Analyzing Plan for Legal and Ethical Issues … Term Paper
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¶ … pressure groups and consumers appear to have been placing demands on firms to look for more ecological and ethical means of conducting business. The media too appears to be focusing on abuses and malpractices in the corporate sector. The firms themselves seem to be more aware of the fact that being ethical or creating a perception of being ethical may be crucial for business.
According to research, minor differences in treatment can accumulate and lead to major disparities over a certain period of time. It is very crucial for managers to ensure that differences among people, for instance in race and ethnicity should not account for differences in treatment. Managers should be able to understand the beliefs and limitations of partners. They should not force partners to partake in activities or speak in a way that is contrary to their values. Creating such an environment would create a relationship that is more personal but respectful between the manager and the partner. To build such a relationship, several strategies that can be used have been discussed (Morais et al., 2014, p. 41).
Key Legal Issues Pertaining to the U.S. Employees
Wages and Hours
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) formulates standards that should be followed in the payment wages and overtime. This affects affect most public and private employment. It is the role of the Wage and Hour Division to administer this act. Covered employees have to be paid the minimum wage and overtime pay stated by the federal law. This is usually one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay. For operations that are non-agricultural, the Act restricts the hours that children under age 16 are allowed to work. It also prohibits employers from employing children who are not above 18 years in jobs that are considered to be too dangerous (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
Workplace Health and Safety
OSHA (also known as "Occupational Safety and Health Administration") or is approved state programs covers public sector companies as well as regulates the health and safety of employees in most private industries. Employers who fall under the OSHA Act have to follow the laws and the health and safety benchmarks set by OSHA. The OSHA Act also requires employers to provide hazard-free work and workplaces (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
EEOICPA (also known as, "The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act") happens to be a reimbursement program, which offers total funds of $150,000 along with medical remunerations to workforce of the Energy Department and the contractors as well. This is because such workers are exposed to threat of cancer that occurs due to radiation exposure. Other illnesses that are a result of being exposed to silica or beryllium incurred while employees are performing their duties are also covered. A $50,000 payment and medical benefits is given to individuals who the Justice Department determines to be qualified for amenities as uranium workforce in section 5 of RECA (or "Radiation Exposure Compensation Act") (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
Employee Benefit Security
Employers who offer welfare benefits or pension to their employees are managed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), formerly known as Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, administers title I of ERISA and sets a variety of disclosure, reporting and fiduciary requirements to be followed by the trustees of plans about pension and welfare benefits as well as others who are connected to this process (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
Union and Their Members
Commonly known as the Landrum-Griffin Act, the Labor-Management Reporting, and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) created in 1959 focuses on how a union relates with its members. It protects the funds of the union and advocates for democracy in the union. Labor organizations are required to file financial reports every year while the union officials, labor consultants are required to file reports addressing specific labor relations practices. It also establishes standards for the process of electing the officials of the union (United States Department of Labor, n.d.).
Legal Issues that Differ Based on Employee Location (Comparison to both Europe and Asia)
Europe's legal labor law issues are similar to those of the United States such as laws regarding hiring, family leaves, working time, agency workers, European work councils and many others. However, there are notable differences; for example, in laws regarding discrimination, severance, business transfers, informing, consulting, and dismissal, since there is no mention of them in the labor laws of the United States (Bevitt & Stakim, 2012).
According to an interesting characteristic of the labor law in most of East Asian nations, there has been estrangement between the extensive dimensions of the labor market of regulation and policymaking and the formal 'traditional' employee protection model. It can be argued that the lack of collective bargaining and control from one main organization for trade unions in East Asia has inevitably drawn attention to wider labor market views of the role and policies of the state (Cooney et al., 2003, p. 1970).
Key Ethical Issues Pertaining to U.S. Employees
The main source of dilemma in regard to the relation with employees working in international businesses includes factors like, whether the organization's application of different personnel policies in regard to employment, remuneration and promotion of employees on the various markets in which it acts is ethical (Gangone, 2010, p. 192)
Treat All Employees Equally and Fairly
Equal opportunity laws in the U.S. prohibit "covered" employers from making decisions on hiring based on personal bias for a particular population- for example race, gender, age, religion, genetic information, disability or any other group of people protected by the law (Beesley, 2013).
Keep Good Records
In a business, good record keeping is important and can be helpful in protecting an employer if an employee raises a complaint or a lawsuit. It is therefore necessary to record and document everything- from disciplinary action (performance improvement plans, warning notices etc.) to performance reviews to 360 feedback extracted from colleagues regarding a candidate for a job and any other information that is relevant (Beesley, 2013).
Develop an Employee Handbook
Creating an employee handbook as well as code of conduct is important in business relations since it ensures informing new employees of your corporate procedures and policies and also their rights as employees (Beesley, 2013).
Communicate any Policy Changes
Small businesses that have a certain number of workers are exempted from specific labor requirements most of the time. However, compliance obligations change as the business grows or employs more people (Beesley, 2013).
Ethical Issues that Differ Based on Employee Location (Comparison to both Europe and Asia)
Equal treatment of employees without any form of discrimination; age, race, gender, religion, physical disability, and marital status is an ethical practice addressed Europe too. Equality laws regarding buying and renting property, employment, education, use of public services and work are followed in Europe as well (Business Balls, n.d.).
The region of Asia and the Pacific still experiences inequality that was there traditionally and discrimination based on ethnic background, gender and other factors. New forms of discrimination have been on the rise due to economic openness, increased movement of people and structural economic reforms (International Labor Office, n.d.).
Strategic policies to manage the selected legal and ethical issues
Human Relations experts assist in creating awareness on of the expectations from employees. This is through the creation of written standards of workplace conduct and ethics, training and equipping the managers to support the values of the organization in their activities. Additionally, the company assesses its employees to test their if they understand what is expected from them. In most companies, ethics and other related values are included in the performance reviews of employees. In others, turnover and complaints are monitored to see if there is deterioration in cultural policies (Meinert, 2014).
Beesley, C. (2013, July 24). How to be an ethical, fair and lawful manager of employees (while protecting your interests). Small Business Administration. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/blogs/how-be-ethical-fair-and-lawful-manager-employees-while- protecting-your-interests
Bevitt, A. & Stakim, C. (2012). Employment law commentary. Morrison and Foerster Monthly News, 24. Retrieved from http://media.mofo.com/files/Uploads/Images/121129- Employment-Law-Commentary.pdf
Business Balls. (n.d.). Equality: Summary of law (UK/Europe). Retrieved from http://www.businessballs.com/equality.htm
Cooney, S., Lindsey, T., Mitchell, R. & Ying, Z. (2003). Law and labor market regulation in East Asia. UK: Routledge.
Gangone, A. (2010). Ethical issues in international business. The Annals of The"?tefan cel Mare" University of Suceava Fascicle of the Faculty of Economics and Public Administration, 10. Retrieved from http://www.seap.usv.ro/annals/ojs/index.php/annals/article/viewFile/335/345
International Labor Office. (n.d.). Discrimination at work in Asia. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_norm/@declaration/documents/publicati on/wcms_decl_fs_89_en.pdf
Meinert, D. (2014, January 4). Creating an ethical workplace. Society for Human Resource Management, 59. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/publications/hrmagazine/editorialcontent/2014/0414/pages/0414- ethical-workplace-culture.aspx
Morais, U.P., Pena, J., Shacket, K., Sintilus, L., Ruiz, R., Rivera, Y. & Mujtaba, B.G. (2014). Managing diverse employees at Starbucks: Focusing on ethics and inclusion. International Journal of Learning and Development, 4(3). Doi:10.5296/ijld.v4i3.5994
United States Department of Labor. (n.d.). Summary of major laws of department of labor. Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/majorlaws [END OF PREVIEW]
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