Marty is an African American nurse who has worked in a major university hospital for over...
Marty is an African American nurse who has worked in a major university hospital for over six years evaluating patients’ rehabilitation needs. She used to have an autonomous job making patient visits in area city hospitals; however, two years ago her role in the hospital changed and she is now working Monday through Friday in an office. Three years ago Marty’s mother was diagnosed with dementia and is now dependent in every aspect of care. In view of the fact that the health of both of Marty’s parents has been declining, she decided to move them into a spare room in her home. She hired caregivers to manage her parents’ needs during the work day, but has no additional help or relief after work hours or on weekends. Marty’s officemates and supervisor have noticed that for well over a year now she has been coming into work late and leaving early every day. While she is “working” at her desk she is seen sleeping and heard snoring loudly by her coworkers multiple times daily. On multiple occasions the other nurses in the office tried to speak with Marty to let her know that she was sleeping and that they were concerned for her health. She stated that she had a sleep study done in the past, was diagnosed with sleep apnea, and has a C-pap machine but doesn’t like to use it. “It makes too much noise.” A couple of the nurses in the office gossip behind Marty’s back stating that they are tired of picking up the slack and doing her job while she is getting paid not to work. The nurses perceive that Marty is lazy and is taking advantage of her personal situation as her mother’s caregiver. “We all have a life, kids, family, and other obligations and I am here doing my job!” In addition to sleeping at work, Marty’s supervisor has had multiple complaints from the hospital case managers asking for another nurse to assist them with discharges and patient placements due to her lack of performance and communication. There are other performance issues, as Marty calls in sick often, with one sick call lasting a week or more. Even though the hospital policy allows for three paid days, when her sister passed, she took off three weeks for bereavement. To make matters worse, when she returned to work she didn’t thank her coworkers for covering her assignment. Six months after her sister passed away, Marty went on disability for over 12 weeks for complaints of back pain only to return to work wearing high heels. And, most recently she was off for four weeks for bunion surgery during the holiday season. Marty’s supervisor has been made aware multiple times that this negative behavior has created a hostile work environment.
1. What are the facts of this case?
2. What is the nature of the organizational behavior problem?
3. Which theory or theories do you believe best explain the behaviors of Marty’s coworkers? Of Marty’s manager?
4. Should Marty be referred to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)? Why or why not?
5. How would you manage Marty’s sleeping on the job if you were her supervisor?
6. What types of ethical issues are identified in this case study?
7. What kind of financial impact do you think the behavior of Marty and her supervisor may have on the hospital?
8. Provide your reflections and personal opinions as well as your recommendations for addressing this problem.