1. Given Bandag Auto’s size, and anything else you know about it, explain why and how the human resource management function should be reorganized.
Firstly, we recommend that Bandag Automotive form a new, separate Human Resources Unit that will be dedicated to the Bandag’s new strategy. Bandag Automotive does not have a business strategy, so the new Human Resource Unit will provide this statement, which will allow strategic human resources to operate: ‘Bandag Automotive’s business strategy is to achieve superior levels of customer service and high profitability through a highly committed workforce.’ Jim will no longer have direct HR responsibilities with the employees; everything will be handled through the new HR organization chart. The new HR manager will help formulate business strategies and policies and identify workforce requirements. Jim’s father has a lot of experience with the company and has created an excellent relationship with the employees. He will be a good advisor for the new HR manager. The new HR manager will have these tasks, pulled from the Department of Labor’s O*NET: * Serve as a link between management and employees by handling questions, interpreting and administering contracts and helping resolve work-related problems.
* Analyze and modify compensation and benefits policies to establish competitive programs and ensure compliance with legal requirements. * Advise managers on organizational policy matters such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment, and recommend needed changes. * Perform difficult staffing duties, including dealing with understaffing, refereeing disputes, firing employees, and administering disciplinary procedures. * Plan and conduct new employee orientation to foster positive attitude toward organizational objectives. * Identify staff vacancies and recruit, interview and select applicants.
* Plan, direct, supervise, and coordinate work activities of subordinates and staff relating to employment, compensation, labor relations, and employee relations. * Plan, organize, direct, control or coordinate the personnel, training, or labor relations activities of an organization. * Represent organization at personnel-related hearings and investigations. * Administer compensation, benefits and performance management systems, and safety and recreation programs. The new HR manager with the help of Jim’s father, will survey the current employees to get to know them better and to prepare for job analysis.
2. Recommend what Bandag should change and/or improve upon regarding the current HR systems, forms, and practices the company now uses.
Bandag should revoke all contacts with the external HR firm that had been hired previously. Now, the new HR manager will completely separate Bandag from the external agencies. He will have prepared the HR policies that work along with the company’s new strategy. All required forms will be internally generated. To ensure independence from the HR agencies, the manager will recruit two HR assistants to assist. One will be responsible for the recruiting, orienting, and training of new employee and employee advocacy. The second will be responsible for evaluating current employees, tracking promotions, proper counseling and firing of employees, and training current employees on new policies. Of course, the legal part of HR that Jim had many problems with will now be the responsibility of the HR manager.
Finally, Jim, Jim’s father, and HR will evaluate the effect of the new unit on Bandag Automotive and its HR issues. The problems facing Bandag automotive result from a lack of a dedicated HR staff. Jim’s policies are not wrong, but they are applied in the wrong way. If the HR unit is not created it will lead to continuing problems and the gap between the employees and employer will be increased. In the end, poor HR management will give Bandag Automotive a bad reputation and will lead to a drop in quality, loss of customers and lower profit.
3. Jim fired an employee for creating what the manager called a poisonous relationship. Explain whether or not the employee has a legitimate claim against the company and the actions the company should take.
Henry Jacques was fired because his manager reported that while he was doing the technical part of his job well, he had serious problems interacting with his coworkers and was making his store poisonous. Jim approved Henry’s dismissal. Though Henry’s manager had heard that he has a mental illness, he did not take that into account when evaluating Henry. Henry also never brought it to his management’s attention if he indeed has a mental illness. In that case Henry does not have a legitimate claim against Bandag Automotive. He was warned in his performance appraisals that he had problems working in a team environment, and he never brought up the fact that he has a disability. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the employee must establish he has a covered disability.
Also, we do not have enough information on Henry’s claim to know if this is his defense. We believe he was fired appropriately; however, the right thing to do in this situation was to first transfer Henry to another position and to give him a final warning. In this position, most of his work should not be on a team. If he continues to be problematic when working on his own, a discharge would be more appropriate.
4. Miriam, the controller, is basically claiming that the company is retaliating against her for being pregnant, and that the fact that the company raised performance issues was just a smokescreen. Explain whether or not the EEOC and/or courts would agree with her and the actions the company should take now.
Miriam had been with Bandag Automotive for six years. She went on pregnancy leave for twelve weeks under the FMLA, and then received an extra three-week leave under Bandag’s extended-illness-days program. Miriam was recently fired by Jim because she had been turning her budgets in late and possibly forged some documents. If we assume that Jim’s claims are solid, he had a right to fire her for misconduct. We believe that her claim of wrongful discharge related to her pregnancy is unfounded. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in our opinion, will not agree with her and will not fight the case on her behalf.
In addition, she resumed work for three months after her leave, and may be angry because her request to adjust her schedule was refused. If she wasn’t happy with her schedule she could have quit. Bandag’s HR system failed here because a job description and contract could have prescribed specific working hours, which she would have to abide by.
5. An employee who is deaf has asked to switch jobs to be a delivery person and he was turned down. He is now threatening to sue. Recommend what the company should do and describe why.
A truck maintenance employee who is deaf, applied for a job driving one of Bandag’s distribution trucks, and Jim directly turned him down because of
his disability. We believe that the employee will win if he sues Jim, unless Jim can prove that the employee was denied because there were more qualified applicants and in no way because of his disability. Yet it is still pretty risky because the court system is very strict about the Americans with Disabilities Act. If the deaf employee can prove that Jim thinks that is absurd for a disabled person to drive a truck, he will win and cause monetary and public damages to the company. Our solution to mitigate the problem is to rescreen all applicants, including the employee to see if he is qualified for the job. If he is, offer him the job if he is still interested, and he will hopefully drop the case.