HRM 300 Week 3 Team Assignment Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review
HRM 300 Week 3 Team Assignment Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review
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Date Created: 11/06/15
Running head: EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 1 Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Rights Review Paper Team B Fundamentals of Human Resource Management HRM 300 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 2 Equal Opportunity Employment Human Resources is an important part of every organization, the department is responsible to ensure that the organization is operating in the most effective and efficient manner. There are many laws and policies in place to protect the organization and in a sense safe guard against incriminating actions. There are several issues that could develop in and organization and without these guidelines, an organization may not be sure that they are handling various situations in the best manner. General Summaries of Chosen Laws The Equal Opportunities Act, in short is in place to guard against discrimination that may stem from various stereo types. This Act allows candidates to have a fair chance at securing a position because they must be judged on things based on the position and not other factors, such as race or religion. The Family Medical leave act allows for a better work life balance for employee’s that are faced with challenging unplanned circumstances. They are afforded a specific amount of time off from work, in order to deal with family issues without the threat of losing their job. The Whistle blower protection act allows employees the opportunity to request investigation for unsafe work environment, without their employment being threatened. Present Day Court Cases of Chosen Laws Laws, statutes, and ordinances are instituted to provide protection. When there are violations, court actions can occur. It is there that the laws are weighed against certain situations to see if true violations have occurred. Diane Sanders is a former employee of the City of Newport. She sued the City after they refused to reinstate her after an approved medical leave EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 3 ("Law Librarian's Society Of Washington, D.C.", 2011). Sanders insists that the Family Medical Leave Act was violated when she was not reinstated and ultimately fired. The City contends they were unable to provide her a safe work environment because Sanders suffers from chemical sensitivity ("Law Librarian's Society Of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The case went to court and initially the jury returned a verdict in favor of the City, citing no violations of FMLA. However, the court found in favor of Sanders. Both parties appealed, a higher court threw out all judgments, and appeals continue ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). Whistleblowing is the act of reporting wrong doings. Although there is not a whistle blowing law, it remains a pertinent HRM issue and can also lead to court cases and can be tied to other Acts or Laws. In the events leading up to Templeton v. First Tennessee Bank, Margaret Templeton reported instances of sexual harassment. She then believes she was retaliated against through being fired. The original District Court dismissed her claims of retaliation ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011) and Templeton appealed the decision through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The District Court dismissed her claims because too much time had passed between the Defendant’s refusal to hire and Templeton’s protected activity ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The United States Court of appeals for the Fourth Circuit, who was hearing this case, upheld part of the District Courts decisions for the reasons, vacated part and gave remand back to the District Court ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The court of appeals agreed to a certain extent that Templeton’s exposure of the sexual harassment may have been a casual link between her and the adverse employee action, but ultimately the decision of the District Court stands ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). There are EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 4 some Acts which are broad in scope and have specific agencies to ensure that violations do not occur. The Equal Employment Act of 1972 is such an Act as it has the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as its watchdog. The EEOC is empowered to sue in federal courts when employment discrimination has occurred because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. An example can be found in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Philip Services Corporation (PSC). In the original court filings, nine employees alleged racial discrimination and their claims were substantiated ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The conciliation process was initiated but eventually PSC withdrew and the EEOC intervened ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The EEOC filed a breach of contract action against PSC who in turn filed a motion to dismiss or a motion for a summary judgment ("Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C.", 2011). The District Court granted the dismissal and the decision was upheld by the United States Court of appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Although court decisions, specifically higher court rulings, carry a massive amount of weight when analyzing the interpretations of these laws, the most tangible results can be found in the everyday implications used by HRM in managing employeremployee relations. HR Implications Within the Chosen Laws HRM has the duty of interpreting these laws and applying them to their individual organizations. Compliance and the methods of compliance can differ from organization to organization; therefore it is imperative that HRM is well versed in the laws and how they apply to their specific organization. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities, by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Human Resource is to ensure that all the EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 5 proper documents are filled out correctly and that the manager has signed and acknowledge the employees (FMLA) request and that the employee has been with the company for at least a year or longer.. The HRM department is involved with the EEOA from the very beginning. It is this department’s duty to ensure that job descriptions, applications, and interviews are without bias and prejudice. Human Resources job is to follow and abide by this law, insure that each person that is interview regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or sex is treated fairly and without any disrespect, and given a fair shot at the job being applied for. Human Resources should also attempt to ensure that every manager also abides by the same laws and regulations for the equal employment opportunity. HRM must foster an environment which fosters honesty and integrity and protects those who speak up when violations occur. By having specific reporting procedures and avenues for an employee to safely report violations, HRM embeds itself in this process of whistle blowing. However, it should be noted that reporting will all depend on the employees level of comfort as to whom they feel comfortable to report the incident to for the entire process to work. HR Compliance Policies The Human Resources community has several laws and issues that they are responsible to ensure that an organization is in compliance. A few of these laws and issues include The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, and the issue of Whistle blowing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) of 1972 was established to encompass the Civil Rights Act that was passed but subject to misinterpretation. “Probably the greatest consequence of the EEOA was the granting of enforcement powers to the Equal Employment EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 6 Opportunity Commission (EEOC)” (Decenzo, 2007, pg. 61). The EEOC prohibits employees to deny employment based on race, religion, color, gender, and ethnicity that are a form of discrimination. WalMart has established an employment practice advisory panel. “The Panel will work with WalMart’s senior management to develop and implement progressive enhancements to equal employment opportunity and diversity initiatives for the nation’s largest private workforce” (WalMart, 2011). WalMart provides an example of how the organization complies with the law and establishes procedures that protect their employees. The Family and Medical leave act of 1993 is designed to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical and family issues. The United States office of personnel management has created several guidelines in regards to this act. Organizations that qualify to authorize this act must have a population of 50 or more individuals. Stipulations of the act are very detailed. An organization must grant an individual 12 weeks of unpaid leave for situations outlined in the federal guidance, granted the employee has submitted the request in the allotted amount of time, has worked with the organization for the prescribed 12 month period consecutively or not. The whistleblower protection program administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a program that protects whistleblowers from retaliation for exercising their right to complain and seek inspection. There are 21 statutes that are enforced by OSHA, one example is the Safe Drinking Water Act. This act requires a recall of drinking water coolers that are contaminated with lead. Any employees that files a complaint against the Safe Drinking Water Act is safe within the parameters of no employee will be discriminated against. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 7 Although there are many laws and policies in place to protect an organization and to protect the employees from discriminatory practices, it is the charge of the Human Resources Department to make sure that these laws and policies are followed. Three of these laws/policies include the Equal Employment Act, The Family Medical Leave Act, and the whistle blower protection. These laws all have provisions to protect the individuals from corporate retribution whether it is discrimination or retaliation. HRM can be viewed as a first line of defense. Through knowledge of the Acts and issues, HRM can make sure procedures are in place to ensure compliance or better yet can make sure procedures are in place to avoid violations. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 8 References Decenzo, D. A., & Robbins, S. P. (2007). Fundamentals of Human Resource Management (9thed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc http://walmartstores.com/pressroom/news/5717.aspx http://www.opm.gov/oca/leave/HTML/fmlaregs.htm Law Librarian's Society of Washington, D.C. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.llsdc.org/eeo/
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