Law plays an important role in how societies and businesses function. There are rules and laws for just about everything. If there were no rules or laws in place, society as we know it would not exist. Businesses would be much different than the ones we see today. The Laws intent is to provide fairness, equality, and justice. It provides protection, settles disputes, and enforces consequences for breaking the law. Everyone is subject to the law, which means it does not matter if a person is rich or poor, young or old. Every person has equal rights. Laws regulate acceptable social behaviors in society and acceptable practices within businesses. According to “Law and The Rule of Law” (2012), “Laws protect our general safety, and ensure our rights as citizens against abuses by other people, by organizations, and by the government itself” (3). A society is made up of many different kinds of people, such as different cultures, backgrounds, religions, beliefs, and so on.
The laws functions are to create an even playing field, so that all individuals are considered equal despite their differences. Laws protect our rights as citizens. Laws allow citizens to have freedom of speech and freedom of expression as long as those beliefs do not infringe on another person’s rights. Laws allow people to engage in their religious belief and cultural backgrounds without fear of persecution. Also, there are laws that help protect a citizen’s general safety, like food safety laws, traffic safety laws, and laws that require certain occupations, such as a doctor or a nurse, to have a license to practice. Without these laws in place, life and society would be a very dangerous and unsafe place. Laws play a large role in how businesses function. They are the basis for what are acceptable practices and guidelines that all businesses must follow.
The law establishes what is allowed and not allowed and what they must do in order to remain compliant. From the beginning, the law establishes the available types of corporations and the law dictates how to tax the business accordingly. There are laws that deter price fixing and monopolization so that businesses remain competitive. There are various laws to protect employees, such as the requirement for businesses to pay employees no less than minimum wage and to pay the required amount for overtime hours. The law also determines how employees and employers interact with each other. Such laws deal with issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace. Without any rules, regulations, or laws, businesses would essentially be able to do whatever they wanted without any consequences. With constant advances in technology and the world around us societies and businesses must evolve and adjust to these changes.
At the turn of the century, child labor laws were just being implemented, prior to that, children were being exploited to deplorable working conditions. What was considered acceptable at a point in time was no longer considered acceptable and child labor laws were created and enforced. The laws that societies and businesses follow change and evolve. Laws that were appropriate 20 or 30 years ago are not always pertinent in changing times. Laws are constantly being changed, added to, or thrown out completely. My very first job was working as a cashier at grocery store. I had just turned 16 and I remember my starting pay was just a little more than the current minimum wage at the time. This job gave me my first insight to how laws function in businesses. As an employee, I was entitled to a 30 minute lunch. As required by law after a four hour shift, I was entitled to a 15 minute break. Although, I was 16, I was allowed to work full time because I had obtained my diploma early.
By law, if I did not have my diploma and was still going to high school, I would only have been able to work 25 hours or less, which is considered part-time. A few years after working at the grocery store, I took a job as a receptionist for a company that manufactured disposable linens for hospitals and ambulances. I was working there for about six months, when one day there seemed to be a lot of panic and hysteria, and I did not quite understand why. I kept hearing INS is coming send the workers home. I admit I had no idea what INS was. I watched as everyone was scrambling to the parking lot to leave before INS got there. When the commotion died down I asked my co-worker what was happening and that’s when she explained to me what INS is and how 95% of the factory employees are illegal citizens.
Whenever I think about this story, I shudder at the risk the owner took with his million dollar company. I remember being told how he is fair and treats everyone great, which may have been true, but that does not negate the fact that he was doing illegal business. In my opinion, he would not have taken such a risk if there was not some kind of incentive for him. However, it is businesses owners like this one who create the need for certain laws and business regulations. It is safe to say that laws are at the very core of societies and businesses. Both behaviors in society and businesses alike are maintained through laws that set the precedent. Without laws, there would be no structure, no consequences, and no way of protecting the rights of every citizen. Thankfully that is not the case. Bushman (2007), “The United States legal system is intricate and complex. It recognizes the importance of law in day-to-day individual and business life”(12).
Bushman, M. (2007). Role of Law in Business. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/the-role-functions-law-business-society-191823.html?cat=3 Law and the Rule of Law. (2012). Retrieved from http://judiciallearningcenter.org/law-and-the-rule-of-law/