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Legal Issues In Workforce

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Throughout the twentieth century, the United States government passed laws, issued. It is important to understand that managing legal risk and executive orders, and promulgated regulations designed to influence the employment relationship. There are literally hundreds of examples of how laws have impacted the employer and employee opportunity in employment decisions is just a special case of what manager should do. The law acknowledges that you need flexibility in determining the size of your workforce and the skills you require to get the job done. As a result, it shouldn't surprise you that courts have upheld the right of managers to fire employees for poor performance, for misrepresenting their credentials, and for insubordination. As a manager, you may fire an employee for any reason, even a lousy, arbitrary, or unfair reason, so long as it is not an illegal reason. Practically speaking, though, few managers choose to fire employees for lousy, arbitrary, or unfair reasons. Managers who act so arbitrarily not only sometimes fire good employees, they also contribute to poor morale and can make it difficult to attract skilled workers. It is useful to understand that the foundational concept of U.S. employment law recognizes your rights as a manager, within the constraints believed by our society to be appropriate, to make decisions about your employees' employment.

Employment Discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers. There is also a growing body of law preventing or occasionally justifying employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, and various types of harassment. The main body of employment discrimination laws is composed of federal and state statutes. The United States Constitution and some state constitutions provide additional protection where the employer is a governmental body or the government has taken significant steps to foster the discriminatory practice of the employer.

In many other countries with developed economies, the law is more stringent and might significantly limit your options. Other countries would still permit you to fire an employee for cause, such as for stealing from the company. But in other situations, such as downsizing, employees are entitled to notice and compensation. The amount owed to an employee usually depends on the individual's length of employment. In Germany that might mean up to seven months' notice or pay, if a layoff can be negotiated at all. And in Germany, in deciding which workers to lay off you must choose those who will be least socially affected by the layoff. That means that older workers, disabled workers, and workers with families receive the most protection.

Second, imagine a key employee who has become pregnant. In the United States, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires you to treat pregnant women equivalently to other employees. They are therefore entitled to be covered by your regular sick leave policy. If you do not provide paid sick leave for other illnesses, then federal law does not require you to pay the pregnant employee for the time she is off work due to illness associated with the pregnancy or delivery of her child. In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave and typically requires you return the person to her job at the end of her leave. Even then, though, the FMLA excludes from its protections certain key employees.

FastServe Inc (FastServe) is a $25 million 350-person strong company involved in the direct marketing of branded sports apparel that focuses exclusively on American's sport-crazy Generation Y segment. FastServe opened up two online marketing and distribution channels and for boys and girls respectively. 10% of the workforce was moved to manage the online distribution.

The Web sites has become so cumbersome to download that the potential buyers were not making enough transactions for such technological investments to be viable. FastServe has decided to move out of the online distribution business. The online division had to be downsized; concessions were made and of the five identified employees the decision of whom to retain or release would fall on the senior manager of human resources.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act(ADEA) ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of age. The prohibited practices are nearly identical to those outlined in Title 7. An employee is protected from discrimination based on age if he or she is over 40. The ADEA contains explicit guidelines for benefit, pension and retirement plans.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted to eliminate discrimination against those with handicaps. It prohibits discrimination



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