Begin with an introduction that defines the subject of your critique and your point of view. You will first need to identify and explain the author’s ideas. Include specific passages that support your description of the author’s point of view. Take into consideration how you would approach a recruiting program for your company based on the author’s ideas on the subject matter. What challenges would you face if your company were a global conglomerate? Defend your point of view by raising specific issues or aspects of the argument. Offer your own opinion. Explain what you think about the argument. Describe several points with which you agree or disagree. Explain how the passages support your opinion. Conclude your critique by summarizing your argument and re-emphasizing your opinion. For each of the points you mention, include specific passages from the text (you may summarize, quote, or paraphrase, being sure to include proper in-text citations) that provide evidence for your point of view.500 words apa style
artical.pdf

Unformatted Attachment Preview

A Review of the Pivotal Role of HR in Business
Management from the 1980s to the Present
Christopher M. Valentino, John J. Porta, and Ryan H. Nelson
C
hanges in societal values and workplace
demographics have led to significant
changes in US employment and employment laws over the past 30 years. Prior to the
1980s, “personnel” departments mainly were
responsible for handing out applications,
providing employees with insurance enrollment forms, and processing payroll. From the
1980s through the present, personnel departments evolved into “human resources,” with
that function becoming a strategic partner in
a company’s decision-making process.
Human resources managers today are
expected to develop strategic solutions to
employment-related matters that affect an
organization’s ability to meet its productivity
and performance goals while complying with
the law and avoiding legal liability. The
present-day HR manager is expected to identify and resolve workplace issues and to
attract a diverse pool of applicants through
effective recruitment. Over the past 30 years,
HR’s greatest challenge has been to help
employees and employers function optimally
in a sea of constant change.
THE 1980S: DECLINE OF UNIONS
AND GROWTH OF EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
The workplace—and with it the HR function—
experienced significant changes throughout
the 1980s. The shift from labor management
to individual rights, coupled with legislative
changes and judicial decisions increasing
the rights of employees, shaped the role and
responsibilities of HR for years to come.
Union Membership Declines
Though already on the decline, union membership took a further dip in the 1980s,
which has continued to the present day.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA),
as developed in the 1930s and 1940s, gave
US workers the right to join or form unions
as a way for employees to bargain with
employers over pay and working conditions.
Union membership in the United States rose
steadily over the years following its passage
in 1935. In 1953, union membership peaked
when 35.7 percent of the US private-sector
workforce was represented by a union.
Since then, union membership has declined
steadily as a result of a variety of factors,
including the passage of employee-rights
legislation, jobs moving outside of the United
States, and more aggressive employer resistance to organizing efforts. The government’s
intervention in a strike organized by federal
employees in 1981 had a particularly significant impact on this decline.
Shortly after President Reagan took office
in 1981, nearly 13,000 air-traffic controllers
walked off the job following a breakdown in
negotiations with the federal government.
When President Reagan ordered the strikers
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI 10.1002/ert.21397
33
Employment Relations Today
to either return to work or face termination,
most strikers ignored his warning. Forty-eight
hours later, the president terminated a vast
majority of the striking workers who refused
to return to work. By carrying out his threat
of termination, Reagan not only set limits
for public employee unions, but also sent
a message to the private sector that union
power—and, in effect, employees’ collectivebargaining power—was not infinite.
The decline in union membership continued
throughout the subsequent decades, changing
the focus for many HR departments from laborrelations management to individual-employee
Notwithstanding the apparent drop in unionization
rates, human resources must continue to keep up-todate with changes in union organizing efforts, alliances, and recruiting methods given organized
labor’s attempts over the years to reinvent labor relations and attract union membership.
management. This change was accompanied
by a shift away from exercising control over
employees through collective-bargaining agreements and toward an emphasis on securing an
employee’s individual engagement, cooperation, and commitment to the organization.
Notwithstanding the apparent drop in
unionization rates, human resources must
continue to keep up-to-date with changes
in union organizing efforts, alliances, and
recruiting methods given organized labor’s
attempts over the years to reinvent labor relations and attract union membership.
Supreme Court Expands Individual Rights
Under Title VII
Another factor contributing to the decrease in
union membership in the 1980s was the passage of antidiscrimination laws and judicial
34
decisions focusing on protecting individual
rights and limiting the employment-at-will
doctrine.1 Two “protections” traditionally
afforded by unions are protection against
disparate treatment (i.e., all bargaining-unit
members must be treated the same) and
providing “process” with respect to discipline/
termination decisions (i.e., grievances and
arbitration procedures). Once those protections were afforded at the legislative level,
workers saw a decreased need to organize
and form a union.
Female employees, in particular, realized greater protection under the law in the
1980s than in prior years. Although Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provided
women with remedies for gender discrimination affecting the terms and conditions of
employment, gender discrimination often
affected a different aspect of the employment
relationship—the work atmosphere. In 1986,
the Supreme Court recognized sexual harassment as more than just an employee’s being
pressured into sexual activity in exchange
for a job-related benefit (i.e., “quid pro quo”
harassment) when it decided the landmark
case of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson.2 In
Meritor, a bank employee claimed she had
been subject to a “hostile work environment”
when the bank’s vice president “fondled her
in front of other employees, followed her
into the women’s restroom when she went
there alone, exposed himself to her, and even
forcibly raped her on several occasions.”3 Yet,
because Vinson had not suffered any tangible, economic consequences as a result of
these alleged acts (e.g., termination or demotion), the lower courts determined Vinson did
not have a claim under the interpretation of
Title VII at the time.4
Despite the fact that Vinson could not
establish that she suffered an adverse
Christopher M. Valentino, John J. Porta, and Ryan H. Nelson
Employment Relations Today
DOI 10.1002/ert
Spring 2013
employment action, the Supreme Court held
that proof of such tangible, economic harm
was not necessary to establish sexual harassment. Instead, the Court held an employer
would be liable under Title VII if an
employee could show the conduct she was
subjected to at work was “sufficiently severe
or pervasive” enough to alter the conditions
of employment, thereby creating a hostile
work environment.5 Since then, the US
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(EEOC) and courts have expanded the hostile
and offensive work environment analysis to
prohibit harassment based on race, color, sex,
religion, national origin, and virtually every
other classification protected by law.
HR Assumes New Responsibilities in
Preventing Gender Discrimination
Following Meritor, employers have an affirmative duty to maintain workplaces free of
sexual harassment and intimidation, another
responsibility that falls to some extent on
human resources. This responsibility shifted
HR’s focus from issue resolution (i.e., what
course does the company take if an individual suffered an adverse employment action
motivated by discriminatory animus) to issue
prevention. The advent of the hostile-workenvironment cause of action, along with
other Supreme Court precedents, motivated
HR to (1) take all complaints about harassment seriously; (2) issue/prepare a strong
policy statement condemning such behavior;
(3) inform all employees about the policy
and their rights; (4) develop and implement a complaint procedure; (5) establish a
management response system that includes
immediate reaction and investigation; and (6)
train managers and supervisors to increase
awareness. Although the responsibility of
addressing employee complaints always has
been the function of HR, the responsibility of
educating management and preventing claims
was now an expansion of that responsibility.
Just six years after the Meritor case,
hostile-work-environment claims filed with
the EEOC rose dramatically, likely in response
to confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
During the confirmation hearings, Anita Hill,
a former colleague and law school professor,
publicly claimed Thomas sexually harassed
her when he made sexually provocative statements toward her while they were colleagues.
In response to Hill’s opposition to Thomas’s
Following Meritor, employers have an affirmative duty to maintain workplaces free of sexual
harassment and intimidation, another responsibility that falls to some extent on human
resources.
appointment, the number of sexual harassment claims filed with the EEOC more than
doubled between 1991 and 1998 (from 6,883
to 15,618).
New Employee Protections Are Enacted in
Response to Massive Layoffs
From 1980 to 1986, the United States saw
significant workforce reductions, likely influenced by the strongest recession the country
experienced to date since the Great Depression. Congress reacted to these layoffs with
several pieces of legislation aimed at easing the transition into unemployment and
ensuring affected employees were not being
selected for termination for discriminatory
reasons. The first such legislation was the
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation
A Review of the Pivotal Role of HR in Business Management from the 1980s to the Present
Employment Relations Today
DOI 10.1002/ert
35
Employment Relations Today
Act of 1985 (COBRA). COBRA enabled
unemployed workers to remain on their
employer-sponsored health insurance plan,
at the former employee’s expense, for up to
18 months post-termination. This measure
enabled many separated employees to continue health-insurance coverage while searching for alternative employment. Three years
later, Congress passed the Worker Adjustment
and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of
1988, which required employers with 100 or
more employees to provide 60 days’ advance
notice to affected employees in the event of a
group layoff or plant closure.
During the 1990s, protections afforded to individuals
with disabilities or those needing to balance work with
personal life required HR to, again, adapt to change.
This economic downturn had a particularly significant impact on individuals over
the age of 40, who disproportionately felt the
financial effects of the downturn as compared with younger workers. Accordingly,
Congress amended the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act (ADEA) of 19676 and
enacted the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA). In the years following the
ADEA’s passage, courts interpreted the ADEA
to allow employers to offer lesser amounts
of fringe benefits (e.g., life insurance, health
insurance, disability benefits, pensions, and
retirement benefits) to older workers than
younger workers. The OWBPA, however, prohibited such age discrimination in employers’
provision of fringe benefits in most situations.
Additionally, the OWBPA requires employers to include certain language—and follow certain safeguards—when asking employees over
the age of 40 to give up their right to sue the
company on the basis of age discrimination.
36
In the case of a group layoff as defined
under the OWBPA (i.e., two or more employees), the OWBPA requires employers to provide the reason for the layoff, the job titles
and ages of those individuals selected for layoff, and the ages of similar individuals who
were not selected for layoff. The OWBPA also
requires employers to advise older employees
in writing to consult an attorney before signing a waiver and mandates that employees
have 21 days to consider the agreement (45
days in the event of a group layoff), as well as
7 days after signing to revoke the agreement.
These measures made it easier for employees
to evaluate whether age was a factor in their
selection for termination.
THE 1990S: NEW COMPLIANCE
REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE CIVIL RIGHTS
ACT, ADA, AND FMLA REQUIRE HR TO
MOVE INTO AN EXPANDED MANAGERIAL
ROLE
During the 1990s, protections afforded to
individuals with disabilities or those needing
to balance work with personal life required
HR to, again, adapt to change. The challenge
for HR included not only navigating new
legal requirements, but also educating management regarding the obligations created by
the new statutes.
The Civil Rights Act of 1991 Raises the
Stakes
The transition away from personnel administration toward a function of business management accelerated in the 1990s when Congress
took several actions to afford employees
expanded rights in the workplace. In 1991,
Congress amended the Civil Rights Act of
1964 by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1991,
Christopher M. Valentino, John J. Porta, and Ryan H. Nelson
Employment Relations Today
DOI 10.1002/ert
Spring 2013
which was a measure to respond to recent
employer-friendly Supreme Court decisions.
The 1991 Act strengthened federal civil
rights laws by clarifying provisions regarding
disparate-impact actions and providing
for damages in cases for intentional employment discrimination.
The employer-friendly Supreme Court
decisions issued prior to the 1991 Act
include, for example, Wards Cove Packing Co.
v. Atonio,7 where the Supreme Court reinterpreted the disparate-impact method of proof8
and held an employer may avoid liability by
showing a business justification for the practice causing a disparate impact, then shifting the burden back to a plaintiff to prove
a lack of a business justification. In another
case decided that same year—Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins9—the Supreme Court held
that, even where a plaintiff demonstrates
an employer was motivated by discrimination, an employer still may escape liability by
proving it would have taken the same action
based on lawful motives (e.g., terminating an
employee because of her sex and because she
was a poor performer). The employer could
avoid liability completely with such a “mixedmotive” defense.
In response to the Wards Cove decision,
the 1991 Civil Rights Act added a new subsection to Title VII, codifying the disparateimpact theory of discrimination, essentially
putting the law back as it had been prior to
Wards Cove. In response to Price Waterhouse,
the 1991 Act provided that where a plaintiff
shows discrimination was a motivating factor
for an employment decision, the employer
is liable for injunctive relief, attorneys’ fees,
and costs (but not individual monetary or
affirmative relief) even though an employer
proves it would have made the same decision
in the absence of a discriminatory motive.
Perhaps the most significant provision of
the 1991 Civil Rights Act was its expansion
of damages to prevailing plaintiffs. Prior to
the 1991 Act, the only remedies available
under Title VII were “equitable relief” (e.g.,
back pay and reinstatement). The 1991 Act
authorizes two additional types of damages:
compensatory damages (i.e., compensation
for emotional distress caused by the discriminatory conduct) and punitive damages (i.e.,
damages intended to punish the employer
for intentionally discriminating). These new
remedies are available only in cases where an
employer intentionally discriminates or fails
to act when it learns discrimination is occurring. The 1991 Act does place caps on the
aggregate amount recoverable for compensatory and punitive damages to $300,000 for
employers with 500+ employees and to
lesser amounts for employers with fewer
employees.
By expanding the opportunities for plaintiffs to recover damages in a lawsuit (i.e.,
plaintiffs alleging mixed-motive discrimination) and by significantly augmenting the
types of damages available to plaintiffs alleging discrimination, the 1991 Act increased the
risks—and costs—associated with the defense
of employment discrimination claims. These
increased risks placed more pressure on HR
to ensure compliance with evolving law.
ADA Ensures Protection
and Accommodation of Individuals
with Disabilities
The congressional and judicial theme of
expanding individual rights in employment
continued throughout the 1990s. In addition to the 1991 Act, Congress broadened the
scope of the antidiscrimination laws when it
passed the Americans with Disabilities Act of
A Review of the Pivotal Role of HR in Business Management from the 1980s to the Present
Employment Relations Today
DOI 10.1002/ert
37
Employment Relations Today
1990 (ADA). Congress acted when disability
rights advocates, who saw the positive effects
of earlier legislation on racial and gender
equality, began to push for similar federal
legislation to protect the rights of individuals
with disabilities in the workplace.
Similar to the restrictions provided for
under Title VII, the ADA made it unlawful
for employers to discriminate against any
qualified individual with a disability who
could perform the essential functions of a
desired position, with or without reasonable accommodations. Moreover, the ADA
required employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability to enable the
employee to perform the essential functions
of his or her respective job. According to
Following the passage of the ADA, HR was
tasked with establishing practices and policies
that enabled a company to comply with the
ADA’s requirements, which were not particularly
simple to understand.
the ADA, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with
qualified disabilities unless such accommodations would cause an undue hardship on an
employer’s operations.
Following the passage of the ADA, HR was
tasked with establishing practices and policies that enabled a company to comply with
the ADA’s requirements, which were not particularly simple to understand. For example,
HR, to a large extent, took on responsibility
for facilitating engagement in an interactive
process when responding to requests for
accommodations. When faced with a request
for an accommodation, HR assumed responsibility for assessing whether the employee is a
“qualified individual with a disability,”10 what
38
the essential functions of the particular job
were, what possible accommodations could
be made, and determining whether such
accommodations were reasonable.
FMLA Introduces the Complexities of
Protected Leave
Congress’s focus on individual employee
rights continued with the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). By the
1990s, women played a significant role in the
US workforce. As such, many families found
it difficult to balance working two jobs while
rearing newborns, caring for the elderly,
or recovering from an illness or injury. In
response to these growing concerns, President Clinton signed the FMLA into law in
1993, just 16 days into his presidency.
The FMLA permits eligible employees to
take 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month
period if they have a serious health issue of
their own or if they need to care for a new
baby, adopted child, or seriously ill family member (known as “qualifying events”).
A “covered employee” is one who has been
employed for at least 12 months, worked at
least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months,
and works at a location where his or her
employer employs 50 or more employees
within a 75-mile radius. The FMLA permits
covered employees to take leave in a block of
time or on an intermittent basis (e.g., leave
for occasional doctor’s appointments or temporary periods of incapacity caused by reoccurring conditions like asthma).11
The FMLA presented significant challenges
for human resources, but none have proved
more problematic than (1) ensuring compliance
with the Act’s technical requir …
Purchase answer to see full
attachment