Business organizations use their human resources (HR) departments to focus on the issues affecting their employees. Organizational and motivational theories predict that positive employee-employer relations can drive performance and improve a corporation’s profitability. This means that HR managers must be keen to offer adequate support to employees throughout the recruitment process. Unfortunately, many companies have taken the issue of HR management lightly, thereby disorienting the welfare of many employees because of their racial backgrounds, skin colors, and proficiencies. This research paper seeks to examine the role of U.S. employment laws and regulations in shaping and improving the nature of HR management.
Nikoloski, Dimitrova, Koleva, and Kacarski (2014) indicate that a wide range of social aspects and relations were replicated in many business organizations throughout the 20th century. This means that many working environments were characterized by a wide range of malpractices such as discrimination, gender inequality, and inadequate compensation (Brown, 2014). The situation resulted in ineffective practices that affected the performance and effectiveness of many employees. Over the years, many analysts have observed that discrimination is a common denominator in the placement, recruitment, compensation, empowerment, and promotion of different employees.
During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, many people acknowledged that inequality had become a reality that catalyzed numerous practices in the formal and informal sectors. Individuals from minority groups such as African Americans were unable to get quality education, thereby failing to secure well-paying jobs. Similarly, those who had a career grappled with inadequate wages. Some were also abused and tortured in their places of work (Nikoloski et al., 2014). In the recent past, many people from different minority groups have continued to face similar predicaments in their workplaces and organizations.
Discrimination against potential workers has been associated with issues such as gender, nationality, religion, color, and race. Issues such as the glass ceiling continue to be recorded in many working environments today (Nikoloski et al., 2014). Due to the nature of these challenges, researchers and policymakers realized that many HR managers and leaders were unwilling to pursue their roles diligently. This kind of malpractice led to the implementation of landmark laws that have been significant in reshaping HR practices.
U.S. Employment Law and Regulation
Several legislation and policies have been enacted in the United States to support the needs of employees from underprivileged backgrounds. To begin with, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was aimed at illegalizing any form of abuse and discrimination in the United States based on issues such as race and ethnicity (Brown, 2014). Title VII of this Act made it illegal for employers to engage in any form of discriminatory practice. The Act was critical since it barred employers from discriminating against employees based on their racial, gender, and religious backgrounds. Over the years, the law has been compelling potential employers to focus on fair HR practices whenever hiring, recruiting, training, and compensating employees (Naidu & Chand, 2014). This means that a wide range of human resources management (HRM) aspects are captured under this law.
The Civil Rights Act (1964) has been referenced by many scholars for creating the best environment for superior legislation that continues to empower many American citizens (Brown, 2014). For instance, the law led to the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The main objective of this commission has been to focus on any form of discriminatory practice and support the needs of every victim. It also ensures that offending companies are punished accordingly.
Following this legislation, many corporations in the United States managed to implement adequate policies and programs to support the needs of employees from diverse backgrounds. Unfortunately, many workers complained that their employers were offering discriminatory salaries. Consequently, the country came up with another piece of legislation called the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (Naidu & Chand, 2014). According to this law, it was wrongful for any employer or organization to engage in wage discrimination. This meant that women, adults, and the elderly were entitled to competitive salaries.
In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed to protect the rights and needs of individuals aged 40 years and above. New amendments were made to strengthen the legislation and meet the needs of more people. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is another law that guides and compels organizational leaders (or employers) to provide healthy, safe, and clean work environments to their employees (Deakin, Malmberg, & Sarkar, 2014). This Act has been supported by numerous regulations and policies that focus on the welfare of employees in every industry.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) was enacted to ensure that all employees received job-protected leaves depending on their medical and/or family reasons. This law has been used to dictate the performance and practices of companies that employ more than 50 workers (Naidu & Chand, 2014). This discussion reveals that there are laws that apply to every company. There are other policies that dictate the practices embraced by firms that have a given number of workers.
Implications for HR Management
It is agreeable that different U.S. employment policies, laws, and regulations have been influential in dictating a wide range of HRM practices. Due to the existence of these laws, HR leaders understand that it is illegal to discriminate against individuals based on aspects such as racial background, skin color, religious affiliation, and gender (Brown, 2014). This means that employment practices such as recruitment and empowerment should be done in a professional manner.
These laws have empowered HR managers to appreciate the fact that women and the elderly should receive equal compensations and opportunities in their working environments. They should also get adequate resources and opportunities in order to achieve their potential. Any form of malpractice attracts numerous fines (Uysal, 2014). From this discussion, it is notable that employers and HR managers are required to comply with every law. Sexual harassment is also inappropriate and illegal in accordance with U.S. employment laws and regulations.
Vermeeren et al. (2014) believe that HR managers can use these policies and laws to come up with superior concepts for supporting their employees. For instance, HR managers have been keen to offer adequate resources, training, and empowerment to their employees. These laws can also be used as organizational strengths for implementing positive practices. These can include proper recruitment models, work-life balances, and remunerations. The above laws can inform evidence-based practices such as the provision of rewards, the use of natural support, and the empowerment of workers from marginalized regions and populations (Naidu & Chand, 2014). Initiatives such as conflict resolution, decision-making, and problem-solving should be aligned with these regulations to support the needs of the greatest number of employees. Emerging laws in employment will, therefore, continue to transform the practices and strategies used by HR departments to support their employees. This approach will also make it easier for them to pursue every organizational goal.
Future Prospects and Recommendations
Companies should stay abreast of regulatory implementations and legislative developments if they want to emerge successful (Vermeeren et al., 2014). HR managers should also formulate powerful models to meet the needs of every employee. They should go a step further to expand the opportunities, resources, and support systems available to different workers. Policymakers must focus on evidence-based concepts to come up with new laws that can meet the needs of LGBTs and other disadvantaged persons in different working environments.
The current legislation should be supported using appropriate strategies and disciplinary mechanisms to ensure that every company supports the needs and welfare of its employees (Uysal, 2014). HR managers should also be keen to embrace these laws and introduce appropriate practices to empower their workers. This multidimensional approach will support and empower more employees and make their respective companies successful.
This discussion has revealed that the U.S. employment law and regulation is a field that cannot be separated from HR management. This is a clear indication that different laws support a wide range of human resource initiatives in an attempt to meet the needs of the greatest number of employees. HR leaders can focus on these laws to develop superior philosophies that can be used to improve organizational performance. In conclusion, employment laws act as safeguards against any discriminatory practice while at the same time informing the practices and goals of HR managers.
Brown, P. (2014). The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Washington University Law Review, 92(2), 527-552.
Deakin, S., Malmberg, J., & Sarkar, P. (2014). How do labor laws affect unemployment and the labour share of national income? The experience of six OECD countries, 1970-2010. International Labor Review, 153(1), 1-27.
Naidu, S., & Chand, A. (2014). A comparative analysis of best human resource management practices in the hotel sector of Samoa and Tonga. Personnel Review, 43(5), 798-815. Web.
Nikoloski, K., Dimitrova, J., Koleva, B., & Kacarski, E. M. (2014). From industrial relations to employment relations with focus on employee relations. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research, 18(2), 117-124.
Uysal, G. (2014). Stages, content, and theory of strategic human resource management (SHRM): An exploratory study. Journal of Modern Accounting and Auditing, 10(2), 252-256.
Vermeeren, B., Steijn, B., Tummers, L., Lankhaar, M., Poerstamper, R., & van Beek, S. (2014). HRM and its effect on employee, organizational and financial outcomes in health care organizations. Human Resources for Health, 12(35), 1-12. Web.