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Government Regulations of Employment Relationship

The US Gross Domestic Product (GDP), like in most other economies, is significantly dependent on the country’s workforce. Millions of people are employed in hundreds of industries in the US, contributing vehemently to various economic aspects. The link between fiscal growth and the job market is undeniable and has been instrumental in developing various models of economic prosperity. Consequently, the changes imparted to augment employment are crucial in enhancing the nation’s GDP. Similarly, factors detrimental to the workforce’s growth are also a deterrence to short- and long-term economic growth. Conventionally, employee regulation has, in most part, been executed by corporations, with several regulations from government agencies. Recently, however, the increasing attention to worker exploitation has necessitated stricter legislation. While economies have thrived with minimal government interference, there is a need for more legislative actions to address the issues faced by employees in the country. The US workforce’s productivity would grow faster with more government regulations of the employment relationship because workers will have more protection against exploitation.

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More regulations are vital in safeguarding employee privacy, one of the critical problems facing workers in the US. The Fourth Amendment establishes the right of laborers to be secure against unreasonable seizure and searches, which extends to the privacy of information. According to Sipior and Ward (2009), employee e-mail privacy is a potentially controversial concern that faces millions of workers in the US. Such contentions arise when company policies mandate e-mail monitoring and supervision. The study further finds that e-mails are always subject to intrusion from “law enforcement (search warrant), court discovery process (subpoena), hackers, and delivery misdirection” (Sipior & Ward, 2009, p. 167). The continued rise in these impositions has inhibited cordial working relationships; they deter employee motivation. Job environments that require e-mail monitoring—and, by extension, privacy contravention—are more prone to lawsuits suing judicious discretion expectations (Sipior & Ward, 2009). In comparison, firms that do not monitor e-mails are less likely to face legal consequences based on privacy invasion. Therefore, it is vital to establish cogent legal frameworks that safeguard employees from privacy infringement.

Moreover, more government involvement is needed to uplift the workers’ rights to their civil engagements. Ordinarily, organizations’ guidelines are centered upon protecting their interests. These goals may sometimes conflict with the employee’s right to perform certain vital duties, as observed in Gardener v. Loomis Armored, Inc. In the case, Kevin M. Gardener filed a wrongful termination suit against his employer, Loomis Armored, Inc., which occurred after he abandoned an explicit requirement to always remain at the vehicle. According to the facts presented in the case, he decided to save the life of Ms. Martin, a bank teller. Despite his heroic act, Mr. Gardener’s dismissal was justified based on the contractual requirements inhibiting him from abandoning his track. Organizational employee agreements are rigid and self-centered, with little to no reasonable exceptions for executing one’s civic rights and duties. Even more potentially discriminatory are cases involving employment-at-will contracts. Therefore, more government involvement is needed to promote the provisions of public policy that encourage the moral and humane conduct of citizens.

Additionally, more regulations are needed in safeguarding employees against under-compensation. Reasonable remuneration is a critical American value enshrined in the principle of fair business practice. A 2020 report by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) attributes unfair remuneration to internal factors such as a lack of strong organizational policies advocating fair wages (UNRISD, 2020). As a result, the gap between the bottom and top of the income pyramid has widened dramatically in the last five decades. Notably, the CEO-worker salary ratio has increased from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 278 to 1 (Mishel & Wolfe, 2019). Despite this disparity, laborers at the lower organizational levels generally work longer hours and more tedious tasks. The rising discrepancy has further challenged the effectiveness of existing legal frameworks in protecting employees against exploitation. Also, most firms have maintained rigid remuneration systems that barely account for the number of efforts put by workers. More laws mandating the development of fair remuneration plans by corporations can help minimize the wage gap between top and bottom employees.

In addition to unfair remuneration, the US workforce also faces compensation discrimination at the workplace. Unfairness has taken various forms, such as gender-based discrimination. The gender wage gap is more prominent for women of color, with an average disparity of 30 percent for all women against white men (Conrad et al., 2014). This gap is estimated based on median earnings gathered from the US Census Bureau. It is worth mentioning that various anti-wage-discrimination laws have been passed to combat this endemic issue. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is the earliest legislation that abolishes wage discrimination based on sex. While such laws have guided the provisions of equal pay at the workplace, they have failed to address the intrinsic institutional biases exhaustively. For example, existing laws have done little to enforce more wage policy transparency in organizations (Trotter et al., 2017). Regulations that advocate openness can help discern the critical enforcement tools employed by corporations.

Another category of people facing discrimination is minority groups, who are often misrepresented at the workplace. Ageism is one of the key aspects addressed when delineating the people subjected to unfair treatment, such as wrongful termination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is the oldest legislation initiated to ensure that employers are not motivated by age to treat employees disparately. In mmm, the court held that petitioners against wrongful termination based on age should satisfy the protection of ADEA and qualify for the positions from which they are dismissed. These provisions provide the framework of fair treatment of employees of all ages, but they still leave multiple loopholes that companies can use to fire workers. For example, employers may cite multiple structural policy violations to conceal age discrimination.

In brief, the critical need for more government regulations is predicated on the understanding that US workers face workplace violations. Corporations have exhibited employee abuse in the forms of privacy infringement, civil rights contravention, unfair compensation, and various types of workplace discrimination. Multiple legislations have been passed to provide a framework for the execution of fair employment practices. These laws have also prohibited various activities that discourage employer-employee engagement, such as wrongful termination. However, more legislative actions are needed to address the loopholes used by corporations. Without these changes, the employer-worker relationship will continue to deteriorate, discouraging people from working. Resultantly, the government’s ability to increase the GDP will decline considerably. Therefore, legal initiatives against workplace violations are a precursor to economic growth and development planning.

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References

Conrad, C., Dixson, A., Smooth, W., & Revilla, A. T. (2014). A discussion on gender equity and women of color. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 35(3), 3-14. Web.

Gardner v. Loomis Armored, Inc., 913 P.2d 377 (1996).

Mishel, L., & Wolfe, J. (2019). CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978: Typical worker compensation has risen only 12% during that time. Economic Policy Institute, 14. Web.

Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 US 133 (2000).

Sipior, J. C., & Ward, B. T. (2009). A framework for employee e-mail privacy within the United States. Journal of Internet Commerce, 8(3-4), 161-179.

Trotter, R. G., Zacur, S. R., & Stickney, L. T. (2017). The new age of pay transparency. Business Horizons, 60(4), 529-539. Web.

UNRISD. (2020). Fair remuneration: Tackling both the top and bottom of the income pyramid. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Web.

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