1. Describe the employment-at-will doctrine. - This is a common-law doctrine stating that employers have the right to hire, fire, demote, or promote whomever they choose, unless there is a law or a contract to the contrary.
2. List four major laws enacted since 1960 that directly impact the Human Resources function. Briefly describe each.
- Family and Medical Leave Act – Allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave for their serious health conditions or the birth or adoption of a child. . Injured employees may ask to use that leave time in addition to the leave time allowed under worker’ comp, even if it is unpaid.
- Americans with Disabilities Act – Prohibits discrimination based on disability
- Occupational Safety and Health Act – passed “to assure so far as possible every working man woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and preserve our human resources.”
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 - Tries to depress sex discrimination as related to pay and commerce in the workplace.
3. Explain how a firm’s human resources influence organizational performance. –
4. Describe how firms can use HR initiatives to cope with workplaces changes and trends such as a more diverse workforce, the global economy, downsizing, and new legislation. -
5. List four activities associated with the Human Resources Management function. Briefly describe each.
- Strategic HR Management – As part of maintaining organizational competitiveness, HR effectiveness can be increased through the use of HR measurement and HR technology. Through HR planning, managers anticipate the future supply of and demand for employees. An additional strategic HR concern is the retention of employees.
- Equal Employment Opportunity - Compliance with equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and regulations affects all other HR activities. The diversity of a workforce creates additional challenges. For instance, a company must have sufficient diversity to meet affirmative action requirements.
- Staffing - The aim of staffing is to provide a sufficient supply of qualified individuals to fill jobs in an organization. Job analysis lays the foundation for staffing by identifying what people do in their jobs. These analyses are used when recruiting applicants for job openings. The selection process is concerned with choosing qualified individuals to fill those jobs.
- Talent Management and Development - Beginning with the orientation of the new employees, talent management and development includes different types of training. Also, HR development of employees and managers is necessary to prepare for future challenges. Career planning identifies paths and activities for individual employees as the move within the organization. Assessing how well employees perform their jobs is the focus of performance management.
-Total rewards – Compensation in the form of pay, incentives, and benefits rewards people for performing organizational work. To be competitive, employers develop and refine their basic compensation systems and may use variable pay programs such as gainsharing and productivity rewards.
-Risk Management and Worker Protection - Employers need to address an increasing number of workplace risks to ensure worker protection. For decades employers have had to meet legal requirements and be more responsive to concerns for workplace health and safety. Also, workplace security has grown in importance along with disaster and recovery planning.
-Employee and Labor Relations - The relationship between managers and their employees must be handled effectively. Employee rights and privacy issues must be addressed. It is important to develop, communicate, and update HR policies and procedures so that managers and employees alike know what is