Human Resource Laws and Planning
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Describe the differences between diversity management and affirmative action.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Identify the various employment laws and determine their impact on equal employment opportunities.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Evaluate the diversity within a company.
a. Staffing Wal-Mart
I. In an APA-style paper of 750-1,000 words, address the following questions:
1. What were some of the commonly accepted hiring practices prior to the implementation of Title VII?
2. Is gender equality a current issue? Why or why not?
3. Are both genders equally represented in all levels of the company?
4. Are salaries equitable based on job performance and/or seniority?
5. Should Wal-Mart’s managers care about these statistics? Why or why not?
6. What, if anything, should management do about this issue?
II. Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the GCU APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
2. Gomez-Mejia, L.R., Cardy, R.L., & Balkin, D.B. (2009). Managing human resources. (6th ed.). Upper Saddle Creek, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 13: 978-013-609-3527
LECTURE David Isaacks http://angel02.gcu.edu/section/default.asp?id=504418
a. Gomez-Mejia et al., chaps. 3 and 4
2. Electronic Resources:
a. Giovannini, M. (2004). What gets measured gets done. Journal for Quality & Participation, 27(4), 21-27. Retrieved from http://library.gcu.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=15867601&loginpage=Login.asp&site=ehost-live&scope=site
3. Web Sites:
a. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Home page. Retrieved April 5, 2005, from www.eeoc.gov.
4. Readings/GCU Resources:
a. Readings lecture 2
b. Konrad, A., & Mark, K. (2003). Staffing Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Harvard Business Case Study).
The United States has often been touted as a melting pot: a society rich in diversity. Diversity is seen on the streets as one ventures across America. It is also frequently seen in television shows, literature, magazines, newspapers, etc. While diversity is seen in a company’s customer base, however, it is not always seen in the company’s workers. Diversity and diversity management are hot topics in the business world. As a result of recent laws, strides have been made toward developing a more diverse workforce, but there is still much that needs to be done. One key is to truly define diversity, and another is to manage a diverse workforce for optimum operational achievement.
Diversity and Diversity Management
Diversity is defined as "any perceived difference among people: age, race, religion, functional specialty, profession, sexual orientation, geographic origin, lifestyle, tenure with the organization or position, and any other perceived difference" (Mondy, 2008. p. 53). Giovannini (2004) defines diversity as "any dimension that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another" (p. 22). A careful review of both of these definitions makes it clear what diversity is and what it is not.
Diversity as Difference
Diversity means difference. Many young business professionals and students miss the true meaning of diversity. Diversity does not mean a difference only in gender or ethnic background, as the laws that are specifically Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)-driven would have people believe. There is much more to diversity. An example of diversity can be as simple as a group of white males acknowledging that each one is entirely different from the other, or in other words, diverse.
Management of Diversity
The genetic makeup of the workplace is changing. This is due in part to the laws enacted that require companies to hire a diverse workforce and also due to the changing society, which is more diverse and which allows for equal opportunities in a variety of areas, not just business. A question on the minds of many business leaders is how diversity impacts the bottom line. Businesses want to make money; therefore, every action must be evaluated and analyzed to see if it has a positive impact on the bottom line. Diversity may not impact the bottom line but managing the diversity will, just as managing anything well yields greater benefits.
Consider the richness that a group of diverse personalities brings to the table. The personalities may have the same ethnic background or be of different ethnicities, but either way, the group is diverse. A company may want to use assessment tools to better understand their human capital, i.e., their employees. Assessments will demonstrate that diversity exists. Properly put into operation, an assessment such as a personality test can be used to group people together for maximum output, for example, offsetting one’s weaknesses with another’s strengths.
Companies are being asked to learn to manage the diversity within their workforce. Many experts say that the key lies in the notion of inclusion (Giovannini, 2004; Kettleborough, 2005). Inclusion can be viewed as a diversity management program. Inclusion requires managers to embrace diversity and use it to the company’s advantage. It requires behavior modification and change. With inclusion, managers seek input from the diverse personalities and recognize their efforts to make them feel they are truly part of the organization and its mission. According to Giovannini (2004),
Nothing in the company will be different unless the managers apply these inclusion concepts and skills in their daily work activities. In the final analysis, creating a culture diversity/inclusion boils down to individuals demonstrating respect for diversity and practicing inclusion through their daily behavior. (p. 23)
Businesses are legally required to hire a diverse workforce as indicated by certain standards and descriptors. What is not clear is how many companies really embrace and exploit true diversity. The hope is that in the future, no legal boundaries will dictate the hiring of individuals based on predefined descriptors; instead, companies will realize the diversity that exists among all who can and should be hired.
Law can produce a defensive and negative response from managers ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ more marked in small firms. It is equally, if not more, important to support progressive employers who are committed to diversity as it is to impose sanctions on reluctant and prejudiced employers. (Does the law work, 2004, para. 2)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
When considering diversity and the EEOC, the preconceived notion of diversity that many hold is often more aligned with the goals and the mission of the EEOC than it is with the ideas discussed herein. The EEOC is a department of the U.S. government that is committed to assuring the laws established to create diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace are followed. It is an organization that employees can turn to if they feel they have been treated unfairly. It is a governing institution, and it is necessary.
Equal opportunity laws were designed to help the lesser-advantaged people. Business professionals should be able to demonstrate their knowledge of these laws and how they evolved. Some of the laws include the following:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Civil Rights Act of 1866
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended in 1972
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Immigration Control Acts
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Civil Rights Act of 1991
Diversity and diversity management may be the most misunderstood ideas in business. Although laws are in place to assure that companies hire a diverse workforce based on certain descriptors, the laws only begin to define what true diversity is. Many think of diversity simply as differences in ethnic background or gender. Diversity is evident everywhere, and capitalizing on this diversity and using it to a business’ advantage is important. However, in doing so, certain laws must be adhered to.
Giovannini, M. (2004). What gets measured gets done. Journal of Quality & Participation, 27(4), 21-28.
Kettleborough, S. (2005). Investing in inclusion. Management Services, 49(1), 8-10.
Mondy, W. (2008). Human resource management. New York: Prentice Hall.
N.A. (2004). Does the law work or doesn’t it? Management Services, 48(11), 6.