gomez_mhr05_im_03 - Part Two Chapter 3 Understanding Equal...

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Part Two Chapter 3 Understanding Equal Opportunity and the Legal Environment CHAPTER OVERVIEW (PPT 3.1- 3.2) This chapter examines the aspects of HR law and regulations. The goal is to identify and discuss the laws themselves and how best to comply with them and do what is best for the organization. The chapter unveils why understanding the legal environment is important and the context in which HR regulation occurs. The chapter further explores the challenges to legal compliance. It ends with ways for the effective manager to avoid the pitfalls in the EEO legal environment. ANNOTATED OUTLINE I. Why Understanding the Legal Environment Is Important (PPT 3.3) Understanding and complying with HR law is important for three reasons. It helps the company to do the right thing, to realize the limitations of the HR and legal departments, and it limits potential liability. A. Doing the Right Thing Compliance with the law is the right thing to do. The primary requirement of these laws is to mandate good management practice. Operating within these laws has benefits beyond simple legal compliance. Discriminatory practices not only create potential legal liability, but also lead to poor employee morale and low job satisfaction, which can lead to poor job performance. B. Realizing the Limitations of the HR and Legal Departments If managers make poor decisions, the HR department will not always be able to resolve the situation. Nor can a firm’s legal department solve problems created by managers. The function of the legal department is to try to limit damage after it has already occurred. 32
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Part Two C. Limiting Potential Liability Considerable financial liabilities can occur when HR laws are broken or perceived to be broken. II. Challenges to Legal Compliance (PPT 3.4- 3.5) A dynamic legal landscape, complex laws, conflicting strategies for fair employment, and unintended consequences are among the challenges confronting managers attempting to comply with HR law. A. A Dynamic Legal Landscape In addition to the many HR-related laws that have been passed, there have been a myriad of opinions handed down in court cases that have affected the HR legal environment. The legal landscape is changing quickly. B. The Complexity of Laws Each individual law is accompanied by a set of regulations that can be quite lengthy. Nonetheless, the gist of most HR law is fairly straightforward. Managers should be able to understand the basic intention of all such laws without too much difficulty. C. Conflicting Strategies for Fair Employment Society at large, political representatives, government employees, and judges, all have different views regarding the best ways to achieve equitable HR laws. D. Unintended Consequences It is very common for a law, government program, or an organizational policy to have numerous unanticipated consequences, some of which turn out to be quite negative. The challenge to managers is to anticipate and deal with both the intended and unintended consequences of law.
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