The manner in which an organization handles its employees at the place of work is important as it determines its success rating (Deckop, 2006). This is because human resources constitute any organization’s most valuable assets. Among other issues, priority ought to be given to ethical and legal issues when dealing with employees. Complaints and general problems ought to be handled carefully, and in accordance with the legal and ethical provisions.
As such, human resource managers ought to be well versed with employment and workplace laws; but need to use their discretion to act ethically when dealing with people. This is because what is ethical does not always mean it is legal (Deckop, 2006). The Ideal Legal and Ethical Hiring Practices There are federal laws that govern hiring of staff by organizations. For Greenhill Memorial Hospital, the conflict between Brad and his supervisor can be resolved by a careful examination of the ideal legal and ethical practices of hiring.
The first area of interest as far as legal issues are concerned is that it is illegal to discriminate anyone during the hiring process (Querin, 2009) As such, should Brad’s claims that he is being discriminated against on the basis of his gender and sexual orientation be confirmed as true, then his supervisor is liable for criminal charges. This is in accordance with the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion, and nationality (Guerin, 2009).
It is therefore critical that Brad is given a fair chance during the selection process. Another legal requirement when hiring staff is that there ought to be a blend of different people as opposed to a homogenous workforce (Guerin, 2009). The law, on this basis, requires that hiring companies make advertisements for the vacancies they have and carry out a fair selection process based not only on qualifications but also on the need for maintaining a heterogeneous workforce.
The organization is then expected to maintain a record of all the applicants for a given position, the number of those who qualified and those who failed, as well as the reasons for their failure (Guerin, 2009). This helps to ensure that the process is fair and legal. There has to be no focus on specific attributes of the person in making such advertisements except that the need for the applicant to be qualified.
That is why the hiring agency is required to give reasons for rejecting certain applicants; and their personal details also ought to be made available. For instance, if indeed a friend to Brad’s supervisor is hired eventually, the supervisor, in the event of an investigation, will be required to give the reasons why the friend was hired as opposed to the others who interviewed for the position. In this case, Brad ought to submit an application for the job and wait for the results of the application.
In the event he fails to get the job, he has the right to file formal complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that there is no form of discrimination at the workplace based on issues like age, gender, disability, race, among others. In the event that there are threats to Brad as he claims, then another agency, individual, or organization can file the claims on his behalf so that the hiring process can be investigated. If the claims are investigated and found to be true, Brad can be compensated in different ways, including being hired for the job.
Ethically, it is unethical for Brad’s supervisor to inform staff under her of a vacancy when actually she has already filled it up (Deckop, 2006). Even more unethical is that she has filled it up with her own friend. It is also unethical for her to fail to let Brad, who has worked in the job for twelve years and is obviously better qualified, to have the job. Even more unethical is the fact that Brad is really in need of a morning shift job as he is going to have to give up his evening shift job because of his other commitments.
Obviously, any ethical supervisor would view his case as a deserving one (Deckop, 2006). However, legal issues ought to always be given priority over ethical ones (Deckop, 2006). For instance, there has to be proof that no-one else is qualified for the job before Brad can be considered on ethical grounds. The law usually does not use ethics to determine the due process. Ethics remains the preserve of the individual people dealing with the process and cannot be cited in legal proceedings (Deckop, 2006).
Brad also ought to understand that he is not supposed to make allegations based on rumors only. He also has to understand that he has the legal right to complain to her boss about work-related problems without fear of being dismissed or punished. Ensuring Legal Hiring As the HR manager to whom this case has been reported, I would first ask the supervisor to make available to staff under her the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s rules and provisions for hiring so that they can be better placed to understand their legal rights on hiring, discrimination, and dismissal (Guerin, 2009).
Then I would require that the supervisor advertises the job in accordance with those provisions. A key issue is that superficial attributes like age, skin color, gender, or sexual orientation ought not to be part of the requirements because any person can qualify to do the job. After hiring, I will require that the supervisor gives the reasons why whoever gets the job got it as well as why each of the other unsuccessful applicants failed to get the job (Pozgar, 2009).
All the reasons must never have any element of discrimination as the basis of decisions made. Termination and Retaliation It is the right of an employer to fire staff when one so requires. However, it is illegal if such actions are based on reasons that are illegitimate (Dinterman, 2003). For instance, it is wrong for Brad’s supervisor to sack him based on his complaints about something. It is legal for employees to complain to their employers about the issues that concern them. Retaliation is not allowed and constitutes discrimination.
Therefore, Brad ought to be helped to understand that a supervisor cannot retaliate against him for making official complaints. Neither can he be terminated on such a basis. Retaliation is an offence that is usually treated as an act of discrimination because retaliating is essentially acting against someone based on personal reasons as opposed to legitimate issues affecting the organization. Acts of retaliation usually overrule any other issues that the employer might have done to justify any disciplinary measures by the employer (Deckop, 2006).
For instance, even if what Brad heard was baseless and only rumors, any retaliation by his supervisor upon his reporting or complaining will overrule any of his faults. Finally, Brad ought to rest assured that the law of employment protects everyone – the employer as well as the employee (Guerin, 2009). In this respect, he ought to understand that a unilateral decision by his supervisor cannot be effected without the involvement of the human resource manager and other relevant management staff.