Human Resource Management (Case Study)
Question 1 Answers
According to NLRB (2015), a construction contractor fired five of his employees after some of them filed a complaint in a YouTube video on the hazardous working conditions in the construction company. The workers issued the complaint when they learned that they were constructing the concrete foundations at an individual site, and they were worried that the soil on the site was contaminated with arsenic and other hazardous toxins. More so, the construction contractor required them to put on some badges regarding them as well trained to handle the hazardous materials on the site. In a real sense, the badges belonged to other employees and they had never trained.
Three of the workers took the concerns publicly in a YouTube video hiding their faces in a shadow to avoid retaliation. However, within several days, the three workers together with other two employees who were their friends lost their jobs with Rain City Contractors. The NLRB came in and opened a case with the NLRB regional office and the case settled with the employees receiving a full back pay and declining the reinstatement. As the days passed, the employer continued threatening and interrogating other employees and telling them not to talk about the working conditions with outsiders.
After a follow up on the investigations on the charges against the construction company, the NLRB regional officer said that the YouTube video was protected, and the workers voiced their concerns about the safety in the workplace. He further said that the complaints did not lose the Act’s protection as they accurately described their complaints about the working conditions and what they went through in the company. The NLRB general counsel issued a complaint and called for the case hearing before an administrative law judge. After the hearing, the NLRB attorneys played the video to present the evidence that the employer had been fined for violations of the state law regarding the concerns raised by the workers. After the testimony on the hearing, the construction company settled the case by issuing all the five employees full back pay for the period of their termination to the settlement date. The workers thereafter declining the reinstatement and the case were settled.
Question 2 Answers
In the above case study, the NLRB was on the right side as they filed a definite remedy on the concerns raised by the employees in the construction company. One of the major reasons is that the employer terminated his employees on the real interests of a hazardous environment where the workers were supposed to work. The employees worked together to improve their pay and the working conditions in the company for the sake of the entire company.
According to NLRB, if the employees got fired or penalized for taking part in a protected group activity, the NLRB has to fight and restore what was unlawfully taken away from the complainants. In this case, the employees had the right to raise their concerns, and the NLRB had a right to come in and settle the case and restore what was unlawfully taken from the employees.
Question 3 Answers
At times, the relationship between the employees in the company might work negatively mostly when the bailed people tend to raise hatred and ill situations between each other. To an extent, some concerns expressed by some of the employees against their employers may lead to ethical dilemma situations as the employers may not be friendly as before to the employees who filed a case against them. On the other hand, the relationship may be positive, but entirely on the employees who were suspended for raising concerns about their rights. Some of them will see them as brave and put a positive interest in their relationships but not in all cases.
Question 4 Answers
Effective decision making and communication is vital in a company’s growth. Under a concerted activity scenario, communicating the remedies might be both cumbersome and easy depending on the type of employees working in your firm. However, one needs to communicate in a clear and honest way about the issue at hand that you want to change. It helps in giving clear and concise remedies for the situation. Most people prefer honesty and as an employer, one will gain the employees trust and they will respond positively.
One also needs to explain how the change will be effected which is the safest way to reassure quality security control on the employees rights. You need also to tell the workers what they need to do as per the change requirements. It is vital to outline what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Lastly and not the least, one needs to open a two-way communication with the employees to listen to their opinions. It guarantees a safe way of communication and trust between the two parties. With such communication used, you must be sure of such as situation as the one mentioned above would never occur again.
The social media policy is a good method of taking care of the employees who suffer indirectly from the fact that they cannot express themselves directly to their employers when they face horrible situations in their working areas. There are various policies one would import if a case like the one mentioned above occurs. One should not threaten his or her employees with adverse consequences if they support or engage in a union activity or a concerted activity. It gives the employer time to think and resolve the issue raised by the employees and avoiding court cases.
Secondly, one should as well promise employees benefits if they reject the union. It helps in regaining the trust between the employer and the employee once again. Lastly and not the least, an employer should not prohibit the employees from talking about the company during their working time if you give them consent to say other non-work-related subjects. It helps the company to know any violations or problem affecting his or her employees on time and working towards providing the solution to such cases.
National Labor Relations Board, (2015). Protected Concerted Activity.
Retrieved from: https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/protected-concerted-activity