Personal and Organizational Policy
PERSONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL POLICY
Any organization; big, medium or small, has its sets of rules and regulations, which the management expects it employees to adhere to. The management expects their employees to follow these rules and regulations most diligently so that no untoward incident takes place at the workplace. Employers find managing their workforce as among the most difficult aspects of a business and invariably, there is always an issue that challenges their managerial skills. Perhaps the most common problem faced by an organization is when an employee or employees choose to disrupt work under some pretext or the other. They could abstain from work, go slow with their work, create an unhealthy work environment by accusing others or influencing others to abandon work or go slow to hurt the management for their action. The second issue that rocks organizations is the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace. Now, this is a serious issue that employers will have to be very careful about. Sexual harassment is a very common issue that employers are finding difficult to handle because of its interpretation by the law. Sexual harassment can be in the form of physical contact or advances, demand or request for sexual favors, showing pornography, using indecent language and body language.
One of the hardest tasks that employers have in such situations is to exercise discretion when they investigate the reason for the trouble and who was behind such misappropriate behavior. While it would be easy to punish the wrong-doers, an employer should be more circumspect in initiating any form of punishment. While disciplinary action can be instituted against them, employers need to understand that by punishing the whole group, the trouble may never be over; suspension or termination from work can have a serious repercussion on the organization. The employer would have to therefore, find out why the problem started and by whom because taking any suitable action against the group.
As a first step, the employer could have a discussion with the trouble group and find out the reason behind their callous attitude and after giving them a stern warning, find an amicable solution to the problem by including programs that motivate them to work as a team. The second solution would be to find out who started the trouble and initiate disciplinary action against him/her. In the case of sexual harassment, the employer should discuss the issue with the parties to the incident. Should the victim accept an apology and declare that she would not press for charges; the employer can give a stern warning and let the matter settle amicably. However, if the matter is far more serious in nature, the matter should be investigated and after fact finding, action should be taken against the guilty by terminating him/her from service. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment in any form (EEOC, n.d). If a woman is sexually harassed, she can press charges in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e (LII, 1998).
Whether it’s recruiting or recommending for a promotion, employers have to ensure that they don’t leave any chance for legal entanglements. When looking to fill positions, employers must make sure that they properly list the qualifications and requirements of the job so that the candidate can provide to the employer how they are qualified for the position. These would include the candidate’s qualification(s), experience(s), recommendation(s), their strengths and weaknesses, if any, and achievements. Hiring an employee is perhaps the most difficult and important role of an employer. A potential employee always projects him/herself as the most suitable candidate for that post. Whether it’s through their credentials or through their personal effort, candidates always show a lot more intensity in their behavior when facing an interview. The credentials could be flattery, yet it is with due consideration that they should select the candidate(s). It is important to hire the best people in the business for the progress of an organization.
The pain-staking and elaborate process of hiring a person can be very taxing, but what matters at the end is that the process is not wasted. There have been cases when employers have considered internal selections for such recruitments. In such cases, the employer may have notified the deadline for submission of applications. This is a worrying factor, as this allows employees to make certain adjustments to their work ethics, which can be used by them to influence selection. This is a common practice in business circles and when this seeps into the recruitment process, it can have a serious impact on the employer and organization.
When looking to fill positions, whether a promotion or new hire, employers must make sure that they properly list the qualifications and requirements of the job so that the candidate can provide to the employer how they are qualified for the position. The various stages of the selection process should provide information for taking decisions, and unless the criteria against which applications are measured are clear, it becomes impossible to take a credible decision. If an employer decides to promote an employee without considering the credentials of others who are equally, if not better than him, it is construed to be a partisan selection. Also, if an employer rejects an employee or applicant based on his/her caste, color, or creed, it is construed to be partisan and racism. Employers must consider what is most important for their organization when recruiting. These could be things like, what does the organization look from the selected candidate and does he/she have the desired qualifications to support that. Another parameter that should be considered would be whether the candidate meets the desired qualities to undertake that particular task successfully. If an employer is satisfied that a particular candidate meets these parameters for selection, then he/she should be selected irrespective of their color, religion, or sex. Now, when the human resources department has provided notice that a vacancy has opened up for the District manager position, the employer must have categorically stated what qualification(s), experience, recommendations and achievements the desired candidate should have. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “employment discrimination on the basis of one's race, religion, sex, national origin and color became illegal. This law protects employees of a company as well as job applicants. All companies with 15 or more employees are required to adhere to the rules set forth by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” (McKay, 2013).
However, there are a few finer points that must be considered before selection; Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1963 (ADEA), Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Civil Rights Act of 1991, and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). If the employer selects a person without duly considering any of these legislations, there is the possibility of him/her being sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While age can be addressed through years of experience, the mention of sex and disabilities can be construed to be discriminatory.
The two major legislations that specifically deal with discrimination in promotion and hiring are Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The reason why this legislation attracts employers is because it allows them to select a person based on his sex to travel without any personal or physical inconveniences. As a district manager, the selected person would need to travel widely and interact with employees at any given time. This would be difficult for women to replicate even though they may say that they could do the same as men. Consider the case of advanced pregnancy; they would be restricted in their travel, have to make frequent visits to hospital for check ups and after delivery, go on maternity leave. These are not favorable terms for employers to appoint a woman as district manager.
The disadvantage employers have when they recruit a man instead of a woman is that they are liable for prosecution under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also, there is the strong possibility that men who hold such senior positions are likely to change jobs with experience.
In the case of legislation under Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, employers will feel that as a district manager, mobility is necessary and so could reject an applicant based on their physical disability. However, the problem they face in such a scenario is that they can be prosecuted on discriminatory grounds. Even an applicant, who has the required qualification and experience, could sue the company on the grounds of discrimination based on physical disability.
Legal Information Institute, (n.d), Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth (97-569) 123 F.3d 490, affirmed, Cornell University Law School, http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/97-569.ZS.html
McKay, D, R, (2013), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Preventing Employment
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), (n.d), Facts about sexual harassment, http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm