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

Scenario:

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.

Elora 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

Task: As the HR legal consultant working with Elora Jean & Co., you have identified several needs with regard to the hiring process. You believe that improving workplace diversity would regulate the cultural dynamics of the organization and stem any legal issues of cultural under-representation.

Beyond a solid EEO policy to ensure the hiring process is free of discrimination, the owner has asked for your thoughts on implementing an affirmative action policy.

Questions to Discuss:
Based on your research and experience, do you recommend an affirmative action policy be implemented? If so, what would it include and what value will it bring to Elora Jean & Co. with regard to helping the company remain competitive?

If you do not feel an affirmative action policy is appropriate for Elora Jean & Co., what are the issues? What would you recommend, instead, to maximize the diversity of Elora Jean & Co.'s workforce?

Describe an EEO and affirmative action strategy that would cover employees at the Malaysian facility? What specific laws and/or cases might apply to EEO and affirmative action enforcement in an off-shore business?

Solution Preview

The response addresses the queries posted in 353 words with references.

//Before talking about the Human Resource Policy of a company, we will write in brief about the introduction of the company. In this part, we will also ponder over the limitations of the Human Resource Department and how a firm can overcome these limitations. After discussing about this, it can be explained that how a business should have proper implementation of an appropriate Human Resource Policy.//

Elora Jean and Co. is a central Indiana headquartered company. It has been operating as a sole-proprietorship for over 18 months. The company manufacturers grain products for the food industry. It is in the process of opening a production facility in Malaysia which entails 20 non-union employees. The company lacks in a dedicated human resource department. The companies, in order to overcome the limited human resource policy and regulations, ...

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