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Employment Law for Human Resource Practice

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Read the Hoffman v. Caterpillar case. What were the two legal issues in this case? What did the court decide? For each issue, explain the issue and give the rationale/analysis and the conclusion reached by the court (in your own words). Was it decided fairly, in your opinion? Why, or why not? What, if anything, should the employer have done differently?

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The two legal issues in this case were whether denial of training must result in a materially adverse employment action and whether the plaintiff suffered disparate treatment as a result of the actions of the company. The Court vacated the original district court's decision regarding the disparate treatment claim predicated upon a ruling that "denial of training" represents an explicitly prohibited action under the ADA wherein a plaintiff is not required to show that the denial of training ...

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This solution discusses the legal issues in a case (Hoffman v. Caterpillar).

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Elora Jean & Co: Current Legal Issues in Human Resource Management


Elora Jean and Co., based in central Indiana, is a family-run manufacturing business. The company manufactures grain products for the food industry. Currently, the organization consists of a production facility, which currently has 110 unionized production employees, and two administration offices, which have 14 non-union employees. Elora Jean and Co. is in the process of opening a production facility in Malaysia, which will have 20 non-union employees.
lora Jean and Co. has been operating as a sole-proprietorship for 18 months. At the start-up phase, the company owner did not forecast such an exponential increase in demand for her product. Consequently, she did not apply for unemployment insurance, purchase a general liability insurance policy, or obtain a worker's compensation policy because she planned to use her own family members to operate the business. Over the last 13 months the company's organization has grown due, in part, to its aggressive hiring strategy and need to manage production demands. In spite of the company's rapid growth, the company does not have a dedicated human resources department. Instead, the company's owner delegated human resource administration duties to the operations manager (OM). Consequently, the OM's knowledge of human resource policy, practice, and regulation is very limited. As the company continues to expand its operation, the owner detected an increase in employee grievance cases. The owner foresees, due to the lack of human resource administration experience, certain legal ramifications of an under-managed workforce.

You are a contracted strategic human resource consultant for Elora Jean and Co. Your role, over the next five weeks, is to ensure the company's HR policies and processes are in compliance with local labor, state labor, and federal labor statutes.
The critical areas, in which you intend to focus, will include EEO staffing laws, anti-discriminatory hiring practices, immigration bills, foreign worker provisions, and affirmative action regulations. You will be asked to review labor laws and relevant cases, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. You are also being asked to communicate labor and employment litigation risks and solutions to the owner.

The production facility, with its union representation, will present additional challenges. You have had experience dealing with the National Labor Relations Board in the past, and you are focused on keeping Elora Jean and Co. clear of investigations and hearings with the NLRB. Therefore, you plan to review and identify management practices to minimize the risk of unfair labor practice charges. A comprehensive review of grievance procedures, and labor relations practices within the context of union representation, will be on your list of priorities.

Additionally, the production facility presents an increased risk for safety accidents. The owner asks you to initiate a safety audit to ensure that Elora Jean and Co. is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) laws. A review of Elora Jean and Co.'s safety records will be recommended to determine the company's legal liabilities and limitations regarding its drug-free workplace policy.

With the Malaysian production facility on the horizon, there will be international HR policies and regulations to consider. Elora Jean and Co. needs you to determine U.S. and International HR laws that might apply to the off-shore operation, as well as the employer's responsibilities to U.S. employees and non-U.S. employees working abroad.

Elora Jean and Co.'s HR issues will provide a challenging five-week project for the human resource professional. The success of Elora Jean and Co. depends upon your in-depth knowledge of U.S. labor laws, general knowledge of HR regulations as they apply to a global workforce, and your HR policy guidance to keep the company within its legal boundaries of human resource management. With this in mind, you are preparing yourself to help Elora Jean and Co. solve its labor and employment law issues.


As the human resources legal consultant contracted to provide recommendations to Elora Jean & Co., you have taken a look at the current hiring practices and determined that the company is in need of a defined Equal Employment Opportunity policy (EEO Policy). Elora Jean & Co. is growing at a very fast pace and an aggressive hiring plan has been established. You realize that a solid EEO policy must be in place to avoid employment litigation.

In a report, which will be presented to Elora Jean & Co.'s owner, you will address the following:

1. Apply court case decisions with regard to developing an EEO Policy.
2. Develop an EEO policy sample to be presented to Elora Jean & Co. Be sure to include the essential components of a well-defined EEO policy with reference to the applicable employment laws that are governed by the EEOC.
3. Examine the policy and its application to both the union and non-union locations. Explain how it will be applied in each of those environments?

4 -Modify the EEO policy components pertaining to employment discrimination law for the Malaysian facility

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