Business Finance
Legal aspects of staffing

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Attached is the discussion instructions as well as the required reading material (chapter 4). Please read the instructions thoroughly and respond to the question.

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Select one of the laws listed below and explain how it has changed the staffing process. Laws to choose from in answering the discussion question: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. employment-at-will Fair Labor Standards Act The Civil Rights Act of 1964 EEOC Regulations concerning sexual harassment Age Discrimination in Employment Act Americans with Disabilities Act Family and Medical Leave Act Select one governmental activity from the list below and explain how it influences staffing. Governmental activities to choose from in answering the discussion question: 1. 2. 3. 4. Social Security premiums Social Security disability insurance Unemployment insurance Federal income tax Guided Response: Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. 4 The Staffing Function Shekhardino/iStock/Thinkstock Learning Objectives After completing this chapter, you should be able to: • • • • View staffing as an organization-wide activity taking place in a complex legal environment. Design jobs and plan for future human resource requirements. Conduct employee placement in a manner that leads to quality hires. Maintain an effective work force through compensation policies and other staffing activities. • Explain how staffing is related to building careers and working with unions. Introduction Chapter 4   4.1 Introduction In Chapter 1, we defined management as the process that consists of a collection of techniques used to lead the human resources in an organization to become productive. Notice that a key element of that definition is the human resource component. The people who work in an organization are its most valuable resource, because they convert raw materials into finished products and services, which help generate profits for the business. People also design products and make decisions about when and how products and services are distributed to maximize organizational effectiveness. People are often the most valuable asset of the organization. At the same time, people can be the most expensive part of running a business and often pose the greatest challenges to effective management (Mathis & Jackson, 1997). MANAGEMENT IN PR AC TICE—Strategic Staffing Shoe stores lose one out of every three sales because the customer’s size is not in stock. This factor explains some of the success and growth of online shoe sales. The online shoe market share has reached over $3 billion., which is an adaptation of the Spanish word for “shoe,” has captured a 20% share of the overall shoe market. The organization has moved into sales of various products beyond footwear, increasing sales and market awareness. New product lines include clothing, electronics, and accessories. Nick Swinmurn founded in 1999 after spending a day walking in a mall looking for a pair of shoes and being unable to find the pair he wanted. His first business concept was to create an inventory so large that the odds of the customer finding exactly the right pair would be very high. now maintains more than 4 million pairs of shoes in its inventory. The Zappos. com business model dictates that key customer contacts are made via the phone center. If a customer cannot locate the exact pair of shoes he or she wants, the center’s service representative will direct the person to two or three other companies that might have the item. Each phone operator is required to exhibit a consistently friendly, upbeat, and helpful demeanor. represents a prime example of a company that effectively completes the staffing function. The overall mission for the organization combines employee satisfaction with customer satisfaction. The quality of the company’s service begins with the company’s culture. The company’s recruiting and selection processes reflect a commitment to the overall mission. Employees are carefully selected, and only those who show positive, customeroriented attitudes are chosen. New employees are required to enroll in a four-week training session that prepares them to work in the call center. During the training, company Fuse/Thinkstock ▲▲An effective organization combines employee satisfaction with customer satisfaction. (continued) Introduction Chapter 4 CEO Tony Hsieh personally offers to “buy out” the trainees with a cash payment (up to $2,000) that allows each person to quit the company with money in his or her pocket. Those who remain consistently remind other employees of the importance of excellent customer service. Many are placed in non-phone-related jobs such as order fulfillment, inventory control, or finance. The training process ends with a graduation ceremony during which graduates recite the 10 core values, which include phrases such as “Deliver WOW,” “Create fun,” “A little weirdness,” “Pursue growth,” “Be passionate,” and “Be humble.” The employee environment reflects the company’s culture. Employees can personalize their cubicles. An abundance of free food is available every day. Employees are encouraged to be spontaneous, energetic, and have fun. In contrast to the free-flowing and short-lived dot-coms of the 1990s, employees are well trained, and they are constantly reminded that the customer is their top priority. Meeting customer needs is also part of the company’s compensation system. Employees who stay with receive excellent compensation, full health insurance, and dental benefits. Why doesn’t the company relocate the call center to somewhere cheaper? “We don’t think you’re going to give great customer service by outsourcing it,” Tony Hsieh calmly states. Hsieh, who already made a fortune with another Internet company, receives compensation from of about $36,000 per year. He works in a small cubicle at the center of the plant. Most of sales come from online purchases. Each order is shipped at no cost to the customer, who also can return it at no cost if necessary. Customers receive their purchase within just a few days of placing their order. Shoes that do not fit can be returned for full credit up to one year after the original purchase date. Why don’t other companies follow this business model, including the staffing system? Tony Hsieh speculates that it’s because “You don’t really see the payoff right away.” Building a company in this way takes time. On the other hand, 75% of Zappos’ business comes from repeat customers. Most would agree that fulfills its mission: To Live and Deliver WOW (Clow & Baack, 2010, p. 255; Durst, 2007; ABC News Nightline, 2008). Discussion Questions 1. How has managed to capture 20% of the overall shoe market? 2. In what way does the mission contribute to its success? 3. How does CEO Tony Hsieh’s staffing function model differ from those used by other companies? The Nature of Staffing Staffing is the achievement of organizational goals through the effective and efficient deployment of people. Staffing deals with people as a resource in the organization. It is more than a department called human resources. The typical human resources department deals with the design of formal systems to assist and support managers in the staffing function. But staffing is a distributed function of management itself. All managers are responsible for staffing within the organization and not just in one department. No matter what process the organization uses, managers make hiring and termination decisions, conduct training or supervise it, evaluate worker performance, assess worker suitability for advancement, discipline workers when necessary, and prepare the annual labor budget. In almost all cases, the organization has a manager who is responsible for maximizing the worker’s efficiency and achieving the highest grade of work output the worker is capable of (Taylor, 1911). This is the essence of the staffing function. Introduction Chapter 4 Strategic Human Resource Management The organization’s strategic plan establishes the foundation of staffing. People are the most critical asset in building and maintaining organizational capability. In principle, “Building organizational capability requires very specific talent or competencies” (Christensen, 1997). Staffing the organization must be viewed by managers “in the same context as financial, technological, and other resources that are managed in organizations” (Mathis & Jackson, 1997, p. 199). To do otherwise does not appropriately align organizational resources to meet future operational demands. Strategic human resource management (SHRM) may be defined as a process in which all staffing activities are fully integrated into a program designed to help the overall organization achieve its strategic objectives. This perspective suggests that the human resources department should contribute to every aspect of a company’s operations and lead to a higher level of competitive advantage within the industry or environment. The “strategic best-fit” perspective regarding SHRM suggests that the human resources department should seek to match each specific function or activity with the firm’s overall business strategy. A “configurational” approach to SHRM argues that “bundles” of HR practices should be managed collectively to improve business performance. Such bundles must be designed to fit various industries and specific business conditions. The “resource-based” perspective argues that the focus of SHRM should be to acquire, train, use, and retain the most competent employees, thereby helping the organization to achieve (Fisher, Schoenfeldt, & Shaw, 2006). What sets SHRM apart from earlier, more traditional, views of staffing is the long-term, strategic perspective. It suggests that human resources departments play vital roles in every aspect of a firm’s operations rather than simply performing a set of rote functions, such as recruiting, selection, training, and collecting and maintaining employee records. A strategic human resource manager is charged with monitoring the external environment and developing strategies and tactics that mesh internal operations with the demands and contingencies of that external environment. At the same time, the human resources department still is expected to carry out its basic functions and activities. Thus SHRM contains practical, hands-on elements as well as more general theoretical and integrated views of the company. Staffing Functions As just noted, human resource management continues to carry out basic organizational functions; at the very least, they engage in the following major activities or functions: • • • • • • • • • • • • job design human resource planning recruiting selection orientation employee development compensation management performance assessment employee discipline systems workplace safety career development labor–management relations Introduction Chapter 4 Before evaluating these activities, however, we review the legal environment surrounding the staffing function and the conduct of the overall business organization. Legal Aspects of Staffing The staffing function takes place in a complex and changing environment. Social trends, shifting demographics, and legal regulation influence the employment process. As the population becomes more diverse and new legal issues arise, a key part of effective staffing involves adapting to these trends and rulings. The organization’s policies and work rules, combined with a myriad of national, state, and local laws and regulations, govern the workplace. Although this is not a law textbook, here we address the most significant and recent areas of concern to managers. Employment at Will One of the most significant and misunderstood legal doctrines affecting the employment relationship is that of “at will” employment. In essence, it means that workers are free to sell their labor services to any employer, and employers may employ whomever they prefer and terminate that employment arrangement at any time and for any reason. But the application of employment at will has limitations. Laws restrain employers from termination for reasons of discrimination, retaliation for whistle-blowing, service in the military (e.g., called to duty in the reserves or National Guard), and jury service. In other instances, employers and employees are able to sever the employment relationship as long as both employer and employee comply with applicable laws. Fair Labor Standards Act The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. The law provides for a minimum wage ($7.25 effective July 24, 2009), overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in the workweek for nonexempt (hourly) employees, workweek standardization, child labor restrictions, and standardized record keeping. The primary purpose of FLSA is to protect workers, but these standards help managers plan and budget work schedules and provide clear guidelines for supervising employees. In 2012, President Obama proposed an increase to the minimum wage following his reelection; however, no action had been taken by the close of the 2013 legislative session. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and EEOC The Civil Rights Act was signed into law during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration with the express purpose of eliminating discrimination. It defined such discrimination to include race, creed, color, sex, and national origin. In addition to making discrimination illegal in a variety of life experiences, the act specifically defines what constitutes illegal discrimination in employment relationships. The act also created the Equal Employment Courtesy Everett Collection Opportunity Commission (EEOC). No other ▲▲President Lyndon Johnson, watched by Martin Luther regulatory area has more impact on staffing, King Jr., signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. or more influence over organizations and managers, than the EEOC. All aspects of employment management are affected, including hiring, recruiting, training, compensating, disciplining, and terminating. Introduction Chapter 4 Sexual Harassment and Sexual Discrimination Sexual harassment is defined as Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. (U.S. EEOC, 2013b) It is a form of discrimination as defined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and EEOC regulations. There are numerous types of sexual harassment, but the two most widely recognized are summarized in Table 4.1 (Weitzer, 2002). Table 4.1 Forms of sexual harassment Quid pro quo Sexual advances or sexual favors are exchanged for favorable treatment, including • Better job assignments • Undeserved performance evaluation ratings • Promotions • Pay raises Hostile environment Work environment is characterized by the following: • Sexual innuendos in language, including jokes and sexual references • Inappropriate comments about appearance and dress • Unwanted touching • Signage (“girlie” calendars, cartoons) • Conduct toward the other gender or those with a different sexual orientation suggesting a discrepancy in how people are treated The Latin term quid pro quo literally means “this for that.” In the work environment, quid pro quo occurs when a subordinate’s job benefits are directly tied to his or her submission to unwelcome sexual advances. Hostile working environments are created in various ways that lead to impaired job satisfaction. While impairment could be a subtle or significant condition, the employee has a right to be free from such acts in the work environment. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act This 1967 federal statute is intended to protect workers over the age of 40 against discrimination based on age. The EEOC defines age discrimination as “discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment” (U.S. EEOC, 2013a). The law also specifies that harassment based on a person’s age (if over 40) is illegal, although offhand comments and isolated incidents by themselves do not constitute harassment that creates a “severe or offensive environment.” Still, the intended effect of the law is to create an age-protected class of workers and so to prevent older workers from being subjected to employment actions based on age status. As the work force continues to become older, you can expect that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act will more frequently apply to workplace decisions regarding senior employees. Job Design and Human Resource Planning Chapter 4 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is designed to protect individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against by employers. The law does not provide protection from shortterm conditions or temporarily disabling injuries, but from long-term conditions that significantly impair an individual. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodation for such disabilities in employment staffing arrangements unless providing such an accommodation would place an undue hardship on the employer. Family and Medical Leave Act In 1993, Congress enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to cover circumstances in which various events disrupt an employee’s ability to perform effectively. The law requires larger employers to provide employees job-protected unpaid leave due to a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job, or to care for a sick family member, or to care for a new child (either natural-born or adopted). The law also covers caring for an injured member of the armed services.   4.2 Job Design and Human Resource Planning Staffing has a close connection with the organizing function. The first step of organization, job design, results from the collaboration between functional managers and the human resources department. Individual jobs require analysis of the tasks to be completed as well as identification of skills and talents needed to complete those tasks. After company managers have assigned the jobs, they can then begin the process of planning for current and future personnel needs. Job Design As noted in Chapter 3, job design occurs when managers determine the tasks needed to be done, who will do them, and the selection criteria to be used to choose employees and place them on the job. This means that job design is the process of “organizing tasks, duties, and responsibilities into a productive unit of work” (Mathis & Jackson, 1997). Job design involves identifying appropriate, job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities to ensure that assigned work can be completed successfully. Designers consider the work, the environment, and the impact of the work on employees. The standard approach to job design involves three steps: job analysis, job description, and job specification. Job Analysis The process of assigning tasks to jobs, or job analysis, is conducted by the human resources department working in conjunction with departmental managers. Three forms of commonly employed job analysis are comparison with other companies, experimentation, and reflective planning. Comparison with other companies can result from something as simple as a phone call to a friend in another firm to ask how that company defines dutie ...
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Final Answer









Labor Laws
Institutional Affiliation


Fair labor standards act establishes minimum wages, record keeping, overtime pay and

factors that affect employees in the public and the private sectors. The fair labor standards act as
a federal minimum wage of $7.25 pe...

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