Employment Law

1. What are the differences between employees and independent contractors? Please provide examples for each. Is it possible for an employer to reclassify all of his employees as independent contractors? Explain why or why not.
2. Can your company legally change your job responsibilities, reduce your salary, or assign you to a different department? Explain why or why not. What are the potential legal considerations for the employer in the event of such changes?
3. Distinguish between disparate impact and disparate treatment discrimination claims.
4.An employee receives a letter of reprimand that goes in his personnel file but is not demoted and does not suffer any other action. Does the letter constitute an adverse employment action? Consider the Army federal civilian employee table of penalties, which is provided in the Word document at the link: httplAvww.gordon.army.mil/cpac/cpac/SupvAsHRMgr/Mod%205-2,%20H01%20-%20%20MER%20Handbook%20for%20Supervisors.doc When an employee engages in misconduct or performs poorly, the employee needs to be disciplined. However, employers want to give employees a chance to improve. Accordingly, disciplinary and/or rehabilitation actions start small and should increase in severity only if there is no improvement or continued bad behavior. In the Army, there is a suggested table of penalties for managers’ use. Although Army supervisors don’t have follow these rules, the table’s guidelines can be helpful for consistence. Check it out. Have you encountered a similar tool anyplace you have worked? Can you see how this table works similar to some of the state law approaches? 5. Describe the range of testing that is allowed in the workplace. What are some of the limitations of workplace testing? What are some of the limitations of preemployment testing? What are some of the potential pitfalls for management? What might management do to avoid the pitfalls? Provide an actual example as part of your response to each question.
6. Define affirmative action. Which employers are subject to affirmative action laws? What potential effect does affirmative action have on employees and the workplace? Please provide examples for your response to each question.
7. Define “reverse discrimination” and tell how it relates to affirmative action.
8. Kayla, a supervisor, recently hired a new manager, Alex, but has received complaints from customers that they cannot understand him when they speak to him on the telephone. Alex is a Romanian employee visiting from the company’s Romanian office and is scheduled to remain with the firm for two years. Kayla is concerned that if she allows Alex to perform duties similar to other managers, the firm will lose customers; however, she is unsure about the firm’s liability for decreasing Alex’s responsibilities as a result of his foreign accent. What do you advise? 9. The case involving New Haven Connecticut firefighters, Ricci v. DeStefano, is discussed in Chapter 5. Here’s an article about it, too. : http://racerelations.about.com/od/thelegalsystem/a/WhiteFirefightersAccuseNewHavenofRacialBias.htm. What’s an employer to do? The fire department management It thought the promotion exam had a disparate impact on minorities, and they threw out the test results. White males sued claiming discrimination, and they won.

10. Plastico Corporation’s management hears through the corporate grapevine that its employees are unhappy with work conditions at the manufacturing plant and are looking into bringing in a union. In an effort to stop the plant’s unionization, Plastico posts a notice on the lunchroom bulletin board that anyone sympathetic to unions will be terminated. Is this action permissible as a way for Plastico to discourage unions?
11. Describe the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and its requirements.
12. How many times in the news have you seen a company’s “export” of labor services to a foreign country because labor is less expensive, likely because employees do not have to be paid as much as employees in the United States? Consider that the factory or work provided in that country may be the only means of support for many, many people, and even though the standards aren’t up to U.S. ones, they are better than if the company wasn’t there at all and didn’t provide the jobs.



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