A HR Director has many job responsibilities throughout the work day. They ensure that payroll and accounting are done properly; they are in charge of the hiring and training of new employees. They must also keep up to date information and training for current employees who wish to continue to work for the company. Also HR directors also have to deal with the termination of employees. One other task which HR directors must deal with is employee safety. They must ensure the company and the employees are following all federal and state guidelines. By following all safety and security measures maintains the employer and employee have proper balance within the workplace. Listed below are four case scenarios in which I, as the HR director, must ensure all federal guidelines are being met by the company to offer the best outcome for the employees involved.
Case Scenario 1: Medical Bills
This employee has been a dedicated employee within the company for the past 25 years of service. They have been diagnosed with cancer which has required them to be hospitalized for two months. While in the hospital, they have accumulated a numerous amount of medical bills due to different treatment options. With the mounting amount of medical bills and no work, this employee is seeking additional help from the employer with additional medical costs and to help cover the cost of these bills. The company is already following state and federal guidelines by covering their 80% coverage and the individual pays the remaining 20% coverage. Also the employee has paid into disability insurance and the company is complying with that additional coverage as well, as the employee takes an extended leave of absence.
It has been deemed the employee’s cancer was not due to working and hazardous materials from the company, so the employer is under no obligation to cover anymore medical expenses. Another step which can be taken for the employee to help offset the cost of treatment is the company can host several fundraisers for the employee and their family. All the money either donated or raised through the fundraiser can be set up in account which will cover the cost of current and any additional medical bills. Although not required by the company to take these extra steps, it can bring coworkers together to help in times of need and boost employee morale around the office as well.
Case Scenario 2: Accidents with New Management
“Accidents have been occurring in a department of 10 employees under a new supervisor. With the change in management, employees who worked for the company for more than 4 years complain that the new supervisor frequently micromanages, whereas the supervisor complains that the employees do not respect him because he is new and younger than his subordinates. Aside from the accidents, the supervisor thinks the team performance is below average” (University of Phoenix, 2012). The HR Director has many options which they can choose from to handle this rather difficult situation which are legally legit. One of the first things the HR Director needs to do is have a mandatory meeting with the supervisor in charge. There is a proper way to manage and lead a team to achieve results. Talking down to them and micromanaging them over every move is not the proper way. With constant micromanagement, the employees may feel like they are being babysat and hounded.
They will not be able to get any work done which in turn will increase the low production rate and not only frustrate the employees but the supervisor as well. To earn respect of the employees, the supervisor also needs to give some respect to them and not talk down to them. The HR Director’s next step is to explain to the supervisor and the employees of the company’s safety guidelines and their accordance with OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration). “Under the OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. OSHA’s mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards. Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards” (United States Department of Labor, 2012).
All workplace safety and health standards must be in compliance of OSHA. Any company that is not in compliance with OSHA can face severe penalties. Also the HR director needs to inform the supervisor and employees that if all OSHA guidelines are met this will lower the illness and injury prevention. With a lower injury and illness prevention more work can be done and increase productivity for the entire company. “Most successful injury and illness prevention programs are based on a common set of key elements. These include: management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement” (United States Department of Labor, 2012). Following these guidelines and programs will prevent more injuries and illness at the workplace.
This will also lower the cost of sick pay leave and insurance premiums can also remain relatively low. Also a company does not what and a reputation as an unsafe and hazardous workplace. This will cost the company billions of dollars as more people will not be willing to either work for the company or consumers will not want to purchase products from this company as well. The supervisor, who follows and implements these new changes will gain more respect from their employees as well, will have increase in productivity, and also employee morale will increase throughout the company.
Case Scenario 3: Workplace Tardiness
* “A recently hired female employee was late more than eight times during her * employment and was terminated because of the tardiness. The employee came back with a union representative asking to be rehired. She claims that some male employees and another female employee have been late many times. None of these employees have been terminated. The other female employee has not been fired because she is the manager’s wife” (University of Phoenix, 2012). This terminated employee is allowed to have a union representative review the case as deemed acceptable by OSHA guidelines. Since the company and HR director refused to terminate the other two employees who also were tardy on numerous occasions, the fired employee has the right to file suit for being terminated due to discrimination.
The company was following proper procedure for this one employee but not for the others and this one employee was singled out. All the employees should have been terminated immediately for their tardiness. Under OSHA guidelines “If you have been punished or discriminated against for using your rights, you must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged reprisal for most complaints” (United States Department of Labor, 2012). Once the complaint was filed a proper investigation between an OSHA investigator and HR Director will be conducted to ensure all policies are adhered to by the employer.
* Case Scenario 4: Employee returns to work after baby
* A once high performing employee has returned to work after only taking a three week maternity leave. Since her return, her work productivity has drastically decreased; she has been distant with co-workers and at times to melancholy to work with. She has lost interest with her professional work attire and has become discombobulated with her daily work functions and duties. With her decrease in performance has had a great impact on the company as well. The company needs to let her know that she is able to take the full six week leave of absence which they provide and will not affect her job standing. The employee also has the option to file a “12 week leave of absence in the event of a birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth” (United States Department of Labor, 2012).
This will give the new mother the needed rest she needs and then can return to work and be more productive again. This will not only help her and her family but also the company as well. * These scenarios occur daily throughout our lives. Many times they may not be handled properly and result in investigation and lawsuit. A properly trained HR director will be able to sort through these scenarios and take the necessary steps that are legal and beneficial to both employee and employer. Following proper legal rights and laws will increase work productivity and morale for all parties involved. *
United States Department of Labor. (2012). Family Medical Leave Act. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/ United States Department of Labor. (2012). Injury and Illness Prevention Programs. Retrieved from http://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/safetyhealth/index.html United States Department of Labor. (2012). OSHA Laws & Regulations. Retrieved from
http://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html University of Phoenix. (2012). University of Phoenix: Individual Strategic Approach. Retrieved from http://https://portal.phoenix.edu/classroom/coursematerials/hrm_552/20120925/OSIRIS:43038327
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