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Unfair labor practices - King

Questions to answer:

1. What should be done regarding the employee who was terminated without a discipline procedure? Why?
2. Discuss unfair labor practices. Are there incidences of unfair labor practices at King? If so, how should they be addressed?
3. How can King discourage unionization of employees without incurring issues of unfair labor practices?

BACKGROUND Information
Employee Relations

Shaun White has his hands full managing employee relations. There is always the union issue, and White's belief that "once employee dissent sets in, it never goes away" seems to be well founded. He knows there is still an undercurrent for unionization, and he fears any cost-cutting will turn the undercurrent into a landslide.

White continues to send out the message that King wants to remain non-union and is willing to listen to employees and address their concerns. A comprehensive employee survey was conducted by an outside firm shortly after the unionization attempt. It asked employees to comment on a variety of issues, including their perception of management, King's compensation policies, career opportunities and equity, and, of course, overall job satisfaction. Some changes were made as a result of the survey, but they were mostly enhanced communication efforts and not actual policy changes. Since compensation was an issue, more information was made available to employees regarding the compensation system. Specifically, employees received a comprehensive chart identifying salary grades and corresponding job titles. The compensation staff answered questions, the idea being that if people understood the compensable factors and the logic behind the system, they would perceive less inequity. Things quieted down a bit, but White knows compensation equity is always a bone of contention.

A second issue that emerged from the employee survey was the use of skip-level interviews where employees could raise issues to managers two levels up. In other words, employees can discuss things with their boss's boss. Most managers did not fully support the idea, and White suspects some feel threatened by the thought of their subordinates going around them to talk to the boss. He has heard some grumbling, but he doesn't think it is of too much concern because few employees actually take the initiative to talk with management.
The survey also pointed out some specific criticism of the HR department for lack of communication with employees. Employees said that when they brought problems to HR, HR did not listen and did not respond. It really hit close to home when HR was called on the carpet. One employee response was particularly troubling to White because the employee said she reported sexual harassment to HR twice; the first time HR didn't respond at all, and the second time HR's response was that the employee should "focus on work and stop complaining." White couldn't imagine anyone in HR responding with such a statement, but he could not ignore the allegation. He felt they had dodged a bullet because there had been no other harassment complaints. He knew he had to do something. He started a hotline to HR that was available 24/7 either online or by phone for employees to ask questions and report anything of concern, not just harassment. He called it "HR Answers" and subscribed to a call center in India to answer and track the calls so the service could be available to employees at all times.

White recently developed employee involvement teams. It was a hard sell because Smith was against the process, claiming it gave employees too much latitude. The teams worked well for a while. Employees had a forum to be heard, and some good suggestions were generated for productivity improvements. Wilson monitors the teams closely. He knows it's a precarious situation between management and staff, and he thinks he'll never be comfortable enough to let them run on their own.

White worked with Scholl to plan and facilitate training programs for all managers. They concentrated on discrimination and harassment. He hopes the training will forge a closer link between line management practices and HR. All too often he finds himself untangling a mess created by a manager who inappropriately disciplines an employee without regard to policy and with no input from HR. He wants supervisory employees to understand the complex responsibility imposed by their position between management and staff, and he wants to see consistent implementation of policies across departments. So far, understanding and consistency are a long way off. Sometimes he thinks managers are just not paying attention.
White knows things are about to change, and he is worried about the end outcome. He's been told to work closely with Tu to develop a plan for a reduction in force, and he wants to ensure that all decisions are appropriate and nondiscriminatory. He knows some managers are looking for any excuse to get rid of their union agitators.

He is meeting tomorrow morning with team leaders. He's received word from Smith that all actions arising from the employee involvement teams must be passed by Smith for approval.

Solution Preview

The response addresses the query posted in 614 words with APA References

//In order to see an organization on the path to success, it is essential to take utmost care of the workforce so that higher level of job satisfaction is achieved. In this context, the further discussion throws light on the management of employee relations in King Organization. The discussion provides an understanding of prevailing job dissatisfactions, compensation issues, ineffective HR policies and lack of career opportunities. Furthermore, it also discusses the unfair labor practices and their redressal along with practices that can be used to discourage unionization of employees. //
Practices to be adopted for an Employee Terminated without Disciplinary Process
For an organization to terminate any employee, it is mandatory that a proper warning system and adequate communication channels must be adopted. Apart from this, the organization must also abide by the laws and regulations like certain employment contracts that are needed to be considered before terminating any employee. Thus, an organization must adopt progressive disciplinary process, wherein the process must ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines employees who have been terminated from their position without a discipline procedure. The response addresses the query posted in 614 words with APA References