What is the HRM dilemma in this case?.
Case Study 4
You are the human resource manager of a city library. While you have strong, motivated staff, one stands out in particular, Shawn. Shawn is a good employee and very technically skilled. He has been with the library for the past ten years, and during that time, has created and implemented many successful programs. He is well-liked by staff and library patrons, and because of his excellent work ethic, he has been cross-trained across departments. You consider him an invaluable member of the library team. You hope to groom him for leadership roles in the future.
One day, Shawn walks into your office and says he is making some significant life changes and wants to be assured that the workplace will be inclusive and safe for him. Shawn tells you he has been working with a therapist and has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. He informs you that he intends to transition and will be using the name Sheila and female gender pronouns from now on. He also plans to start to dress more feminine and start hormone therapy, which will affect his hair growth and voice. In addition, he asks to be able to use the women’s restroom during and after the transition process. You address Sheila by name, assure her that she has your full support in her transition, and let her know that you are available for any assistance needed. You ask if she was comfortable with the transition plan to the rest of the staff, and Sheila says that she will inform them individually.
The following week, Sheila arrives to work with a more feminine hairstyle, make-up, and clothes. The staff had been informed of the transition process and are supportive. However, you notice some of the regular patrons giving curious glances to Sheila. Librarians use the same bathroom as the public, and soon you begin to receive public complaints about Sheila using the female bathroom. Some patrons state that they do not feel safe with a man in the woman’s restroom. With Sheila’s approval, you decide to post information about the transgender community in the hopes of providing information to the public. However, soon you receive a call from the Mayor’s office stating they have been receiving complaints about the library and that residents feel as if their concerns are being ignored. The Mayor’s office wants to know your plan to address the situation. In your role, you have to balance legal aspects, responsiveness to the public, and supporting your employees by making a safe and inclusive workplace. What is the HRM dilemma in this case? What are some options to address the issue? Choose your top two and explain your choices.
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What is the HRM dilemma in this case?
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