The Legal Environment of Human Resource Management

TERMINOLOGY

Administrative Law-regulations issued by federal agencies established to enforce the law

Affirmative Action Plan – employers who have 50 or more employees and governmental contracts or subcontracts in excess of $50,000 are required to develop written affirmative action plan. Employers are expected to make good faith effort to hire and promote minorities, women, Vietnam-era veterans, disabled veterans, and people with disabilities.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) –is a nonjudicial method of settling a charge of discrimination through mediation by an impartial third party. Title VII encourages parties to avoid litigation and resolve charges of discrimination through ADR. There are several forms of ADR including negotiation, mediation, fact finding, and arbitration. The EEOC favors mediation.

Arbitration nonjudicial, legal technique for resolving disputes by referring them to a third party for a binding decision. The arbitrator may be a single person or an arbitration board, usually of three members.

Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications– BFOQ states that it is not unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis or religion, sex, or national origin if such an attribute is a bona fide occupational qualification” reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business. Example: Title VII permits unequal treatment based on sex if the employer can prove that sex is a necessary qualification for specific job such as an actress playing the role of a female.

Case Law– collective set of court decisions

Common Law– state laws and local ordinances establish a body of law that may contain additional provisions or extend coverage in employment matters but may conflict with federal laws , constitutional requirements, or federal court rulings.

Constitutional Law-basic rights set forth in the US Constitution

Disability– a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity such a caring for oneself, performing manual task, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning, and working.

Disparate impact is typically unintentional and involves decision rules that have unequal racial or gender consequences by screening out disproportionate numbers of minority applicants.

Disparate treatment –occurs when persons protected by the law are treated differently because of a person’s race, religion, gender, or national origin from other employees or job applicants. Most often claims of disparate treatment are intentional and involve claims of sexual or racial discrimination

Due Process – the systematic, order procedure in which the individual has a right to be fully informed of and be heard concerning action that is pending against him or her.

Glass Ceiling – is a subtle form of discrimination that many women experience. The glass ceiling is an organizational barrier that prevents women from receiving information on promotions, training, mentoring, and other opportunities needed for advancement.

Mediation – when a third party assists the negotiators in the discussions and suggests settlement proposals. The mediator is not a judge, but simply tries to get the parties to come to an agreement.

Procedural Due Process – gives the employee the opportunity to object to a proposed action before a fair, neutral decision maker.

Sexual harassment – illegal form of sex discrimination

Statutory Law– federal law and executive orders

Substantive Due Process– focuses on the content of the action (such as free speech_, the employer must provide substantive due process and show a compelling or overriding interest in the action.