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57 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
employer rights and responsibilities
*right to structure organizations cost-effectively
*right to determine how to run org.

*provide safe working conditions
*pay wages for work done
*reimburse employees for expenses incurred in behalf of employer

-covered by both common law & statutory req.
-in absence of contract common law applies
-disagreements handled through breach of contract or tort
civil action based on duty or obligation that has been breached by one party, causing an injury to the other
common law doctrine
result of legal decisions made by judges in individual cases most common:
*constructive discharge
defined by payne v the western atlantic road co.

-allowed employers to change employment conditions and allowed employees to leave at any time with or without notice

eroded by exceptions like:
-public policy exceptions
-good faith and fair dealing
-promissory estoppel
-fraudulent misrepresentation
payne v the western atlantic road co.
either party may terminate the service for any cause, good or bad, or without cause and the other can't complain in law
contract exceptions to employment at will
aborgated by contract, expressed or implied
express contract
written or verbal agreement in which the part states exactly what they agree to do
implied contract
created by an employer's conduct e.g. consistent application of progressive discipline policy implies that won't be terminated without going throgh this process -disclaimer can offset this
statutory exceptions to at-will
at-will may not be used for discriminatory reasons
public policy exceptions to at-will
established by petermann v international brotherhood of teamsters

can't terminate for acting in accordance to public policy

originated in CA and adopted by most states, not all

applied to 4 gen areas; can't terminate for:
1. refusing to break law on behalf of employer
2. whistle-blowing, report illegal acts of employers
3. participate in activities covered by public policy like investigation of employer wrong-doing
4. acting in accordance to legal statute like jury duty or worker's compensation claim
petermann v international brotherhood of teamsters
can't terminate for refusing to commit perjury, it is contrary to public policy
duty of good faith and fair dealing
obligation to act in fair and honest manner to each other to ensure contract benefits varies by state
promissory estoppel
happens when employer entices employee or prospective employeee to take action by promising a reward if action completed, then there must be reward

e.g. promise job to a candidate if resigns position but then change their minds must follow through or pay damages
fraudulent misrepresentation
promises or claims made by employers to entice joining e.g. tell that will expand when they're planning on closing
constructive discharge
when employer makes workplace so hostile and inhospitable that an employee resigns
communication that damages an individual's reputation, preventing them from obtaining employment or other benefits

-protected by "qualified privilege" if info is job-related, truthful, clear,& unequivocal

-written authorization prior to providing references and limiting info to that requested reduces risk
Legal statutes for employee relations
laws enacted by legislature or pronounced y president
sexual harassment(various)
Sexual harassment legal statutes
*parts of title 7
*glass ceiling act
Responsibilities in prevention of sexual harassment:
*meritor savings bank v vinson
*harris v forklift systems
*faragher v city of boca raton
*burlinton industries v ellerth
sexual harassment statutes in title 7
-require the employers create a workplace free of sexual harassment
Forms of sexual harassment
-quid pro quo
-hostile work environment
quid pro quo
"this for that"
when supervisor or manager asks for sexual favors in retorn for favorable employment action
hostile work environment
subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct
-unlike quid pro quo can be created by coworkers, suppliers customers or visitors

-in most cases a single incidence does not qualify

-can be held against them even if employer was unaware
meritor savings bank v vinson
ruled that existence of a grievance procedure and policy against discrimination is not enough to protect an employer from acts of suprvisors
-a policy designed to encourage victims of harassment to come forward would provide greater protection
harris v forklift systems
-when the workplace is permeated w/ discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult sufficiently pervasive to alter the condition's of the victim's employment and create an abusive env. title 7 is violated
oncale v sundowner offshore
extended harris v forklift systems beyond women to include sexual harassment of any kind including same sex harassment
faragher v city of boca raton
ruled that employers have responsibility for actions of those they employ and have responsibility to control them

-supervisor need not make explicit threat of tangible employment action in order for harassment to be actionable
burlington industries v ellerth
decided that an employer iis subject to vicarious liability to a victimized employee for an actionable hostile environment by direct or higher authority
vicarious liability in sexual harassment
an employer is accountable for harmful actions of its employees whether or not the employer is aware of actions
EEOC guidelines for sexual harassment prevention
-develop anti-harassment policies and complaint procedures
-should clearly explain unacceptable conduct
-reassure employees that they will br protected against retaliation
-investigations should be prompt, impartialm and if it did occure provide for immediate corrective action
glass ceiling act
-established comission to investigate existence of glass ceiling and barriers
-EEOC conducts glass ceiling audits

glass ceiling barriers:
-internal structural
uniformed services employment and reemployment rights act

-protects rights of reservists called to active duty in armed forces

-must grant leave of absence up to 5 years

-must resinstate to position that would have earned if had stayed on the job
-must offer cobra-like health coverage if >30days leave and full if less than that
-rights forfeited if dishonorable discharge
-must report back within time frame
policies, procedures & work rules
-broad guideline to guide decisions
-e.g. conduct business ethically

-explains how policy is applied
-e.g. should avoid conflict of interest

*work rule
-state what may or may not do to comply w/ policy
-e.g. may not own competing venture
Employee handbooks
-contain legally required policies
-if poorly worded can become a contract against at-will
-can describe terms and conditions of employment
-should include signature acknowledgement
Employee Relations
- concerned with work relationships
-hr must develop programs and measure effects on bottom line
Communicating with employees
*open-door policy
*management by walking around
*dept. staff meetings
*all-hands staff meetings/town hall meetings
*brown-bag lunches
open door policy
give employees access to decision-makers
mangement by walking around
provided employees w/ goals, oberve prgoress and listen to concerns and ideas
dept. staff meetings
regularly scheduled meetings in whic suprvisors meet w/ staff to find out what is going on and disseminate info
all-hands staff meeting/town hall meeting
executives update employees on state of the co.
brown bag lunches
small group of employees meet w/ senior mgmgt. informal lunch
Employee involvement strategies
*suggestion boxes
*delegating authority
*task force
*work team
*virtual work team
*self-directed work team
task force
brought together to research and recommend solutions to a problem
work team
work together to complete assignments
-can be functional(one dept.)or cross-functional
-can be virtual or self-directed
compressed work weeks
allowing to work 4, 10hr days
overtime through flsa still applies fo non-exempt
job sharing
2 part-time employees share one job
organizational feedback
*employee surveys
*employee focus groups
*skip-level interviews
-employees interviewed by manager's manager

-resuls must be reported to both management and employees
-critical to ensure that they are accurate
indicators of employee relations effectiveness
turnover and absenteeism
disciplinary procedures
-set up fair and equitable process that is applied consistently throughout org.
-5 steps:
*verbal warning
*first written warning
*final written warning
Weingarten rights
*intended for union & extended to nonunion employees
*right to have a coworker present, not a family member or attorney
*employers not required to inform of this right
*employer may choose for employee to voluntarily or involuntarily waive right ; not continue interview, and continue disciplinary action on fact
disciplinary terminations
need termination meeting and provide info to avoid wrongful termination claims
termination meeting
-ensure that dosumentation supports action to be taken
-employee should not be surprise must have been state as a consequence if improvement did not occur
-should inform it and officer
wrongful termination
when eployer terminates someone for a reason prohibited by statute or breaches a contract
dispute resolution
dispute can be resolved internally or with litigation can also use an alternative dispute resolution:
can used peer review panel, ombudsman, arbitration or mediation
resolving conflicts without lawsuit
-both agree to submmit to arbitrator decision
-can be a contract requirement or mandated by court
-agree to accept arbitrator's decision as final
-may reject decision by filing a lawsuit
types of arbitrators
*ad hoc
-selected to hear a single case
-both parties agree is fair and impartial to settle all disagreements
*tripartite arbitration panel
-3 arbitrators
work wit mediator to devise a solution
-not binding
-if fails may continue to arbitrate
steps of mediation
-place and time
-mediator explains process and goals
*writing the agreement