Ethical Issues in Employment Law
Samuel C. Moore
MGT 320- The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
Dr. Bill Reed
Colorado State University- Global Campus
January 4, 2015
Ethical Issues in Employment Law
There are many different laws that employers must follow to be fair to their employees and to avoid being penalized by the government. These laws unfortunately are broken often especially since these laws restrict the employer and can make it more challenging for them to conduct their business rather than to look out for their employees. The Fair Labor and Standards Act of 1938 would be one of the main acts that contribute to the labor laws here in the United States (Ko, Medeloff, 2010). The Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) created the forty-hour work week, established the minimum wage for the nation as well as making sure that there were regulations for employing minors. Prior to the creation of this act employers were not regulated and you would see employees working extremely long weeks with varying pay as well as young children working in factories in dangerous conditions. President Franklin Roosevelt said that this single piece of legislation was one of the most important in the history of the United States. Since the creation of this act there have been many amendments to continue to help protect the rights of employees in all kinds of working fields. Some of those amendments include the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and Fair Minimum Wage Act just to name a few. All of these labor acts and laws are governed by the United States Department of Labor whose sole job is to make sure that employers in all fields follow specific guidelines for pay, safety and advancement opportunities (Ko, Medeloff, 2010). Every day someone is being affected by illegal labor practices that can cause injury in the workplace or causing an employee to not feel valued or equal to others.
Personally I have worked in many different fields from restaurants to contracting and even running my own business, I have experienced the affects that being treated unfairly in a work setting can make someone feel and I also have been on the employer side where we are constantly looking at the labor laws and making sure that everyone in our company are following them every single day. I feel like the ethical part of following the labor laws are what companies should listen to, the laws are put in place to make sure that the employees are being treated properly. When I think of one particular time that I experienced breaking a labor law at the expense of me it was when I was working in the contracting industry. I was in high school and in the summers I would work for a contracting company that did many different kinds of jobs everything from remodels to new construction. In a particular job where we were doing a remodel on a commercial building I was removing old linoleum flooring from the back hallway of this building days and days of working to remove the flooring it came known by an inspector to contain asbestos in the material and that I was being exposed to above the maximum level of asbestos in the air. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which is a separate department within the United States Department of Labor, states that the maximum level of exposure to asbestos that an employee can work within is 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter as an average over an eight hour time frame (OSHA, 2011). Anything over this limit the employer is subject to fines from OSHA and potentially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In my particular case the exposure level was nearing 0.2 which is close to double the acceptable limit, when this was found my employer was fined by OSHA and had to shut their job site down for 5 days and pay for a remediation team to come in and remove the asbestos (OSHA, 2011). The company...
References: Ko, K., Medeloff, J., & Gray, W. (2010). The role of inspection sequence in compliance with the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards: Interpretations and implications. Regulation & Governance, 4(1). 48-70. Doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5991.2010.01070.x
United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (2011). http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title29-vol6/pdf/CFR-2011-title29-vol6-sec1910-1001.pdf
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