Deliverable length: 1,500 to 2,000 words, not counting test from APA cited sources. minimum 2.
The Elora Jean & Co. owner has come to you asking for guidance on a few issues that were brought to her attention. With the rapidly growing workforce, an increasing number of employees have requested extended time off from work. The owner does not want to grant the time off because of its effect on productivity.
When asked for examples of the requests, she provides you with the following scenarios:
- Employee #1 has been with Elora Jean & Co. for 13 months. She has requested time off to help care for her terminally ill mother-in-law. She is not sure how long she will need to be out of work, but it could be as long as 3 months.
- Employee #2 has been with Elora Jean & Co. for 18 months. His wife just had a baby, and he is asking to take 6 weeks off of work to help with the new responsibilities at home.
- Employee #3 developed health problems since her start with Elora Jean & Co. 7 months ago. Her work attendance is unpredictable. She has exhausted all of her sick days and advised her supervisor that her doctor is requiring her to stay home for a period of 6 weeks.
- Employee #4, who has been with Elora Jean since the company started, has a son that has been called to active duty for the military. Her son, who is a single parent, has a 3-year-old daughter who needs to be cared for. The employee wants to take 8 weeks off work to get her granddaughter situated and transitioned into a new routine as her father leaves to fulfill his military responsibilities abroad.
As the human resources (HR) consultant, you have many questions, and you would like to gather all of the necessary information before providing additional guidance or recommendations. You are aware of the company’s legal limitations and discretions, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The owner has also advised you that the company has no formal leave policy for any type of employee absence, other than 7 paid sick days per year.
After conducting your research, in a memo to the owner, address the following questions:
- Considering the Elora Jean & Co. work environment and history (124 employees, in business for 18 months, mix of union and nonunion), is the company currently exposed to any legal risk by not having a defined leave policy in place? If so, what are the risks and the penalties for violation?
- Of the 4 employee cases described, discuss whether each one would qualify for FMLA leave. Why or why not?
- For employees who do not qualify under FMLA, what would you recommend to the company? Explain other employee leave options for the company without compromising the company’s financial objectives.
- Develop a sample leave policy to be presented to the company owner. Be sure that the policy covers the key components of a comprehensive leave policy, including requirements for eligibility, leave benefits provided, job restoration, pay, and benefits status while on leave. Outline a summary of your recommendations to the company owner, and advise her about the value of implementing this type of policy.
more background info: Elora Jean and Co., based in central Indiana, is a family-run manufacturing business. The company manufactures grain products for the food industry. Currently, the organization consists of a production facility that has 110 unionized production employees and 2 administration offices that have 14 nonunion employees. Elora Jean and Co. is in the process of opening a production facility in Malaysia, which will have 20 nonunion employees. Elora Jean and Co. has been operating as a sole proprietorship for 18 months.
At the start-up phase, the company owner did not forecast an exponential increase in demand for her product. Consequently, she did not apply for unemployment insurance, purchase a general liability insurance policy, or obtain a worker’s compensation policy, because she planned to use her own family members to operate the business. Over the last 13 months, however, the company has grown, in part because of its aggressive hiring strategy and need to manage production demands. In spite of the company’s rapid growth, it does not have a dedicated human resources department. Instead, the company’s owner delegated human resource administration duties to the operations manager (OM), but the OM’s knowledge of human resource policy, practice, and regulation is limited. As the company continues to expand its operation, the owner has detected an increase in employee grievance cases. The owner foresees certain legal ramifications of an undermanaged workforce because of this lack of human resource administration experience.
You are a contracted strategic human resource (HR) consultant for Elora Jean and Co. Your role, over the next 5 weeks, is to ensure that the company’s HR policies and processes comply with local, state, and federal labor statutes.
The critical areas in which you intend to focus include equal employment opportunity (EEO) staffing laws, antidiscriminatory hiring practices, foreign worker provisions, and affirmative action regulations. You will be asked to review labor laws and relevant cases, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. You are also being asked to communicate labor and employment litigation risks and solutions to the owner.
The production facility with its union representation will present additional challenges. You have had experience dealing with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the past, and you are focused on keeping Elora Jean and Co. clear of its investigations and hearings. Therefore, you plan to review and identify management practices to minimize the risk of unfair labor practice charges. A comprehensive review of grievance procedures and labor relations practices within the context of union representation will be on your list of priorities.
Additionally, the production facility presents an increased risk for safety accidents. The owner has asked you to initiate a safety audit to ensure that Elora Jean and Co. is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) laws. You will also review the safety records at Elora Jean and Co. to determine the company’s legal liabilities and limitations regarding its drug-free workplace policy. With the Malaysian production facility on the horizon, there will be international HR policies and regulations to consider, too. Elora Jean and Co. needs you to determine which U.S. and international HR laws might apply to the offshore operation, as well as the employer’s responsibilities to U.S. employees and non-U.S. employees working abroad.
The HR issues at Elora Jean and Co. will provide a challenging 5-week project for you, the human resource professional. The success of Elora Jean and Co. depends on your in-depth knowledge of U.S. labor laws, general knowledge of HR regulations as they apply to a global workforce, and your HR policy guidance to keep the company within its legal boundaries of human resource management.