Lecture 2 -...

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Week 2: The Legal and Ethical Context - Lecture Help Print This Page The Legal and Ethical Context of Human Resources Evolution of Employment Law | Legal Context of Discrimination Law | The HR Practitioner View | | International HRM | Study Quiz Evolution of Employment Law Regrettably, the evolution of employment law in our modern times has largely been a reactive process to abuses and injustices in the workplace. Employment protections that are considered common sense today were not embraced in the past. Consider the following: Wage laws grew out of legislative concerns over the long hours, deplorable working conditions, and low pay that many manufacturing workers routinely faced during the pre-Depression area. Workplace safety laws grew out of blatant employer disregard for workers’ safety. Equal employment legislation grew out of civil rights inequities that persisted as late as the 1960’s and effectively blocked minorities and women from equal opportunities in the workplace. Equal pay legislation grew out of gender pay equities that also existed as late as the 1960’s and effectively paid women less than men for completion of equal work. Disability protections grew out of the routine exclusion from the workplace of injured workers and of individuals with disabilities. It is not clear how employment law will evolve from this point. Some argue that more protections are needed in the workplace while others argue that there is already too much regulation in this area. Whatever ultimately occurs, it is very unlikely that we will ever go back to a pre-1960 society where large portions of the populace are excluded from participation in the American dream. Today, there are just too many moral, political, and economic pressures that would resist this return. Laws Affecting Discriminatory Practices Legal Context of Discrimination Law .. 1 of 5 11/3/2010 7:22 PM
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Today, the major focus of employment law is on the prevention of discrimination in the workplace. The HR Professional must understand and interpret a myriad of federal and state employment laws to facilitate organizational compliance. The HR Professional must also understand basic nuances of employment law. For example, there are two classes of federal laws that prohibit discrimination: laws that are broad in scope—such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and laws of limited application that apply to organizations that receive federal funding—such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 or Executive Orders. Facilitating an organization’s compliance is much more difficult than it appears however.
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Lecture 2 -...

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