Comprehensive Human Resource Management Problem. See attached file for full problem description.
FLSA and the COBRA law
In your opinion, do you think that both of these laws are as effective today as they were at the time they were passed?
Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in the year 1938 when setting minimum wages was a necessity. Today, this act has become a tool in the hands of politicians to increase the minimum wage levels to gain votes. This is detrimental to employment and leads to widespread unemployment. For example, the Clinton administration's plan to increase the minimum wages to $5.15 is blamed for increased level of unemployment. In addition, the system of collective bargaining as envisaged in the Fair Labor Standards Act has led to considerable several conflicts that could be avoided. In addition, what the act does is that it allows politicians to set minimum wages and this legally speaking undermines the principle of employment-at-will. In addition, the minimum wages requirement goes against the interests of small businesses. Finally, setting wage floors is inflationary.
In my opinion, the COBRA law is not effective. If an employee leaves a job then the COBRA law allows him to retain his health insurance. The gap in the law is that it requires employees who have left employment to their former employers! The former employers often do not deposit the premiums with the insurance providers and the result is that the employees often remain unaware that their premiums have not been paid. If the employee falls sick then his insurance claims are not paid. Not only that the employee loses his health insurance when he is sick. What is more important is that even if the employee manages to get back the premiums he has paid to his employer, he does not get insurance cover when he needs it the most.
Today, COBRA coverage has become expensive. An employer sponsored family policy would cost $8,000. In this case if an employee loses employment it would be very expensive for the unemployed to pay premiums.
In addition, all workers do not qualify for COBRA. It is estimated that only 57% of all workers qualify for COBRA.
What recommendations would you make to update and improve both laws?
My recommendations as related to the Fair Labor Standards Act are that the politicians should not be allowed to set the minimum wages. Yes, there is a need for a provision for minimum wages but this provision should be linked to some other index. For example, the minimum wages could be linked to the price index or some other measure of inflation. In addition, my recommendation is that existing restrictions on representational options should be lifted and conflict resolution should be more egalitarian in nature, there should be no provision that would allow politicians to influence the minimum wages.
To make the COBRA law more effective, the law should have provisions for allowing the employee to make health insurance payments after he leaves his job direct to the insurance company. This will not only allow him to maintain his heath insurance but should also allow the employee to get himself continuing health insurance after the period of 18 months is over.
My suggestion is that COBRA should allow unemployed worker to have the benefit of a range of options and allow them to select the most suitable one. The law and the Congress should not put restrictions on unemployed workers from purchasing policies that they want in the open market. Further, the unemployed should not lose out on tax breaks that he gets if he participates in employer-based insurance policy.
How can complaint systems be designed and implemented to be fair?
1. Complaint systems can be designed to be fair if the decision-making is independent, an explanation is given for the action taken, employee point of view is respected and employee participation in the process is ensured.
2. The complaint system should be easily accessible to employees, should be secure and should have a high degree of integrity.
3. The persons who are going to make decision should have a good reputation and the process should be viewed as just.
4. The degree of employee participation in the process and the perceived independence of the decision-making process will increase the perception of fairness.
5. The system should provide plenty of opportunity to the employee to make a contribution to the process; he should be allowed to provide explanations and evidence to support his stand.
6. The system should provide confidentiality to the employee, this is important for making the system fair. This should go hand in hand with an open doors policy.
7. The complaint system should have trained interviewers who can handle complaints.
8. The complaints system should have a ...
Human Resource Management is discussed in great detail in this solution.