Free Reflections On Resolving Work Conflict Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Conflict, Criminal Justice, Crime, Court, Workplace, Company, Management, Consideration

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/02/26

Conflicts, harassment and bullying represent phenomena, capable of destroying functioning of any organization (Falconer, 2014, p.5). Thus, development of strategies to deal with conflicts at the workplace is a necessary part of managerial activities, aimed at ensuring stability of organizational functioning. For the purposes of this assignment, a well-known employment-related conflict between the Hollister store (Abercrombie&Fitch) and one of the employees will be considered. The official website of the Hollister Store is Hollister Store is an American enterprise owned by Abercrombie&Fitch, focusing on selling clothes for guys and girls. In 2009, Ms. Umme-Hani Khan filed a court claim against Abercrombie&Fitch. The claim stemmed from the workplace conflict, arising from the fact that Ms. Umme-Hani Khan was accused of non-conforming with an employer’s “Look Policy” by wearing a hijab. While Ms. Umme-Hani Khan colour-coordinated her hijab in accordance with the brand’s “Look Policy” on her free will, she was fired in 2010 for her refusal to stop wearing it (United States District Court, 2011)
Despite availability of different types of sources, there is no substance-related difference in the way the case was addressed by official and media sources. However, significant difference may be traced with regard to the style. While official sources, for example, the ones, issued by the District Court of the U.S. address consider the case from the legal viewpoint, media sources tend to provide a summary of these documents and contain public opinion highlights (U.S. District Court, 2011) (Today, 2011).
With regard to the current case, it is important to mention that the management of the Abercrombie&Fitch failed to utilize any conflict negotiation or resolution strategy to deal with the conflict that arose between Ms. Umme-Hani Khan and the company’s “Look Policy” manager (Today, 2011). The issue of wearing or not wearing hijab was not negotiated, and the claimant was fired. Thus, Abercrombie&Fitch did not utilize an opportunity to get a conflict considered in terms of internal conflict negotiations and resolutions procedures. Instead, Ms. Umme-Hani Khan referred the case to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and, then, the case was referred to a court. While there are no specific advantages to be highlighted with respect to such approach of the company, it is evident that such approach is characterized with a range of significant disadvantages.
Firstly, any company’s non-utilization of means to resolve a conflict internally leads to the danger of a case being brought to a court. In case a company fails to negotiate a situation and resolve ca conflict internally, it literally agrees to the case being considered in a court. By-turn, results of a court consideration of a case can hardly be predicted. However, a court consideration of a case is dangerous for a company, because of possible compensation costs and reputation-related issues. Non-addressing conflicts, concerned with discrimination, exercised on different grounds (religious, national, gender etc.) is of particular danger to an organization. Such danger results from significant media interest towards conflicts, directly concerned with human rights. Therefore, when the potential for an emergence of a discrimination-related conflict arises, it is vital for a company to apply all necessary efforts to prevent a case being taken to the court.
The approach of non-dealing with a conflict and creating a basis for the emergence of a court discrimination-related case was highly unsuccessful for a company. This statement can be best of all substantiated by referring to the outcomes of consideration of a case.
In accordance with the official opinion, the case was found to implicate the evaluation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 29 C.F.R. Part l605 that are aimed at prohibiting to discriminate against employees on the grounds of their religion in terms of hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment. Above-mentioned provisions also contain a prohibition of obliging employees to reasonably accommodate their respective religious practices, unless their non-accommodation is likely to create an undue hardship upon the employer’s business.
While the applicant referred to the prohibition, highlighted above, as a basis for the claim, the defendant claimed that Ms. Umme-Hani Khan failed to exhaust administrative remedies and that wearing a hijab by an applicant constituted an undue hardship for the business of the company and, thus, an infringement to the right to the free commercial speech as envisaged by the First Amendment. In a result, the court decided in favour of the arguments, provided by the applicant and dismissed the statements, made by Abercrombie. The company was obliged to pay a compensation of $ 71, 00 to the applicant, and a court affirmed that a company’s application of a dress code (“Look Policy”) cannot serve as an exception to the general ban to discriminate on the grounds of religion.
The result of the court consideration of a case testifies to the fact that a case led not only to reputation-related losses for a company, but explicit financial ones. To avoid massive losses, the management of the company had to negotiate emerging conflict and provide for a way to its resolution. It was also worth to explore the potential court case from a legal viewpoint and try to model possible consequences of a conflict being addressed in court. If such consideration was made, the management would most probably get aware about the human rights-related risk, implied into the case, and refuse from the idea of firing an applicant. At the same time, it was wrong for a company to trust one person to make a decision on firing a claimant under such sensitive circumstances, as presented in the facts of the case. Thus, the “Look Policy” manager had to get a case discussed by the whole of the management of the company, consider possible legal consequences of a case and avoid creating basis for a discrimination-related court conflict. The case at hand represents an example of a danger, manifested by implied discrimination case, emerging from workplace conflicts. Consideration of this example may be helpful for other companies, facing similar issues.
Consideration of the above-mentioned case also allows singling out several important conflict resolutions tips for management. The key to resolving any conflict is communication. Without discussing the appeared conflict in an accurate and timely manner, it is impossible to develop a vision of how the conflict can be addressed. Secondly, it is important for management to get a conflict discussed in a way, preventing appearance of excessive emotions that are likely to drive over decisions. In a hijab-related case, it is likely that the emotions outweighed a rational approach towards a conflict. Then, it is also necessary to realize the degree to which a source of a conflict is important to an employee and a company in general. Sometimes understanding of the minor nature of a conflict’s source may itself serve as a conflict resolution tool. Finally, resolution is, most likely to be found in conflicts, whereby parties have a real desire to get a conflict resolved.


Falconer, H. (2004).IRS managing conflict in the workplace. Amsterdam: Elsevier
Today (2011). Abercrombie’s ‘look policy’ get slammed by a judge over hujab. Retrieved 13 April 2015 from
United States District Court. Northern District of California (2011). EEOC and han v Amercromby. Retrieved 13 April 2015 from

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