Heidi L. Gallegos
September 29, 2014
Professor Kurt Lofland
Roles and Functions of Law
Laws are put into place by our federal government in order to provide structure and organization, provide a safe haven to all citizens, and to protect the rights of all Americans. Laws come in many shapes and sizes but are all structured around the US constitution. “… the most visible function of the law on a day-to-day basis is to provide for some system of order that defines crimes and levie punishment for violation of the crimes, there are many other purposes of recognizing a uniform system of laws” (Melvin, 2011, Chapter 1, Legal Foundations).
What is Law? First let’s clarify what law is, according to “The Free Dictionary” (2014), law is “a body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognized, and enforced by controlling authority” (Law). The process of making laws start in the legislative branch of government and must be approved by the executive branch (The President of the United States of America). Laws are also reviewed by the judicial branch of government to confirm that the laws are following the United States Constitution. Laws are passed at the federal and state levels; state laws are passed by the state governor. Once laws are put into effect it is the responsibly of all government (federal, state, and local) officials to follow and enforce laws. If laws are not followed the law breaker is subject to consequences.
Laws in Society
Laws play an important role in society! They establish what is right and what wrong and they set expectations for which society should follow. Without laws and rules society would function without any organization, ethics, or principles; the world would be in total chaos! Laws serve many functions all with similar goals in mind. Their function is to establish ground rules, provide structure and organization, and a safe haven. Laws allow citizens to practice their constitutional rights. In order for laws to be enforced it is imperative that law officials (federal, state, and local), police officers, judges, politicians, etc., led by example by following and enforcing the laws. According to Melvin (2011), “… the law also provided a mechanism to resolve disputes arising from those duties and rights and allows parties to enforce promises in a court of law” (“Chapter 1: Legal Foundations”).
Laws in Business Laws, rules, and regulations are important for all citizens to follow and when it comes to the business world there are no exceptions. In addition to following the day-to-day laws set in place for society, businesses have extra rules and regulations they must abide by. Businesses have strict regulations on pay and wages, health insurance, discrimination, record keeping, and tax deductions to name a few. Along with state and federal laws, businesses have to follow occupational regulations too. Occupational regulations would be if a business sells alcohol and/or tobacco products, they must have special licenses to do so. Or if a business has to dispose of chemicals or products that are harmful to society or the environment, there are waste regulations that must be followed. Special laws and regulations on business are important so that businesses don’t take advantage of their position and authority. That is why it is important that businesses follow the same laws as society along with additional regulations. Laws and regulations are only set into place to protect citizens from businesses but also to protect businesses from unlawful citizens.
Stronghold Construction, Inc. While working for a construction company, Stronghold Construction, Inc., in Monee, IL from November 2007 until February 2012, I learned firsthand how businesses have different rules and regulations they must follow. As a bookkeeper for Stronghold Construction, I had to learn how to do payroll which included deducting