50th Anniversary HR Magazine: 10 Changes That Rocked HR

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  • Published : April 13, 2013
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50th Anniversary HR Magazine: 10 Changes That Rocked HR

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By Leon Rubis, Patrick Mirza, Adrienne Fox, Terence F. Shea and Desda Moss

expected to help manage change. Look at what it has been through. With Justice for All

While there remains a long way for our society to go in terms of reducing racism and prejudic certainly say that we’ve come a long way, baby, in the past 50 years. In 1955, the Civil Rights Act was still nine years from passage—not even a gleam in the Congress. Today, it is a cornerstone of workplace rights legislation, the linchpin upon which employee protection is based.

To that linchpin, legislators, judges and administrators have subsequently added a stunning rulings and regulations. The collective effect has been to protect workers and job applicants other things) are pregnant, are physically and mentally disabled, suffer from serious medical have strongly held beliefs—religious or otherwise.

Given the importance of finding and holding a job—both for practical reasons and for issues healthy self-image—these legal changes are a boon for anyone seeking to engage in life, lib pursuit of happiness.

Of course, they also drastically complicate life for HR professionals by imposing demanding burdens on employers. (Time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act may have to be tra increments as small as six minutes. And complying with the Americans with Disabilities precisely scripted sequence of what and when sensitive questions may be asked of employe applicants.)

Most people agree that giving everyone a fair shake in the workplace is a good idea. But few agree on precisely how to do that. Until such agreement is reached, HR professionals will co harder-than-necessary time ensuring that all workers are treated equally. —Patrick Mirza

http://www.shrm.org/Publications/hrmagazine/EditorialContent/Pages/0550th10changes.as... 3/19/2013

50th Anniversary HR Magazine: 10 Changes That Rocked HR

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to global outsourcing and consulting firm Hewitt Associates. And by 2050, minorities will repr of the U.S. population.

As retirement nears for 76 million baby boomers, employers nationwide are bracing for diffic highly skilled and senior jobs, and are looking for ways to retain older workers. By 2010, the the U.S. workforce between the ages of 45 and 64 will increase 29 percent. Many workers w to work well past 65—and will be able to—thanks to medical advances helping baby healthier lives than previous generations. So, many organizations will confront the dynamics workforce that spans three generations.

But with the advantages of diversity also come challenges, including fostering nondiscrimina communication, teamwork and shared values among people of all ages, races, sexes and re —Desda Moss

The Decline of Unions

A half-century ago, it may have been hard for HR professionals to see that organized labor begun to slide. After all, HR had been dealing with unions’ organizing efforts and contract de and union membership totals would continue rising for two more decades.

But another trend was under way: While unionized workers’ share of the total workforce had over 15 years through the end of World War II, it had topped out at about 35 percent and wa 1980, it had dropped to 25 percent of the workforce. In 2004, according to the most recent ta about 12.5 percent. About 15.5 million of the country’s 123.5 million workers belonged to uni Union membership fell by about 300,000 workers while the workforce grew by about 1.2

Experts attribute percentage declines in union membership to economic and social changes falloff in manufacturing jobs as a share of total nonfarm employment—largely a result of tech advances that reduced the need for manual labor. Coupled with that decline was the rise of nonmanufacturing industries, with the service sector accounting for an ever-rising share of th

In addition, globalization and increased access to cheaper labor overseas...
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