Legal Compliance and Job Analysis Thesis

Pages: 6 (1953 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

Equal Opportunity Investigation Report

Recently, it has come to my attention that an EEOC complaint has been filed against this firm. The allegations allude to certain human resource policies within the company that may have an adverse impact on certain classes of people that are protected by EEOC laws. First, let me state that it is not the intent of this firm to discriminate or reduce the opportunities for any employee based on their race, creed, national origin or religion. This matter is being taken seriously and a thorough investigation has been performed. The results of this investigation follow.

Job Analysis and Results

It has been suggested that engineering jobs within the company are the key culprits leading to the current complaints. In order to address these issues, a job analysis will be performed of key engineering positions within the company to determine the source of the complaints and to devise remedies to the situation. Job analysis goes beyond a description of the duties and responsibilities of a certain position. Job analysis identifies the competencies and attributes that are directly related to performance on the job. The job analysis procedure represents a systematic approach to problem solving that results in documentation about the content, context, and specific requirements of the position. A clear relationship must be established between the tasks of the job and the competencies required to perform the job.

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Job analysis can be an effective tool in discovering areas where discrimination may occur. It is not expected that the discrimination contained within the complaints represent direct discrimination, as the company has a clear policy against such. However, indirect discrimination may result from unintentional misinterpretation of the job description or of company rules (Palacios, 2006). It is suspected that this may be the case and that a job analysis of engineering jobs within the company may reveal the source of the complaints so that corrective actions can be taken.

Thesis on Legal Compliance and Job Analysis Assignment

Complaints arose from project engineers. The complaint alleged that female and African-American engineers were given menial tasks that went beyond the scope of their job description. They also claimed that they had no opportunity for advancement, as they were not provided opportunities to showcase their talents, or to "prove" themselves. In the formal complaint, it was pointed out that there were no females or African-Americans above entry level project engineer positions, despite the fact that many of them had been with the company for many years. They alleged that outsiders were hired in above them and that they had not been offered opportunities for advancement. One female junior project engineer complained that her superior frequently asked her to get him a cup of coffee and treated her as if she were a secretary rather than an engineer. She did not feel that this was within the scope of the position for which she was hired.

The first task in this investigation is to determine exactly what the junior project engineer position entails within the company. The following states the job description, as it is written in the human resources department protocol.

"The Junior Project Engineer will be responsible for the following duties:

1. Gather Field Data and conduct surveys as required by senior project management.

2. Present data in an appropriate format for analysis by senior project management.

3. Assist with the preparation of technical construction specifications.

4. Assist with coordination activities of the design and construction teams

5. Other duties as assigned."

These are the formal job duties as set forth in company operating procedures. These job activities are directly related to the ability of the firm to deliver their projects to the client. The role of the client is central to the job analysis, in that it helps to determine if the job descriptions is aligned with the goals of the company (Jenkins & Curtin, 2006). However, the complaints alleged that the duties that junior project engineers were being asked to do were not according to the job description. Interviews were conducted among Junior Project Engineers and Senior Project Engineers to determine what, if any extra duties were being assigned to Junior Project Engineers.

The results of the interviews indicated that none of the Senior Project Engineers felt that any assignments were being given to the Junior Project Engineers that was beyond the scope of their job description. There did seem to be some confusion as to what "other duties as assigned" meant. In some cases, the senior engineers felt that there were certain limitations that were implied, but not directly represented in this portion of the job description. Others felt that a more liberal interpretation was in order and that this gave them considerable authority in using junior engineers as they wished. The results of the interviews with senior engineers revealed that the job description may be considered too vague in certain areas and that it provides a considerable amount of liberty in its interpretation.

Interviews with Junior Project Engineers revealed that they have variations in what they expect the job description to mean as well. When asked what duties they were assigned and how often they were assigned these duties, many variations were found there as well. Approximately 90% of the duties assigned to all junior engineers met the descriptions included in the formal job requirements. However, four out of five female junior engineers reported that they felt they had been assigned extra duties that were clearly not in the job description. These duties included filing, straightening the offices of senior management before client meetings, getting coffee for senior management and typing letters that they felt should be the duty of the secretarial staff.

Both women and African-Americans felt that they were not provided the same level of projects that were given to other members of the team. The expressed that they were not challenged by the assignments given. This group of employees uniformly felt that they were not provided the same opportunities for work that would help them to grow professionally, but that these opportunities did exist within the company. Employees of the dominant culture did not express these same opinions. These attitudes may be a result of recent news articles that accuse institutions of higher education of "dumbing down" admissions standards for minorities in order to meet their own EEOC requirements (Tallents, 2003).

The results of the job analysis found that ambiguity in the language of the job description might affect the manner in which it is interpreted. There were clear discrepancies in interpretation of the phrase "other tasks as assigned." The feeling of discrimination in terms of the level of intellect required for the assigned work was universal among minority employees, but none of the other employees was even aware that this situation might exist. These disparities in interpretation of the job description are felt to be the root of the discrimination complaints among employees (Truxillo, Paronto, & Collins et al., 2004). The following will discuss various alternatives that may help to resolve the issues.

Recommendations

Several suggestions may be gleaned from the job analysis that will help to eliminate the current set of complaints and to prevent similar complaints in the future. The first and most obvious suggestion stems from ambiguities in the job description itself. One of the key difficulties in writing a job description in an engineering firm is that the requirements of every project are different. They may require different actions by the players on all levels of the organization. Therefore, it is difficult to write a job description that encompasses all of the duties that may be required of the position. These ambiguities are necessary for the level of flexibility that is needed to meet the requirements of different project specifications.

Although every project will require different needs, there is still a certain amount of uniformity in the job description required. The phrase," other tasks as assigned" was found to be the worst cause of ambiguity and confusion in terms of job duties. Interpretation of this phrase was found to have little uniformity among all levels of associates. It is recommended that this phrase be completely removed from the job description and that it be replaced by specific items. In some cases, interpretation of this phrase overlapped with other job descriptions within the organization. These differences need to be clarified through revision of the job description.

The interviews and reports form junior engineers indicated that certain members of senior staff appear to have negative opinions and retain old stereotypes regarding the roles of women and certain ethnic groups. This opinion was unanimous among women and African-Americans within the organization, but were not expressed at all by majority employees. It is recommended that the first step in alleviating this problem is to counsel senior management regarding these issues. It may be that they are now aware that their actions appear in the manner that they are being interpreted.

Making senior management aware of the problem may be the only remedy that is needed. However, if the problem continues, disciplinary… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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