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Introduction to Business

8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations

Introduction to Business8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Understanding Economic Systems and Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Business
    3. 1.2 Understanding the Business Environment
    4. 1.3 How Business and Economics Work
    5. 1.4 Macroeconomics: The Big Picture
    6. 1.5 Achieving Macroeconomic Goals
    7. 1.6 Microeconomics: Zeroing in on Businesses and Consumers
    8. 1.7 Competing in a Free Market
    9. 1.8 Trends in the Business Environment and Competition
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  3. 2 Making Ethical Decisions and Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Understanding Business Ethics
    3. 2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct
    4. 2.3 Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    5. 2.4 Responsibilities to Stakeholders
    6. 2.5 Trends in Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    10. Ethics Activity
    11. Working the Net
    12. Critical Thinking Case
    13. Hot Links Address Book
  4. 3 Competing in the Global Marketplace
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Global Trade in the United States
    3. 3.2 Why Nations Trade
    4. 3.3 Barriers to Trade
    5. 3.4 Fostering Global Trade
    6. 3.5 International Economic Communities
    7. 3.6 Participating in the Global Marketplace
    8. 3.7 Threats and Opportunities in the Global Marketplace
    9. 3.8 The Impact of Multinational Corporations
    10. 3.9 Trends in Global Competition
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    14. Ethics Activity
    15. Working the Net
    16. Critical Thinking Case
    17. Hot Links Address Book
  5. 4 Forms of Business Ownership
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Going It Alone: Sole Proprietorships
    3. 4.2 Partnerships: Sharing the Load
    4. 4.3 Corporations: Limiting Your Liability
    5. 4.4 Specialized Forms of Business Organization
    6. 4.5 Franchising: A Popular Trend
    7. 4.6 Mergers and Acquisitions
    8. 4.7 Trends in Business Ownership
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    12. Ethics Activity
    13. Working the Net
    14. Critical Thinking Case
    15. Hot Links Address Book
  6. 5 Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing Your Own Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Entrepreneurship Today
    3. 5.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth
    5. 5.4 Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business
    6. 5.5 Managing a Small Business
    7. 5.6 Small Business, Large Impact
    8. 5.7 The Small Business Administration
    9. 5.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  7. 6 Management and Leadership in Today's Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Role of Management
    3. 6.2 Planning
    4. 6.3 Organizing
    5. 6.4 Leading, Guiding, and Motivating Others
    6. 6.5 Controlling
    7. 6.6 Managerial Roles
    8. 6.7 Managerial Skills
    9. 6.8 Trends in Management and Leadership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  8. 7 Designing Organizational Structures
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Building Organizational Structures
    3. 7.2 Contemporary Structures
    4. 7.3 Using Teams to Enhance Motivation and Performance
    5. 7.4 Authority—Establishing Organizational Relationships
    6. 7.5 Degree of Centralization
    7. 7.6 Organizational Design Considerations
    8. 7.7 The Informal Organization
    9. 7.8 Trends in Organizational Structure
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  9. 8 Managing Human Resources and Labor Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Achieving High Performance through Human Resources Management
    3. 8.2 Employee Recruitment
    4. 8.3 Employee Selection
    5. 8.4 Employee Training and Development
    6. 8.5 Performance Planning and Evaluation
    7. 8.6 Employee Compensation and Benefits
    8. 8.7 The Labor Relations Process
    9. 8.8 Managing Grievances and Conflicts
    10. 8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations
    11. 8.10 Trends in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  10. 9 Motivating Employees
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Early Theories of Motivation
    3. 9.2 The Hawthorne Studies
    4. 9.3 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    5. 9.4 McGregor's Theories X and Y
    6. 9.5 Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory
    7. 9.6 Contemporary Views on Motivation
    8. 9.7 From Motivation Theory to Application
    9. 9.8 Trends in Employee Motivation
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  11. 10 Achieving World-Class Operations Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Production and Operations Management—An Overview
    3. 10.2 The Production Process: How Do We Make It?
    4. 10.3 Location, Location, Location: Where Do We Make It?
    5. 10.4 Pulling It Together: Resource Planning
    6. 10.5 Production and Operations Control
    7. 10.6 Looking for a Better Way: Improving Production and Operations
    8. 10.7 Transforming the Factory Floor with Technology
    9. 10.8 Trends in Production and Operations Management
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  12. 11 Creating Products and Pricing Strategies to Meet Customers' Needs
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Marketing Concept
    3. 11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy
    4. 11.3 Developing a Marketing Mix
    5. 11.4 Buyer Behavior
    6. 11.5 Market Segmentation
    7. 11.6 What Is a Product?
    8. 11.7 Creating Products That Deliver Value
    9. 11.8 The Product Life Cycle
    10. 11.9 Pricing Strategies and Future Trends
    11. 11.10 Trends in Developing Products and Pricing
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  13. 12 Distributing and Promoting Products and Services
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 The Nature and Functions of Distribution (Place)
    3. 12.2 Wholesaling
    4. 12.3 The Competitive World of Retailing
    5. 12.4 Using Supply Chain Management to Increase Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
    6. 12.5 Promotion Strategy
    7. 12.6 The Huge Impact of Advertising
    8. 12.7 The Importance of Personal Selling
    9. 12.8 Sales Promotion
    10. 12.9 Public Relations Helps Build Goodwill
    11. 12.10 Trends in Social Media
    12. 12.11 Trends in E-Commerce
    13. Key Terms
    14. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    15. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    16. Ethics Activity
    17. Working the Net
    18. Critical Thinking Case
    19. Hot Links Address Book
  14. 13 Using Technology to Manage Information
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Transforming Businesses through Information
    3. 13.2 Linking Up: Computer Networks
    4. 13.3 Management Information Systems
    5. 13.4 Technology Management and Planning
    6. 13.5 Protecting Computers and Information
    7. 13.6 Trends in Information Technology
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  15. 14 Using Financial Information and Accounting
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Accounting: More than Numbers
    3. 14.2 The Accounting Profession
    4. 14.3 Basic Accounting Procedures
    5. 14.4 The Balance Sheet
    6. 14.5 The Income Statement
    7. 14.6 The Statement of Cash Flows
    8. 14.7 Analyzing Financial Statements
    9. 14.8 Trends in Accounting
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  16. 15 Understanding Money and Financial Institutions
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Show Me the Money
    3. 15.2 The Federal Reserve System
    4. 15.3 U.S. Financial Institutions
    5. 15.4 Insuring Bank Deposits
    6. 15.5 International Banking
    7. 15.6 Trends in Financial Institutions
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  17. 16 Understanding Financial Management and Securities Markets
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 The Role of Finance and the Financial Manager
    3. 16.2 How Organizations Use Funds
    4. 16.3 Obtaining Short-Term Financing
    5. 16.4 Raising Long-Term Financing
    6. 16.5 Equity Financing
    7. 16.6 Securities Markets
    8. 16.7 Buying and Selling at Securities Exchanges
    9. 16.8 Trends in Financial Management and Securities Markets
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  18. 17 Your Career in Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Learn the Basics of Business
    3. 17.2 Developing Interpersonal Skills Is Key to Your Success
    4. 17.3 Make Your Future Happen: Learn to Plan
    5. 17.4 Going to College Is an Opportunity of a Lifetime—Never Drop Out
    6. 17.5 Get Your Career Off on the Right Track
    7. 17.6 Self-Test Scoring Guidelines
  19. A | Understanding the Legal and Tax Environment
  20. Index
  21. References
  1. What are the key laws and federal agencies affecting human resource management and labor relations?

Federal laws help ensure that job applicants and employees are treated fairly and not discriminated against. Hiring, training, and job placement must be unbiased. Promotion and compensation decisions must be based on performance. These laws help all Americans who have talent, training, and the desire to get ahead. The key laws that currently impact human resource management and labor relations are listed in Table 8.6.

Several laws govern wages, pensions, and unemployment compensation. For instance, the Fair Labor Standards Act sets the federal minimum wage, which is periodically raised by Congress. Many minimum-wage jobs are found in service firms, such as fast-food chains and retail stores. The Pension Reform Act protects the retirement income of employees and retirees. Federal tax laws also affect compensation, including employee profit-sharing and stock purchase plans. When John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law in 1963, the goal was to stop the practice of paying women lower wages for the same job based on their gender. At the time, women with full-time jobs earned between 59 and 64 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned in the same jobs. Although this law has been in place for several decades, progress has been slow. On April 17, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed National Equal Pay Day, noting that women who work full time earn only 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. In 2016, the wage gap changed slightly, with women making 80.5 percent of what men earn.17

Laws Impacting Human Resource Management
Law Purpose Agency of Enforcement
Social Security Act (1935) Provides for retirement income and old-age health care Social Security Administration
Wagner Act (1935) Gives workers the right to unionize and prohibits employer unfair labor practices National Labor Relations Board
Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) Sets minimum wage, restricts child labor, sets overtime pay Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor
Taft-Hartley Act (1947) Obligates the union to bargain in good faith and prohibits union unfair labor practices Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Equal Pay Act (1963) Eliminates pay differentials based on gender Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Civil Rights Act (1964), Title VII Prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Age Discrimination Act (1967) Prohibits age discrimination against those over 40 years of age Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Occupational Safety and Health Act (1970) Protects worker health and safety, provides for hazard-free workplace Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Act (1974) Requires affirmative employment of Vietnam War veterans Veterans Employment Service, Department of Labor
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (1974)—also called Pension Reform Act Establishes minimum requirements for private pension plans Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978) Treats pregnancy as a disability, prevents employment discrimination based on pregnancy Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Immigration Reform and Control Act (1986) Verifies employment eligibility, prevents employment of illegal aliens Employment Verification Systems, Immigration and Naturalization Service
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) Prohibits employment discrimination based on mental or physical disabilities Department of Labor
Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) Requires employers to provide unpaid leave for childbirth, adoption, or illness Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Table 8.6

Employers must also be aware of changes to laws concerning employee safety, health, and privacy. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires employers to provide a workplace free of health and safety hazards. For instance, manufacturers must require their employees working on loading docks to wear steel-toed shoes so their feet won’t be injured if materials are dropped. Drug and AIDS testing are also governed by federal laws.

Another employee law that continues to affect the workplace is the Americans with Disabilities Act. To be considered disabled, a person must have a physical or mental impairment that greatly limits one or more major life activities. More than 40 million Americans, 12.6 percent of the population, were disabled in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.18 Employers may not discriminate against disabled persons. They must make “reasonable accommodations” so that qualified employees can perform the job, unless doing so would cause “undue hardship” for the business. Altering work schedules, modifying equipment so a wheelchair-bound person can use it, and making buildings accessible by ramps and elevators are considered reasonable. Two companies often praised for their efforts to hire the disabled are McDonald’s and DuPont.

The Family and Medical Leave Act went into effect in 1993. The law guarantees continuation of paid health benefits, plus a return to the same or equivalent job, and applies to employers with 50 or more employees. It requires these employers to provide unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks during any 12-month period to workers who have been employed for at least a year and worked at least 1,250 hours during the past year. The reasons for the leave include the birth or adoption of a child; the serious illness of a child, spouse, or parent; or a serious illness that prevents the worker from doing the job.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 percent of all private industry workers have access to paid family leave. Low-wage earners fare even worse. Only 5 percent of low-wage earners get any paid maternity leave, and nearly half will not take time off because they cannot afford to go without income. The United States continues to be one of only four countries in the world (along with Liberia, Suriname, and Papua New Guinea) that do not guarantee paid parental leave.19

The Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts govern the relationship between an employer and union. Employees have the right to unionize and bargain collectively with the company. The employer must deal with the union fairly, bargain in good faith, and not discriminate against an employee who belongs to the union. The union must also represent all employees covered by a labor agreement fairly and deal with the employer in good faith.

Several federal agencies oversee employment, safety, compensation, and related areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets workplace safety and health standards, provides safety training, and inspects places of work (assembly plants, construction sites, and warehouse facilities, for example) to determine employer compliance with safety regulations.

A painting depicts three eras of coal mining. The first appears to be 100 plus years ago, and children are in the mine alongside men. In the era are men with headlamps and pitchforks. In what appears to be the most recent era there are men standing in a mine that appears to be more sturdily built.
Exhibit 8.14 For some occupations, danger is part of the job description. Tallies of work-related casualties routinely identify miners, loggers, pilots, commercial fishermen, and steel workers as holding the most deadly jobs. Job fatalities are often linked to the use of heavy or outdated equipment. However, many work-related deaths also happen in common highway accidents or as homicides. Pictured here are miners at the Coal Miner’s Memorial and Pennsylvania Welcome Center. What laws and agencies are designated to improve occupational safety? (Credit: Mike Steele/ Flickr/ Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

The Wage and Hour division of the Department of Labor enforces the federal minimum-wage law and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers covered by this law must pay certain employees a premium rate of pay (or time and one-half) for all hours worked beyond 40 in one week.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It is one of the most influential agencies responsible for enforcing employment laws. The EEOC has three basic functions: processing discrimination complaints, issuing written regulations, and gathering and disseminating information. An employment discrimination complaint can be filed by an individual or a group of employees who work for a company. The group may comprise a protected class, such as women, African Americans, or Hispanic Americans. The protected group may pursue a class-action complaint that may eventually become a lawsuit. As a measure to prevent employment discrimination, many employers set up affirmative action programs to expand job opportunities for women and minorities

Even with affirmative action and other company efforts to follow the law, each year the EEOC receives tens of thousands of complaints from current or former employees. The monetary benefits that the EEOC wins for employees has grown substantially during the past 10 years. Large monetary settlements often occur when the EEOC files a class-action suit against an employer. For example, the Ford Motor Company settled sexual and racial harassment claims by more than 30 women for more than $10 million at two Chicago-area manufacturing plants in 2017.20 Also, Sears, Motorola, and AT&T have had to make large back-pay awards and to offer special training to minority employees after the court found they had been discriminated against.

The NLRB was established to enforce the Wagner Act. Its five members are appointed by the president; the agency’s main office is in Washington, DC, and regional and field offices are scattered throughout the United States. NLRB field agents investigate charges of employer and union wrongdoing (or unfair labor practices) and supervise elections held to decide union representation. Judges conduct hearings to determine whether employers and unions have violated the law.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service helps unions and employers negotiate labor agreements. Agency specialists, who serve as impartial third parties between the union and company, use two processes: conciliation and mediation, both of which require expert communication and persuasion. In conciliation, the specialist assists management and the union with focusing on the issues in dispute and acts as a go-between, or communication channel through which the union and employer send messages to and share information with each other. The specialist takes a stronger role in mediation by suggesting compromises to the disputing organizations.

Concept Check

  1. Discuss the laws that govern wages, pensions, and employee compensation.
  2. Describe the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  3. How do the Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts impact labor-management relations?
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