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what is HRM ?

Human Resource Management: Laws and Regulations

In this lesson, we will explore some of the laws, regulations, policies and governing entities that human resource management (HRM) must comply with in an organization. These include:

  • the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Affirmative action

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against covered employees on the basis of race, color, religion, gender or national origin. This means human resource managers must be fair in hiring qualified employees without discrimination.

Nick, owner of Nick's Pizza, held a job fair at his pizzeria. He was looking for a few good pizza makers, a sous chef, a bookkeeper and a server. He wasn't very familiar with the Civil Rights Act, so prior to holding his job fair, Nick took a class on human resource law. When it came to making the hiring decisions, Nick knew he had to do the right thing. He hired a diverse staff.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is a federal agency that enforces the rules of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. The EEOC handles employee claims of discrimination and implementing new anti-discrimination laws

The EEOC does not only handle violations of the Civil Rights Act. The commission also handles the:

Although Nick knew a lot about the Civil Rights Act, he was unfamiliar with some of the other rules of employment. When his sous chef, Maria, became pregnant, Nick wanted to terminate her. Nick didn't think she could reach over the sauce pot or lift the heavy pans in her condition. Maria reminded him about the EEOC and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of bullying or unwanted sexual advances in exchange for reward or favor, and it is illegal. The harassment is considered sexual in nature whether it is verbal or physical. It can be:

  • Engaging in unwanted physical touch
  • Making sexual gestures
  • Displaying sexual images
  • Telling sexual jokes
  • Looking at a person in a sexual way
  • Commenting sexually about clothing or appearance
  • Asking sexually-oriented questions
  • Creating a hostile work environment

Let's visit Nick's pizzeria again. Nick recently hired Prudence as his new bookkeeper. On the days when Nick's cousin Tony worked, he would hug Prudence without her permission. When she resisted and demanded that he stop, he threatened to tell Nick that she was not doing her job. This made her very uncomfortable and created a hostile and threatening work environment.

If Tony continues his groping after being warned, Prudence would have a valid claim of sexual harassment against Tony. The EEOC would handle this type of complaint.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a set of policies that address the inclusion of all people, mainly minorities, in the workforce. Similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affirmative action policies establish hiring quotas for qualifying companies. This means that companies who meet certain criteria are required to hire and promote a specific amount of minorities or people in protected groups, which includes:

  • Minorities
  • Women
  • Disabled persons
  • Qualified veterans

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