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Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

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11/06/2012

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Fundamentals of Human Resource Management

Eighth Edition

DeCenzo and Robbins

Chapter 4
Employee Rights and HR Communications

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Introduction
• Employee rights have become one of the more important human resource issues. • The U.S. Constitution, laws, and Supreme Court rulings have increasingly constrained employer actions related to employee rights.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• Privacy Act of 1974
– Requires government agencies to make available to employees information contained in their personnel files. – Employees may also have the right to review letters of recommendation made on their behalf. – Similar state laws apply to state and private-sector employees. – Restrictions include employee waivers of right to review and procedures which stipulate when and how a file can be accessed.
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• Privacy Act of 1974
– Computerized information systems add more complexities and potential flexibility to employee records. – The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1971
• Extension to the Privacy Act • Requires employers to notify employees that their credit is being checked • Provide additional information to applicants who are negatively affected by a credit check. • Information used must be job relevant.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988
– requires government agencies, federal contractors, and those receiving federal funds of $25,000 or more to actively pursue a drug-free environment. – Covered organizations
• must establish and disseminate policies • provide substance-abuse awareness programs

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988
– Companies regulated by the Department of Transportation and Nuclear Regulatory Commission must test employees in certain jobs for drugs.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• Drug-free policies must include:
– What is expected of employees – Penalties for infractions of policies – Substance abuse awareness programs – Disseminated to all employees

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
– Prohibits employers in the private sector from using lie-detector tests in all employment decisions. – May still be used during investigations of suspected criminal activity – Employees can challenge the results of a polygraph.
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988
– Plant Closing Bill – Protects employees from unexpected plant closings. • The law does recognize circumstances in which advance notice is impossible.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employment Rights Legislation and Its HRM Implications
• Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988
– Organizations employing 100 or more individuals – 60 days notice in advance – Close the facility or lay off 50 or more workers

• Penalty
– One day’s pay and benefits for each day’s notice
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Drug Testing
– The severity of substance abuse in organizations has led to use of drug testing even by organizations not covered by the Drug-Free Workplace Act. – Drug testing of current employees typically:
• Offers rehabilitation to those who fail • Communicates that drugs will not be tolerated

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Drug Testing
– Should be done after a job offer is made. – Those who fail are generally no longer considered. – Companies are
• Moving to more precise tests by using ones that do not involve body fluids • Communicating clear policies and procedures • Relating the testing program to safety and job performance.
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Honesty Tests
– Written tests to get applicants to reveal information about their integrity. – Legal alternative to polygraph – Used to predict theft and drug use – Multiple questions on the same topic to assess consistency of responses. – Should not be used as the sole criterion for a hiring decision.
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Whistle-blowing
– occurs when an employee reports his/her employer to an outside agency over what the employee believes is an illegal or unethical practice. – Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects employees from retaliation for reporting company wrongdoing. – Laws protecting whistle-blowers vary by state. – Many firms have voluntarily adopted policies to protect employees who identify problems.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Employee Monitoring and Workplace Security
– Interests are protected against
• Theft • Revealing of trade secrets to competitors • Using the customer database for personal gain

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Employee Monitoring and Workplace Security
– Must balance these security needs with employee rights. – Develop and communicate policies for monitoring
• computer • e-mail • telephone

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Current Issues Regarding Employee Rights
• Workplace Romance
– Some companies try to prevent relationships between employees because of potential discrimination or sexual harassment issues – Others view romance as having a positive effect. – Many companies have issued policies and guidelines on how relationships at work may exist.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

The Employment-at-Will Doctrine
• The doctrine, based on common law, allows employers to dismiss employees at any time for any reason. • Has been modified to prohibit termination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

The Employment-at-Will Doctrine
• Exceptions to the Doctrine:
– Contractual relationship: A legal agreement exists defining how employee issues are handled. – Statutory considerations: Federal and/or state laws can create exceptions – Public policy violation: Employees cannot be fired for disobeying an illegal order from the employer
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

The Employment-at-Will Doctrine
• Exceptions to the Doctrine:
– Implied employment contract: verbal or written statements made by members of the organization, such as promises of job security or statements in an employee handbook. – Breach of good faith: An employer breaches a promise or abuses its managerial powers.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Discipline and Employee Rights
• Discipline
– A condition where employees conduct themselves in accordance with the organization’s rules and standards of acceptable behavior.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Discipline and Employee Rights
• Factors to consider when disciplining
– Seriousness of the problem – Duration of the problem – Frequency and nature of the problem – Extenuating factors – Degree of socialization – History of organization’s discipline practices – Management backing
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Discipline and Employee Rights
• The most frequent violations requiring disciplinary action involve
– Attendance – On-the-job behaviors – Dishonesty – Outside activities

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Discipline and Employee Rights
• Disciplinary Guidelines
– Make disciplinary action corrective rather than punitive. – Make disciplinary action progressive; i.e. verbal warning, written warning, suspension, dismissal.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Discipline and Employee Rights
• Disciplinary Guidelines
– Follow the Hot-stove rule; i.e. immediate response; ample warning; consistency; impersonal. – Allow employees to have a representative present for disciplinary meetings.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Discipline and Employee Rights
• Disciplinary Actions
– Written verbal warning – Written warning – Suspension – Dismissal

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employee Counseling
• This approach is most appropriate when a performance problem is not amenable to training and development or mentoring and coaching.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Employee Counseling
• Listen to the employee to uncover the reason for poor performance. • Focus on performance-related behaviors • Get the employee to accept the problem, and work to find solutions. • Managers are not expected to solve employee’s personal problems • Employee Assistance Program
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Using Employee Communications to Enhance Employee Rights
• Why Use an Employee Handbook?
– Helps employees learn about the company – Provides central information source concerning policies, work rules and benefits. – Helps ensure that HRM policies will be fair, equitable, and consistently applied.

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Using Employee Communications to Enhance Employee Rights
• Why Use an Employee Handbook?
– Creates sense of security and commitment – Can be used to provide information to recruits. – Caution: Use disclaimer to avoid handbook being interpreted as implied contract. – Must be seen as useful, concise, wellorganized and must be continually updated.
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Using Employee Communications to Enhance Employee Rights
• Using Information Technology for Employee Communications
– Provides greater flexibility and timeliness of information. – Networked communication - e-mail, instant messaging, voice intranets and extranets, and the talking Internet. – Wireless communications - microwave signals, satellites, radio waves and radio antennas, and infrared light rays
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Using Employee Communications to Enhance Employee Rights
• Complaint Procedures
– Step 1: – Step 2: – Step 3: – Step 4: Employee-supervisor Employee-employer relations Employee-department head Employee-president

Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

Using Employee Communications to Enhance Employee Rights
• Why Companies Support Suggestion Programs
– Allow employees to tell management what they perceive they are doing right or wrong – Connected to other management systems, such as continuous improvement processes – Suggestions must be acknowledged and employees recognized for their efforts
Fundamentals of Human Resource Management 8e, DeCenzo and Robbins

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