Sample HR Management Paper on The Value of Fair Treatment in the Workplace

The Value of Fair Treatment in the Workplace

Workplace discrimination is a form of discrimination based on certain biases towards employees. Employment discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unequally and unfavorably because of their race, identity, nationality, religion, or sex rather than their work merit (Benstead, 2018). Discrimination in the workplace is exhibited during hiring, employment, and recruitment. Discrimination is illegal; therefore, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces laws to reduce and protect employees from employment discrimination (EOCC, n.d).

The EOCC has several acts that protect different groups in the workplace. For instance, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protects pregnant women. The act states that a pregnant woman should be treated as temporarily disabled when she cannot perform a task during childbirth and pregnancy. A recent case where PDA applied was in 2019, where Tania Zarak sued Netflix company for pregnancy discrimination (Freedman, 2019). Tania had been removed from a  project after notifying the supervisor about her pregnancy. The human resource of the company later fired her for the condition. She later got a settlement from the company because of the PDA.  Another essential act is the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees over 40 years old (EOCC, n.d). For instance, 277 people sued Google for discrimination against job applicants above the age of 40. As a result, Google had to pay 11 million dollars for age discrimination (Gurchiek, 2019).

The government protects employees against discrimination using the US department of labor (DOL), which enforces more than 180 federal laws. DOL’s guidelines and mandates cover numerous workplace activities for millions of workers and employees. The department has several acts that ensure employees are treated relatively in the workplace. The Acts include Occupation Safety and Health Act, Fair Labour and Standard Act, Immigrant and Nationality Act, and Federal Employees Compensation Act. However, some federal laws conflict with laws implemented in the state. When this happens, it is known as the Doctrine of Preemption. The doctrine results in the idea of the supreme clause. The clause states that federal law is the country’s supreme law since it impacts the whole nation rather than one state. Therefore, if federal law conflict with state law, the state law is declared invalid. However, suppose a state law offers people more rights than federal law, the state law should legally prevail.

Employment at Will Doctrine (EAW) and All

Employment at-will doctrine refers to a workplace agreement stating that the employee is employed for an indefinite period. It permits the employer to terminate or fire an employee without issuing a reason (Handrick, 2018). Numerous US employees work under the employment-at-will agreement, meaning they can be fired from the company with or without reasonable cause, without any notice, and when the employer sees it fit. Employment-at-will is legal and included in the employment contract. However, specific scenarios require the employer to give the employees termination reasons, even though the employment contained an at-will provision. The exceptions include implied contract, public policy, and the implied covenant of good faith (Handrick, 2018). The agreement exception usually varies by state.

Under implied contract exception, an employee may expect an indefinite term or fixed-term employment based on something the employer has done or said. The employer cannot fire the employee without any probable cause. In public policy, the employer cannot terminate an employee against federal or state law. For instance, an employer cannot fire an employee because she became pregnant or was over 40 years. The implied covenant of good faith applies when an employer terminates an employee regardless of all fundamental fairness (Handrick, 2018). For instance, a company fires an old employee near retirement to avoid paying retirement.

There are several laws implemented to protect employees from termination. For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and  Accountability Act (HIPAA) enables terminated employees to seek medical benefits. Also, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to find insurance covers. People terminated without reason or fault can receive several unemployment benefits. For example, the federal-state unemployment insurance program is an opportunity for unemployed people to receive their benefits. The federal and state requirements can also enable employees to receive financial assistance from the government. Numerous programs promote veteran training and employment programs and equal employment opportunities for everyone. Many acts protect employees from termination without reason or willingness, such as the EDEA and PDA.

Employee Termination Scenarios

In Brenda’s case, it is wrong to terminate or reprimand an employee because they asked for a raise or formed a union. Instead, as a manager, Brenda should have looked into the employee’s protests and determine if the claims were factual. Brenda should have called for a meeting if the claims were valid and discussed possible methods to improve communication between management and employees. She could also create a company policy that ensured promotion was fair to all employees. Therefore, the employee has the right to sue the company and Brenda for firing him without any valid reason.

In Jason’s case, it is wrong for the employee to pray during the busiest time. Alice’s posters may affect the general well-being of employees who have other opinions. In the workplace, there should be rules and guidelines that govern religion in the workplace. Alice’s practices affect other employees and efficiency in the workplace. Jason can inform Alice of the various issues, and they both come up with solutions. Jason cannot fire Alice because she can sue for termination due to religious practices, which may cause the company damages. However, if Alice fails to meet Jason’s solutions and rules, the company has the right to fire her.

There are two sides to consider in Brian’s case. From the head of accounting, Brian, it isn’t easy to give the person a jury duty leave during tax season, the busiest time. For Lori, he must take leave to perform his right as a citizen. However, Lori can sue Brian for preventing her from practicing her right in the country. Jurors play vital roles in the legal system, and the law protects their right to serve. The Federal Fair Labor Standard Act (FSLA) prevents Lori from being fired but states that she should not be paid when she did not work (Taylor, 2019).

In Peter’s case, his employee has no right to fire him, and he can sue for wrongful termination. Though his sickness affects Peter’s quality of work, his boss should not fire him. The occurrence of workplace sickness should not result in the termination of an employee. If the employer does so, he can be sued for wrongful termination. The Family and Medical Leave Act states that an employee has a right to take at least 12 weeks for health-related reasons (Kenton, 2020). Therefore, Peter’s boss should ask Peter to take a leave to prevent aggravating the disease instead of firing him.

US Worker’s Compensation Applying to Undocumented Workers

            Worker’s compensation is a federally mandated system where insurance is offered to employees injured in the course and scope of their employment. In the US, compensation laws vary from state to state (Jawetz, 2019). However, each state is required to provide lost wages and insurance for healthcare bills for injured employees. The employees can take the money offered regardless of their fault in the matter. Undocumented workers also have a right to the compensation fees provided by the government. Workers’ compensation has three basic requirements for employees to be eligible for compensation.  The requirements include, one has to be the employee of the person or company, the person or organization one is working for must have compensation insurance, and the injury or illness of the employee should be work-related. The three requirements apply in most states though the rules vary.

In the US, the white house is responsible for implementing immigration laws while Congress makes laws about immigration regulations. Federal immigration laws are considered supreme, and the whole nation applies them in matters of immigration. However, there are a few scenarios left to the state. The US has the most immigrants globally since they are about 44.7 million, and about 11million are undocumented (Batalova et al., 2021). The immigration laws about undocumented immigrants make it one of the most challenging laws. States try to create different laws to control the number of immigrants, which results in conflict. The state and the federal government should find humane and fair methods to control undocumented immigrants in the country.

 

 

References

Batalova, J., Hanna, M., & Levesque, C. (2021, February 9). Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migrationpolicy.org. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/frequently-requested-statistics-immigrants-and-immigration-united-states-2020

Benstead, S. (2018, June 19). What is discrimination in the workplace? Www.breathehr.com. https://www.breathehr.com/en-gb/blog/topic/business-process/what-is-discrimination-in-the-workplace

EOCC. (n.d.). Age Discrimination | US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Www.eeoc.gov. https://www.eeoc.gov/age-discrimination

Freedman, J. (2019, April 30). 7 Cases of Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace. Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys PLLC. https://www.jeffreyfreedman.com/pregnancy-discrimination-in-the-workplace/

Gurchiek, K. (2019, August 22). LA Times to Pay $15.4 Million in Age-Discrimination Case. SHRM; SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/behavioral-competencies/global-and-cultural-effectiveness/pages/la-times-to-pay-154-million-in-age-discrimination-case-.aspx

Handrick, L. (2018, January 8). At Will Employment Doctrine: How It Works & 4 Big Exceptions. Fit Small Business; Fit Small Business. https://fitsmallbusiness.com/at-will-employment-doctrine/

Jawetz, T. (2019). Restoring the Rule of Law Through a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration System. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2019/07/22/472378/restoring-rule-law-fair-humane-workable-immigration-system/v

Kenton, W. (2020). Introduction to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/family-and-medical-leave-act.asp

Taylor, J. C. (2019). Can I be fired for missing work to serve on a jury? Ask HR. USA TODAY. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/04/30/can-jury-duty-get-me-fired-missing-work/3609629002/