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Employment Law Human Resources Handbook

1. In an organization, there are many employment policies in the company handbook. This handbook is given to employees at the start of the employer-employee relationship, and although generally not construed as a binding contract against the company in a later lawsuit over the policies, it governs the expectations of employees at the workplace. This Mini Project will have you analyze a company handbook as it relates to the company's disability policy(ies) and provide a written report of your findings. The report should be minimally 500 words, but not more than 1000 words in length. Please cite your reference using APA format Review the employee handbook at your place of employment. You can review any handbook you might have handy from a previous employer.

In your response, discuss what the handbook says about how the company deals with disability issues and accommodating employees with disabilities. Explain what, if any, steps the company provides for an employee to present a request for accommodation. Use specific examples within the contract to support your answer. Do the company policies articulate a difference in how the company treats workplace injuries as opposed to other disabling injuries (such as non-work related injuries or congenital or innate disabling issues)? If so, how? If no, do you think it is effective and/or wise not to include a written distinction? Is the policy fair? If yes, why? If no, what could the company do to improve the policy? Think about the term "fair" from both an employer and an employee perspective.

2. For this scenario, pretend that you are an HR representative and you are preparing a memorandum for the VP of HR.

The memo will analyze a set of facts that occurred in your company and conclude with an assessment as to whether your company is liable. This is a role-play assignment, and your objective is to develop a unique scenario and then play the role of the HR representative all the way through your memo, just as if you were the HR representative and this really happened!

For this memo, you may develop any scenario you desire, and the legal issue can be based upon any of the topics. However, the scenario must include that the supervisor of the employee(s) in question is advocating for the termination of one or more employees. You may or may not agree with the supervisor's sentiment and will address this in your memo to your boss. You will break your memo into at least five paragraphs (make sure to assess whether termination will lead to any liability in paragraph four, and include in your recommendation paragraph five whether termination is warranted), as follows:
- Paragraph 1: Identify the issue that you are dealing with; present the problem to your boss. Is it a concern about discriminatory treatment? Are the employees engaging in concerted activity? Is an employee being sexually harassed? You decide.
- Paragraph 2: Outline the facts of the case. Tell the story. What did the employee(s) do that is of concern to you and prompted the drafting of this memo? In your scenario, advise your boss that you believe the employee (or ex-employee if the person has quit or has been fired) is preparing to sue the company.
- Paragraph 3: Identify the statute that is in question (is this a potential FMLA, FLSA, ADA, or some other issue?) and a legal case from the textbook that seems similar to your scenario. Look up the case on the Internet and read about it. Be sure you understand the important facts of the case and why (or why not) the court ruled in favor of the employee/employer. Analyze the case in this paragraph of your memo. Explain its relevance and how the facts are similar to the facts involving your scenario. You are not limited to discussing only one relevant case, but do not discuss more than two so that your memo is not too long.
- Paragraph 4: Determine whether or not the company has any legal liability or exposure based upon your comparison of the facts in your scenario with the facts and decision of the court case(s) you analyzed.
- Paragraph 5: Give your boss a recommendation. Whether you think the company might be liable or not, you should have recommendations to your boss relative to how to deal with the situation (defuse it) and how to guard against future situations like this arising.

Lastly, make sure to include at the very end a "References" section. You should have at least three sources/citations for your memorandum. It is likely that one will be the textbook, one will be the court case you reference, and a third might be a statute, article, a second case, or some other relevant case.
The memo should not be longer than three-and-a-half double-spaced pages in length, excluding the references. Including the references, it should not exceed four pages. You will have to be concise in what you say! However, if it is shorter than one and a half single-spaced pages in length, excluding the references, you have likely not done a sufficient job analyzing the situation.

Solution Preview

Company Policy Employee Handbook

Disability Policies

Short-Term Disability

Any condition of health of the employee which is verified by a certified doctor and requires employee to be absent from work for more than six consecutive working days qualifies the employee under short-term disability benefits.

The company provides short-term disability program to full-time employees of the company who are unable to work due to extended illness or any other disability lasting up to six months.

The benefit is available to those employees who have completed at least one year of service with the company. Benefit payment is provided to employees after six-months of disability.

To avail the benefits under this policy, employee has to present a certificate from doctor stating the illness or disability, the date when it started and date when disability ended.

The company reserves the right to ask employee to provide additional medical information and put employee on leave without pay until claims are substantiated.

Maximum benefits under short-term disability program are 60 working days.

Long-Term Disability

If an employee is unable to perform his or her duties for 3 months or more, he or she would be eligible for company's long-term disability benefit program.

This plan covers accidents or injuries which have taken place inside company's premises. If the employee gets hurt outside the company, disability insurance would not apply.

When an employee cannot work for an extended period due to an illness, the disability program would cover a portion of employee's salary.

Coverage Terms

Employees can avail disability benefit only if they qualify for certain terms which are covered in the plan.
Employee should be a full time employee working with the company for a minimum of 2 ...

Solution Summary

Employment law in human resource handbooks are provided.