Human Resource Management Study Set 17

Business

Quiz 3 :

Human Resources Management and Technology

Quiz 3 :

Human Resources Management and Technology

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Use the U.S. Department of Labor website (www.usdol.gov) to further research a topic discussed in this chapter. Be sure to understand what the particular law (Act) is protecting and what the rules are that companies need to follow to comply with this Act.
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The pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 was amended Title VII, which now requires that employers should treat maternity leaves same as other personal or medical leaves. Related to this there is FMLA law which requires 12 weeks of unpaid family leaves should be allowed to employees and also those taking these leaves should be allowed to come back to organization. Women across the globe experienced discrimination because of pregnancy despite of many legal protections.
This act was enacted to provide the pregnant woman a right to equality at workplace. It was observed that the pregnant woman generally faces discrimination at workplace thus the law was introduced which stated that the pregnant woman should be treated equally and fairly similar to non-pregnant woman in terms of works assigned, pay, promotion etc. They should also not be entitled for any privileges under this act. Thus it acts as a win-win situation for both employee employer.

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You recently learned that two of your key female employees will be taking maternity leave around the same time. What procedures or rules do you need to be aware of based on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)?
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The pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 was amended Title VII, which now requires that employers should treat maternity leaves same as other personal or medical leaves. Related to this there is FMLA law which requires 12 weeks of unpaid family leaves should be allowed to employees and also those taking these leaves should be allowed to come back to organization. Women across the globe experienced discrimination because of pregnancy despite of many legal protections.
The employer's perception that the performance and attendance of the employee will decline during pregnancy might cause discrimination. Discrimination can also occur if the pregnant women is not transferred or hired. PDA generally requires that the employees should treat the pregnant women similar to non-pregnant with similar abilities and responsibilities. Even this law does not demand any preferential treatment for the pregnant women thus they should be well aware of this.

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Discuss some of the protected characteristics covered by Equal Employment Opportunity and why they are important in today's employment setting.
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Equal Employment opportunity refers to making of employment decisions by employers irrespective of some characteristics like age, sex, race, color, disability, religion etc. In this employer's follows a status blind approach wherein the decisions are made without considering the applicants' personal characteristics. These characteristics are also known as protected characteristics.
Protected characteristics refer to the attributes of individuals which are protected under equal employment opportunity laws regulations. Some of the characteristics covered are age, color, race, religion, disability, gender, national origin, pregnancy, Marital status etc. When making the employment the employer should treat all the applications received equally irrespective of these characteristics and selection should be based on skills, knowledge and experience of the applicant only.
They should not indulge in practices like preferring single over marries or giving more preference for a job to a particular religion etc. Similarly pregnant woman should be treated equally, this law does not even say of providing any favors even for anyone. Because of globalization today world is small and the workforce is also diversified, more woman, people from different caste, religion nationalities, gender are entering the corporate world which requires fair treatment. Thus these laws are more needed in today's time.

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Because of a large number of recently retired employees you have been hiring more employees in recent years. The average age of the workforce at your company has changed drastically. The typical age of your employees used to be around 40; however, after many recent additions, it is now 34. The president of the company is worried that the company culture no longer matches up with the needs and values of a younger workforce. As the HR manager you have individually met with every new employee for orientation over recent years, so you feel you have a good idea as to what your workforce is looking for. You have been asked by the company president to suggest a few options to help increase morale and entice employees to stay with the company. 1. List some ideas to help meet the needs and wants of a younger workforce. 2. Going forward, what type of program would you include as part of new employee orientation to help further "sell" the company to your new employees?
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Give an example of sexual harassment you may have witnessed or heard about. How do you think the situation should have been handled if you were the HR manager?
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Worker Exploitation at Foxconn/Hon Hai Foxconn/Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd. is a key China-based supplier to several U.S. high-tech companies like Apple, Dell, and HP. Manufacturers have a vested interest in the quality of products from their suppliers and their labor practices. Low-cost labor and a nearly endless supply of employees lead many U.S. companies to deal with suppliers in China. As more U.S. corporations strive for social responsibility, it was only a matter of time before production overseas saw the ripple effect of those decisions. Labor laws in China provide limited protection for workers and therefore the U.S. companies faced an ethical dilemma. Should they monitor labor practices at Foxconn/Hon Hai to ensure that workers were treated respectfully, or should they accept that if Foxconn followed Chinese labor laws it was not their concern? Hon Hai, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, employs over 800,000 workers, who produce parts for iPads, iPhones, and other devices. Workers are housed in a campus with dormitories, a hospital, a bookstore, swimming pools, free bus transportation, and other services. Many of the workers migrated from farm communities to the industrial hubs where Hon Hai's operations are located. Their jobs at Hon Hai's factories are often the first assembly-line jobs they have ever held and they are frequently living far from home and family. Working conditions at Hon Hai's factories complied with Chinese labor laws but frequently led to what is considered in the U.S. as worker abuse. Workers routinely worked in excess of 40 hours, with most workers averaging 120 hours of overtime per month. That calculates to an average workweek of 70 hours. Many machines were not properly equipped with safety devices leading to injuries. Underage workers were employed. At least 10 employees at the company committed suicide in 2010, which brought labor conditions under great public scrutiny. The company's response was to install safety nets around the dormitories to prevent additional casualties. The uproar from customers and the independent workeradvocacy agency, the Fair Labor Association, led to serious review of working conditions. Apple had previously questioned labor conditions at Hon Hai. The company sent a team to investigate reports of excessive overtime and other "sweatshop" conditions. After the rash of suicides 'Apple sent a team of executives to China to inspect the factories and meet with Foxconn's CEO. Apple continues to monitor conditions at the supplier that were so bad that the U.S. company could no longer ignore the abhorrent labor practices. Because of the sheer size of Hon Hai and its importance in the supply chain to electronics manufacturers, discontinuing the relationship would be a very difficult and costly alternative for Apple and others. Hon Hai has implemented a number of improvements for workers that should satisfy its customers and keep its employees safe and healthy. Employees at Hon Hai's factories will now work fewer hours and receive higher pay. For example, there is now a maximum 40-hour work week for each employee, with the option of working up to a maximum of 36 hours of overtime each week. The probation period for entry-level workers was cut in half from six months to three months. The company instituted an Employee Assistance Plan to assist employees with mental health concerns. Labor laws around the world reflect the priorities of each nation's government and this can lead to great differences between countries. When a U.S.-based company does business with suppliers in other nations, one factor to consider is how workers are treated and what is required by law to insure humane working conditions. 69 QUESTIONS 1. What obligation does a company like Apple or HP have to insure that suppliers follow the local labor laws? What should Apple do if it discovers that the supplier is not in compliance with those laws? 2. How should a multinational company like Apple reconcile the differences in labor laws around the world? For example, workers in the United States are provided substantial protection from discrimination and unfair treatment. This is not the case in all nations. If a company like Apple is doing business with suppliers around the world, what standard should be used to evaluate labor practices? 3. As someone who might purchase devices made by Apple, Dell, or HP, how does this treatment of workers at a supplier influence your opinion of Apple and other U.S. companies that deal with such suppliers? Does Apple bear any responsibility for these labor problems because of its quest for ever lower costs?
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