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Procedural Justice and Ethics in Employee Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "Procedural Justice and Ethics in Employee Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Procedural Justice and Ethics in Employee Relations

2 Definitions n Employee relations u All practices that implement the philosophy and policy of an organization with respect to employment n Justice u Maintenance or administration of what is just, often by impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or assignment of merited awards or punishment

3 Definitions: Procedural Justice n The fairness of the procedures used to make decisions; should be u Consistent across persons and over time u Free from bias u Based on accurate information u Correctable u Based on prevailing moral and ethical standards

4 Definitions: Due Process n Legal proceedings providing individuals with rights such as u Procedures adhered to u Impartial judges u Representation by counsel u Opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses and evidence u Ability to present proof in own defense u Protection from retaliation n These rights are provided by the constitution, but not by employers unless u Collective bargaining agreement u Legislative protections u Procedures provided by employers

5 Union Grievance Procedures n Expressed in writing n Unresolved grievances proceed to progressively higher and higher levels of management and union representation n Can culminate in voluntary, binding arbitration but most grievances are resolved before arbitration n Costing a grievance u One study found that cost was $590 per grievance u If goes to arbitration, cost to company or union may exceed $5000 each

6 Advantages to Grievance Procedures n Ensures that complaints of workers can be heard and resolved n Ensures due process and procedural justice for all parties n Very efficient and effective in resolving disputes

7 Grievances in Nonunion Companies n Since grievances work well, many nonunion companies use them n Tend to reduce lawsuits n Requirements for effectiveness u All employees must know about the procedure and how it operates u Employees must believe that no reprisals will be taken against them for using the process u Management must respond quickly and thoroughly to all grievances

8 Discipline n Many managers avoid using discipline because u Ignorance of the rules u Fear of formal grievances u Fear of losing employee friendship n Failure to administer discipline appropriately can result in implied acceptance or approval of the offense n Disciplines can be useful: u Can alert marginal employee to improve low performance u May signal other employees regarding appropriate standards u If discipline is perceived as legitimate, may increase motivation, morale and performance

9 Discipline n Progressive disciplines u Oral warning u Written warning u Suspension u Dismissal n Discipline should be u Immediate u With warning u Consistent u Impersonal u Documented

10 Employment at Will n Created when an employee agrees to work for an employer with no specification of how long the parties expect the agreement to last n Exceptions to employment at will include u Federal legislation limited termination based on protected class status u Public policy exception F Employee may not be fired because s/he refuses to commit an illegal act u Implied or explicit promises u Outrageous acts, including character defamation

11 To Avoid Unjust Dismissal Charges n Recruitment practices ensure no implicit or explicit contracts exist n Applications should include a statement that describes the rights of at-will employees and employers n Interviewers should not include phrases like "lifelong employment" n Handbooks and manuals are considered contractual n Performance appraisals should be done objectively

12 Privacy and Ethical Issues n Privacy Act of 1974 provides individuals with privacy rights n Employers should periodically and systematically review record-keeping practices n Managers should u Articulate, communicate and implement fair practices and policies u Limit the amount of information collected u Provide access to employees

13 Safety & Health

14 Workers’ Compensation n Liability without fault principle n Employers contribute to fund to cover accidents u Premiums reflect the accident rate of the employer n Three types of benefits u Replacement of lost wages u Coverage of medical bills u Financial support for retraining

15 OSHA n Covers any business that affects interstate commerce n Every employer has obligation to provide working conditions "free from recognized hazards" and comply with all standards under OSHA n OSHA requires logs of each injury or illness

16 OSHA Enforcement n Inspection priorities: u Imminent danger to health and safety u Investigation of employee complaints u Random inspections n 1100 inspectors, 5 million workplaces n Fines mandatory in cases of severe violations n Organized employees use safe working conditions as walk-out issues

17 Health and Safety Programs n Accidents arise from u Unsafe working conditions u Unsafe work behaviors u Interaction of the two

18 Developing a Safety Program n Safety policy n Loss control program n Safety budget n Safety records n Management's personal concern and good example n High-level safety officer n Reward supervisors on safety performance n Develop safety objectives to gauge performance

19 Safety Committees n Composed of employees and management n Recommend and critique safety policies n Develop safety standards and ensure OSHA compliance n Provide safety training n Conduct safety inspections n Promote the theme of job safety n Feedback and incentives for safety results

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