in organizations. Apart from violating the established legislation, the managers of Mint Julep Restaurant violated ethical standards that are supposed to guide their profession. In fact, the case demonstrates the inability of the managers of the restaurant to overcome or cope with leadership challenges faced by managers. To start with, the managers were unable to cope with the challenge of power. Johnson (2012) explained that in the cases where leaders have more power than their followers, they could be tempted to abuse the followers. The managers of Mint Julep Restaurant took advantage of their power over the female employees to harass them sexually.
The managers in the restaurant portray an example of bad leadership. The managers can be described as evil leaders. As Johnson (2012) explained, evil leaders use their power to commit atrocities or to oppress their followers as noted in the case of Mint Julep Restaurant. Also, the managers in the restaurant are examples of toxic leaders. Toxic leaders have dysfunctional characteristics such as lack of integrity, recklessness, and arrogance (Johnson, 2012). To some extent, the behaviors of the managers portrayed an example of destructive leadership. Destructive leaders have adverse impacts on organizations, and in extreme cases, they can lead to the closure of their organizations (Johnson, 2012).
The case of Mint Julep Restaurant also demonstrates some of the ethical challenges of follower-ship faced by employees in organizations. For instance, the female employees that were harassed faced the ethical challenge of obedience. Obedience in such context involves following directives and orders given by the leaders or managers (Johnson, 2012). After the sexual harassment, the employees had to determine whether or not to continue being obedient to the managers. Also, the employees faced the challenge of meeting the moral demands of followership. Overcoming unhealthy motivations is a good example of the moral demands that the employees strived to meet (Johnson, 2012). They strive to resist the managers that sought for sexual favors.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The leadership challenges faced by managers at Mint Julep Restaurant are common in most organizations. Inability to overcome them can lead employee dissatisfaction or trigger a negative reaction that can have a dire impact on an organization, as demonstrated in the case of Mint Julep Restaurant. Thus, it is essential for the managers in the organization to consider changing their leadership styles and establish ways of coping with leadership challenges. They should strive to cope with leadership challenges that can cause harm. They should also try to adopt leadership styles that enhance the ability to cope with most leadership challenges, such as transformation and servant leadership styles (Johnson, 2012). The employees should also play their part in coping with follower ship challenges.
- Greenwald, J. (2016, February 22). “Restaurant to pay $450,000 in sexual harassment case.”
- Business Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20160222/NEWS06/160229979
- Johnson, C. E. (2012). Organizational Ethics: A Practical Approach. SAGE Publications.