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Legal Issues in HR OS352 HRM Fisher Sept. 4, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Issues in HR OS352 HRM Fisher Sept. 4, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Issues in HR OS352 HRM Fisher Sept. 4, 2003

2 Agenda Review key laws affecting HR Why are these laws necessary? Examine safety issues

3 Fairness in the workplace Providing equal employment opportunity is all about fairness Many different ways of thinking about fairness, organizational justice – Equity vs. equality – Distributive vs. procedural – Societal level vs. individual level

4 Discussion questions Why is fairness important in organizations? What is the difference between fair and legal?

5 Types of discrimination Disparate treatment – Exception: BFOQs Disparate impact – Four-fifths rule (will address more when we talk about selection) Reverse discrimination – At issue in University of Michigan case

6 Civil Rights Act (Title VII) Employers may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin Applies to employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor unions

7 Americans with Disabilities Act Protects against discrimination of individuals with disabilities Applies to employers with 15 or more employees Requires “ reasonable accommodation ” Key sticking point has been definition of disability – Toyota v. Williams (2002)

8 Family and Medical Leave Act Provides for 12 weeks unpaid leave for pregnancy, illness, or family illness Employer must provide position of similar responsibility upon return Applies to organizations with 50 or more employees Issues with FMLA?

9 California: First Paid Family Leave Law in the US Family Temporary Disability Insurance (FTDI) Provides 55% of pay for up to six weeks annually Funded by additional payroll taxes Projected benefits – Can actually take leave – Decrease turnover, increase commitment Projected burden to employers – Increased absenteeism – Extends leave laws to smaller businesses

10 Other important legislation Equal Pay Act Age Discrimination Act Pregnancy Discrimination Act Civil Rights Act of 1991

11 EEOC Established by the Civil Rights Act Handles complaints and grievances – Investigates charges – Seeks voluntary resolution – Issues Right-to-Sue or brings suit in federal court Has right to sue in its own name (EEOC v. Waffle House) Remediation options – Monetary damages – Corrective actions (EEOC v. WalMart)

12 Affirmative Action Contractors to the federal government must have AAPs – Utilization analysis – Goals and timetables (but not quotas) – Action steps But, organizations cannot hire on the basis of race, sex, and so on. How can both of these requirements be met?

13 Harassment Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination (EEOC, 1980) – Actions held as condition of employment or that create a hostile or offensive working environment Hard to clearly define – “ reasonable woman ” standard Employer liability – Failure to take corrective action – Failure to have/use reporting procedures – Zero tolerance policy can provide protection

14 Workplace Safety Another important area of federal oversight In which industries do workers have the greatest exposure to unsafe conditions? Which jobs are the least safe?

15 Why should organizations care? OSHA statistics (2001) – 5,900 worker deaths (down 1%) – 5.2 million injuries/illnesses Related to bottom line – productivity, medical and insurance costs Also legal and ethical concerns

16 OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration (DOL) Goal is to ensure safe and healthful workplaces – Prevention through training, inspections – Penalties for violations

17 From a systematic perspective … Why do we need laws about safety? What are the challenges involved in creating a safe workplace?

18 Key learning points?

19 For next class Read and summarize one recent Supreme Court opinion dealing with an HR issue – What were the issues at stake? – Which law was addressed? – What was the outcome? (link is on schedule)

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