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Review: Diversity in the Workplace, a Case study on Jill by Tony Astro

u09d2 Intervention Strategies After watching the Diversity in the Workplace video, this is how I would  respond to the client, keeping ...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Diversity in the Workplace, a Case study on Jill by Tony Astro

u09d2 Intervention Strategies

After watching the Diversity in the Workplace video, this is how I would  respond to the client, keeping in mind ethical codes for working with clients who are gay.  I also described what resources I might suggest for this client and how I would address the concerns with the rest of the employees.

Case Study: Jill

Knock on door:
  • JILL: Mr. Peterson? Hi.
  • MANAGER: Jill.
  • JILL: Good morning Mr. Peterson.
  • MANAGER: Thank you for coming in.
  • JILL: Well it is always good to see you.
  • MANAGER: Well thank you. You too. You know Jill, in the time you have been with the company, I have not had any problems with your work. Typically, you are well organized and your projects come in on time.
  • JILL: Well thank you Mr. Peterson. I try really hard to be a good employee. I really care about this job. It means a lot to me.
  • MANAGER: However, lately we have noticed that you seem to be a bit distracted and depressed.(Manager's sentence interrupted by Jill’s insertion of an anxious comment.)
  • JILL: Well I...yes, I have been going through a rather hard time these last few weeks. And ah, yeah, so there, it has been a period of time where things have not been as they should be. I agree. As time goes by I am going to get a handle on this.
  • MANAGER: Yes, well I have noticed you have missed your last couple of deadlines the last couple of weeks and that is a concern for our department.
  • JILL: (sighs and looks down.) Well, it is true. I know what you are talking about - the projects. I know exactly what you mean, and you are right. I missed them, um, I put them on my schedule for this week however though Mr. Peterson and I know by the end of the week I will be up to date. Everything will be up to date by the end of the week...(manager interupts Jill).
  • MANAGER: The reason that I called you in here is that I have noticed that your productivity has decreased, and I may need to look at designing and implementing a correction plan for you.
  • JILL: Oh. Oh, Mr. Peterson. (sighs) Well look Mr. Peterson, I totally understand, and I want you to know that I am completely committed to this work, and I will do everything I can to meet whatever you put before me in a performance plan because I really love this job and I need this job to do this (manager interupts Jill).
  • MANAGER: Well, I notice that you been unhappy and distracted and we need to address how this is affecting your work product.
  • JILL: (heavy sigh). Well I have been distracted Mr. Peterson, and I guess I have been unhappy. I have also been afraid.
  • MANAGER: (looks shocked)
  • JILL: There is a co-worker in our department and about, oh, about ten days ago he found out that I am a lesbian. And it has really been ugly. He - at first he just talked to me about it, and humiliated me privately, but then he shared the news with other people and soon I started getting hateful comments and hateful notes from other people and it has escalated and it has gotten worse. And, it is to the point now Mr. Peterson where I really, in the morning I have a hard time even getting out of bed. I have been threatened. There was a threat. It was just a full blown threat Mr. Peterson and I, I have had such a hard time dealing with this on my own. It has affected my work and I do not know what to do. I do not know what to do Mr. Peterson.
  • (Looks to manager for response. Manager does not respond.)
  • MANAGER: Well, Jill, ….



Jill was obviously discriminated and harass in her workplace just by listening to her story.  As the manager in this case – it will not and never be tolerated.  The company maybe subject to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Though Title IX does not directly address discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expectations linked with stereotypes of lesbians and gay men often are related. When gender stereotyping occurs in incidents of discrimination and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual students or students who are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual, Title IX may provide legal grounds for challenging this discrimination (Title IX and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation - Women's Sports Foundation).

The manager must be careful in protecting his company versus Jill.  Jill has all the right to complain and file discrimination based on her ability to continue her work efficiently.  Because she “has been going through a rather hard time these last few weeks” and the manager himself also noticed that Jill was “distracted and depressed”.

The manager must conduct an immediate training by making it mandatory to stop from work and attend a Sexual Orientation training using audio-visual aids, scenario, role-play and having the workers possibly signing a document that they have been trained and will subject for further reprimand if such behavior (discriminating sexual orientation) occurs again.

Times are changing, however, and a growing number of employers are finding themselves responsible for providing a workplace that's free of harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation (Sexual Orientation, 2009).

As much as the manager may not tolerate the harassment and discrimination that Jill experienced, the manager may have morality or prejudice issue with lesbians and so manager maybe partial towards reproving the person who humiliated her privately, then he shared the news with other people and soon because of that Jill started getting hateful comments and hateful notes from other people.

Although polls suggested that the majority of Americans accepted civil rights for gays, those same persons became uneasy with the morality of homosexuality (Malvasi and  Greene, 1990).


Counselor is responsible to assist Jill in giving her the resources and information on her rights as a citizen.  Many states prohibit sexual orientation discrimination and so the state office can give her further legal advice.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have laws that currently prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in private employment: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Some of these states also specifically prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. (In addition, six states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in public workplaces only: Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, and Pennsylvania.) (Sexual Orientation, 2009)

Malvasi, M. and Greene, G. (1990). Homosexuality (1990s). American Decades 1990-1999. Ed. McConnell. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. Naval General Library Program. 31 May. 2009 .


Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace. (2009). Retrieved May 31, 2009, from

 Title IX and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation - Women's Sports Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2009, from


Here are some of my responses from my colleague counselors: 


Toni, Good evening from USS Nimitz.
Jill’s self-esteem has suffered because she “has been going through a rather hard time these last few weeks” and the manager himself also noticed that Jill was “distracted and depressed”.  Your action of sending an email is definitely a start but I would go further than that by actually making a statement through stoppage of work for an hour of mandatory training.  The manager’s role is to put Jill back to a stronger confidence


Women who have not conformed throughout their life to this ideal may have suffered negative consequences, such as being labeled "incompetent," "unusual," or "less than" other employees. These difficulties arise from others being uncomfortable with this "alternative" gender expression, especially because sex role expectations have traditionally been deeply rooted in the majority culture of the United States (Rheineck, 2005).


Everyone must know that this kind of behavior towards co-worker has zero tolerance and the next time it happens, maximum reprimand will take place.  The manager will try to get the reaction from majority through the training because this may have a negative impact towards the morale of the company because many may still be prejudice towards Jill.


It is vital to address such issues as (a) low self-esteem, (b) fear of identity disclosure, (c) career advancement opportunities, (d) feelings of isolation, and (e) various types of harassment. The knowledge gained from this study can provide an impetus for change in how counselors work with diverse clients. The awareness that sexual orientation may have greatly affected the career development, career self-efficacy, and life satisfaction of clients may enable mental health professionals to more fully embrace the process of working with lesbian clients (Rheineck, 2005).


Rheineck, Jane E. (Fall 2005). Career decision self-efficacy of lesbians throughout the life span."Adultspan Journal 4.2 79(13). Academic OneFile. Gale. US Navy General Lib - Bremerton. Retrieved on 2 June 2009 at  .


Cheryl, Good evening from USS Nimitz.

Yes, there should never be a situation where an employee is ostracized in the workplace.  It is all a matter of training our workplace and giving them the right information:  Prejudice is not right and we must not impose our belief towards others.  Teamwork is the essence of a successful workplace and when they are not familiar or have negative information with other lifestyle such as gay and lesbian it must not be tolerated.

Living in communities that routinely discriminate against gay men and lesbian women makes it difficult if not virtually impossible to avoid internalizing negative stereotypes or attitudes about this sexual minority culture. Because misinformation or misunderstanding will quickly be evident to sexual minority clients, and may cause them to seek help elsewhere or not to get help at all, counselors must be familiar with gay and lesbian culture so they are credible and congruent in their attitudes (Pope, 1992, 1995c).


Pope, M. (1992). Bias in the interpretation of psychological tests. In S. Dworkin & F. Gutierrez (Eds.), Counseling gay men & lesbians: Journey to the end of the rainbow, (pp. 277-292). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Pope, M. (1995c). The "salad bowl" is big enough for us all: An argument for the inclusion of lesbians and gays in any definition of multiculturalism. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 301-304.

Article Review: Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients by Hermann and Herlihy

I have reviewed the article by Hermann and Herlihy (2006), and imagine that myself supervising a new counselor. The counselor says that she does not want to work with a client who has just stated he wants to come out to his family. She has stated that she has religious concerns about working with the client ethically.

From a supervisor's role, this is how I would respond to the counselor using ethical and legal guidelines? Use legal guidelines specific to your state or use the court's mandate for Mississippi, which was reviewed in this article.

The principle of beneficence is embodied in counselors’ commitment to keeping client welfare first and foremost (Hermann & Herlihy 2006).

The text clearly depicts that our obligation is the welfare of our clients first and foremost.  Our ethical values or beliefs should not impede our decision of denying or sway our counseling towards the clients based on our personal principles or morals.  This will not only lead to the danger of our client’s safety or welfare but lawsuits and termination of our job as counselors. 

To avoid finding themselves in situations like Bruff’s, these counselors might choose to work in settings that are compatible with their values and advertise these values to potential consumers of counseling services. If it is not possible to work in a compatible setting, these counselors have an ethical duty to avoid harm to clients by ensuring that counselors’ informed consent procedures provide potential clients with adequate information about the counselors’ values (Hermann & Herlihy 2006).

The text is very direct of saying that counseling should not be our profession if we intend to classify our clients based on our moral principles or for example our belief that lesbian is wrong and should not be given the proper counseling.  To the contrary, the more we should counsel our clients and our goal should be to treat everyone with dignity and respect whatever belief system or values they have.

As the supervisor, my role will be to coach everyone about equal handling of client’s issues and never that sexual orientation will be considered unless it is the issue that the client wants counseling on.  My priority is to empower my counselors so that they can empower the clients who need to overcome some of the pervasive coercion of the society.  To be bias with the client is a double jeopardy and the unkindest attitude that a counselor can do to the client.

Applying social empowerment strategies when working with such clientele is one strategy that may prove successful in facilitating the reclamation of individual and community power, self-advocacy, and the ability to rise above those factors inhibiting a person's effort to control her or his life. Overcoming some of the more pervasive societal-level forms of oppression (e.g., heterosexism) poses, perhaps, a more daunting challenge for the lesbian and gay male community but may become more of a realistic possibility when empowerment and demarginalization occurs at the level of the individual (Savage, Harley and Nowak, 2005).


Hermann, M., & Herlihy, B. (2006, Fall2006). Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients. Journal of Counseling & Development, 84(4), 414-418. Retrieved June 1, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.


Savage, T., Harley, D., and Nowak T.(2005). Applying social empowerment strategies as tools for self-advocacy in counseling lesbian and gay male clients" Journal of Counseling and Development 83.2 (Spring 2005): 131(7). Academic OneFile. Gale. US Navy General Lib - Bremerton. 1 June 2009 

Here are the responses I gave to some of my fellow counselors:



Good evening from USS Nimitz.

Yes, it is a double jeopardy like I mentioned from my discussion and like you’ve said: imagine the amount of damage done when the client feels rejected by the one person they felt would be impartial and supportive of them. That is why many of the gay community would rather go to a gay counselor or someone they know for sure values their values.  Community, or collective, empowerment is one way for lesbians and gay males to support and help each other deal with distress politically as a group (R. E. Perkins, 1996).

Perkins, D. D., & Zimmerman, M. A. (1995). Empowerment theory: Research and applications. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 569-579.



Good evening from USS Nimitz.  As graduate students, we learn to open our minds to the difficulties and unkind treatment of societies especially to minorities like the lesbian community.  This field is the beginning of preventing another Bruff issue in the field of counseling.

 Those interventions aimed at counselors themselves or the type of activities used with gay and lesbian career counseling clients must either be learned during graduate school education or through continuing professional development at conferences or workshops. Interventions directed at institutions or programs and at social/community action have implications for school-based career education programs, career planning texts used in colleges and universities, and occupational information (Pope, et. al., 2004)



Pope, M., Barret, B., Szymanski, D.  Chung, B.,  Singaravelu, H., McLean, R. and Sanabria, S. (Dec. 2004). Culturally appropriate career counseling with gay and lesbian clients. Career Development Quarterly 53.2 (Dec 2004): 158(20). Academic OneFile. Gale. US Navy General Lib - Bremerton. 2 June 2009 .

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