For this week Human Resource Management course we were asked to read the Case Study found on page 115 and answer the supplemental questions in detail. The first question asks; if Home Depot was correct in that it was not discriminating, but simply filling positions consistent with those who applied for them( and very few women were applying for customer service position) given your reading of this chapter was the firm guilty of discrimination? If so, under what theory? Yes, Home Depot was accountable of discrimination towards women due to their standards of hiring by reinforcing gender stereotyping; causing them to be guilty of disparate treatment. The disparate treatment in this case was due to women being treated differently in comparison to their male co-workers in regards to promotions, pay, and hiring. Female applicants who felt discriminated were mainly those who applied for jobs within Home Depots West Coast Division.
They felt they were being overlooked during hiring and bypassed in connection with promotions, salary, and job assignments opportunities within the workplace. Home Depot, however, felt they did nothing wrong and stated the unfairness of what they were being accused of was due to most female job applicants having experience as cashiers, so they were placed in similar positions, such as, cashier positions, clerical duties, customer service, and so forth. In addition, their explanation for the high turnaround in percentage of male employees within the home repair, plumbing, carpentry departments, etc… were due to male applicants expressing interest in those type of skilled employment. The second question asks how does the case illustrate the application of new technology to solving issues that have never been tied to technology? Can you think of other ways technology might be used to address diversity/EEO/affirmative action issues?
Home Depot was able to tie technology by solving issues by introducing a Job Preference Program, which provides in-store computer kiosks that allow employees to check job opportunities within their workplace and the skill requirements for each position. This system helps employees upgrade their skills. In addition, Home Depot offers a web-based learning program which allows employees to increase their product knowledge and eligibility for new positions. The Job Preference Program has helped the company eliminate discrimination and other barriers within the recruitment process. Since its roll-out in 1999, the program has reduced employee turnover and in a single year, female and minorities have attained management positions increased by 28 to 30 percent from earlier periods. This system has also shown to be a huge success among managers as they feel they are now able to prescreen adequately qualified applicants.
Technology can also be used to address diversity/EEO/affirmative action issues by having a systematic process in place which can help with gathering, analyzing and documenting information about particular jobs, and personnel information including but not limiting to disciplinary actions as well as promotional considerations. For example, a systematic analysis can specify each workers job description entailing their salary base range, this way employees don’t feel underpaid but satisfactorily compensated amongst their peers performing their same duties. By having such technology in place a company can avoid fines, penalties and costly litigation of unhappy employees feeling discriminated and pursing legal actions. In addition, technology can address some diversity by providing employees with online trainings which will enable them to apply to new positions within the workplace and track their preparation and job skills; causing maximum strategic development.
Furthermore, with the ease of technology, employers can have the capacity to monitor working conditions to ensure each job is being performed successfully and satisfactory. Technology can also help with affirmative action’s, by doing so, companies can develop tutorial guides which can help employees with a variety solutions to problems within their working environment. Tutorial guides can help improve workforce diversity, by assisting and addressing how one can handle issues among the workplace, for example, directing employees how to affectively respond to relationships between coworkers of other ethnicity, race, religion, etc.., and how to cope with personality conflicts; among others criteria’s within the workforce.
Technology can also help with developing a systemic job analysis tool which can be resourceful to help with useful information for HRM practices. A systemic job analysis will provide useful plans for coordination, for example, determining job qualifications for recruitment purposes, developing training programs, developing performance appraisals rating forms, determining pay rate factors, and performance standards for productivity improvement to name a few.
All in all, technology can only get better with time by utilizing these tools within the workforce by complying with compliances and avoid lawsuits and penalties in the future. In my research, I also discovered that Walmart also had similar issues with sex discrimination. A class action suit brought by a former employee in which the Supreme Court, by a narrow 5-4 decision, reversed the district court’s decision to certify a class action lawsuit in which the plaintiff class included 1.6 million women who currently work or have worked for Wal-Mart stores, including lead plaintiff Betty Dukes.