The main reason for the existence of legal, safety, and regulatory requirements in the field of human resources is to ensure that the rights of employees are not violated at the workplace. There are various organizations that are instituted to protect and look into the rights of both employees and employers, and ensure that these two groups have a good relationship between them. Some of these organizations include the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (Winfield, Bishop, & Porter, 2013). The effects of these regulatory organizations and their effects on the field of human resources in the United States have seen lawsuits dictate how the workplace is run. In view of that, common sense and compassion no longer exist in employment, as they have been overshadowed by litigation.
The Human Resource Process and the Requirements
The human resource process provides guidelines that are supposed to be followed by HR personnel when recruiting, hiring and retaining employees. The human resource process guidelines define how the HR managers are supposed to hire, compensate and provide benefits to their employees. The process also explains how employees should be engaged and evaluated using various performance equipments. Lastly, the process ensures that all the employees are protected against any kind of discrimination, sexual harassment, and unreasonable firing. Consequently, it is upon every HR manager to observe the human resource process guidelines to ensure that there exists a productive relationship between managers and employees (Bernhardt, 2008).
The benefits and compensation that should be extended to workers are provided for in legal, safety and regulatory requirements. The compensation of employees mainly comprises of salaries (wages) paid to workers for the services they render to organizations, and the medical payment given to employees who fall sick or get injured while at work. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) provides the standards that organizations need to uphold to ensure a quality work environment for employees. Organizations that fail to meet the safety standards outlined by OSHA violate the rights of their employees and can be subjected to civil or criminal suits in court (Walsh, 2013). This implies that organizations, which do not maintain safety standards outlined by OSHA and other regulatory bodies, may be forced to compensate employees who get injured because of lack of adequate safety measures within their premises.
Regulatory Bodies in the Workplace
There are a number of organizations and regulatory bodies whose mandate is to ensure that all employees are safe in their various places of work. One of such regulations is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which ensures that no qualified individual is subjected to any form of discrimination during job application, recruitment, hiring, compensation and firing, at any government or private place of work. On the other hand, the Department of Homeland Security requires employers to protect their workers from both internal and external risks (Winfield, Bishop, & Porter, 2013). The Labor Department in the United States is another regulatory institution whose mandate is to look into the welfare of retired and working employees (Bernhardt, 2008). According to the functions of these regulatory bodies, their existence encourages litigation, while discouraging common sense and compassion, at the workplace.
Litigation at the Workplace
As a result of the high number of court cases concerning work-related issues, litigation seems to have replaced common sense and compassion at the place of work. Legal action is now one of the most preferred options of solving issues that come up within the labor sector. Currently, the only thing that seems to propel managers and their organizations to keep and maintain a safe working environment is the fact that someone can file a law suit against them if they fail to do so (Walsh, 2013). The act of organizations creating a safe working environment and observing the necessary human resource processes for fear of being sued alone leaves no room for compassion or common sense at the workplace.
Although litigation ensures that managers maintain a safe working environment for their employees, it has significant limitations. As a result of too much focus on litigation, managers are only concerned with ensuring a safe working environment for their workers such that they tend to overlook other matters, such as personal problems, which affect employees at the workplace. Compassion and common sense are known to promote a good relationship between managers and employees at the workplace. This implies that, lack of common sense and compassion at the workplace leaves employees more prone to serious problems, such as stress, which are a major hindrance to high-quality performance and an excellent relationship between them and their employers.
The workplace in the United States is greatly controlled by the legal, safety, and regulatory requirements provided by various employee-related regulators, such as the Department of Labor and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Although the existence of these regulators promotes employee safety at the workplace through litigation, it greatly discourages the application of compassion and common sense.
Bernhardt, A. D. (2008). The gloves-off economy: Workplace standards at the bottom of America’s labor market. Champaign, IL: Labor and Employment Relations Association.
Walsh, D. J. (2013). Employment law for human resource practice. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Winfield, P., Bishop, R., & Porter, K. (2013). Core management for HR students and practitioners. New York, NY: Routledge.