Assignment Writing Tutors for Help – Employment Decisions

Assignment Writing Tutors for Help –  Employment Decisions

Assignment Writing Tutors for Help – Employment Decisions

Assignment Writing Tutors for Help

Employment Decisions

There is no one chapter in the text book that aligned completely with this assignment because, in

one sense, the entire text book focuses on employment decisions. Employment decisions cover

hiring (and all of its steps), placement, classification, assignments, promotion,

job/duty/shift/location, transfer, evaluation, training, discipline, termination (punitive and

reduction in force), and many others that effect how an employee is classified, what they are to

do, and how they are to be compensated (money and benefits). It is obvious that most of what

has been studied in this course has related to employment decisions and actions that affect

frontline workers. It can be argued that every employer decision is at least indirectly an

employment decision. The direct supervisor or manager is going to be primarily involved with

Of course, not all employment decisions have direct legal implications. Decisions by employers

(about employees or anything else), even if they have no legal dimension, are likely to have an

ethical dimension and probably do have a managerial dimension. There is a valid argument that

this assignment should be the first in the course (and it does overlap a lot with the first

assignment). But it is included here wrap up of sorts.

Employment decisions in general also include job descriptions and the other topics (and many

more not covered by the course). Making good managerial decisions in an industrial-technical

environment in light of the law is the focus of the class. Employment decisions cover hiring (and

all of its steps), placement, classification, assignments, promotion, job/duty/shift/location,

transfer, evaluation, training, discipline, termination (punitive and reduction in force), and many

others that effect how an employee is classified, what they are to do, and how they are to be

compensated (money and benefits). It is obvious that most of what has been studied in this

course has related to employment decisions and actions that affect front-line workers.

It can be argued that every employer decision is at least indirectly an employment decision. The

direct supervisor or manager is going to be primarily involved with employment decisions.

Similar to the Job Description topic, employment decisions can (a) be more or less legal and

useful, (b) have different purposes, and (c) variously affect the work climate, productivity,

Employer vs Employee Rights

In a perfect world there is no difference between the two. In very simplistic terms both of the

 The employer owns the company (and all assets, e.g., equipment, client contacts, and

intellectual property developed by employees). The employee (when on the job, which

might be 24/7) should do what the employer directs them to do (both what to do and how

to do it). The employer gets to make decisions about what they own and control,

including who they hire, terminate, reward, etc.

 The employee has certain rights. There are things an employer can’t do.

Hence, an employer can do whatever they want, as long as it is not otherwise illegal. Note that

the short caveat, as long as it is not otherwise illegal, is not short on complexities or debate. Also

note that an action can be legal (by adherence to the intent and requirements of the law or by a

loophole) but unethical or massively foolhardy by good management standards.

Employee Attributes/Characteristics and Off-Work Activities

It is often unknown how any attribute affects an employee’s ability to perform a job. Such

judgments (made by the employee themselves, a judge, jury, supervisor, HR person, client, etc.)

are often not based on reality but rather on opinion, gut feelings, etc. Some of the strongest held

beliefs about the relationship of employee attributes and ability to do a given job are false,

counterproductive, unethical, or illegal.

Organizational membership. Membership in organizations (also religions, political parties, clubs,

professional associations, etc.) can have great positive and negative impacts on a person's career.

Depending on the organization, it may or may not be illegal to consider membership in that

organization (e.g., the organization may relate to religion or another protected category factor).

Just as important, it may not be logical or ethical to consider organizational member and a host

of other non-work related attributes. There is a lot of favoritism and discrimination that takes

place due to a person’s organizational affiliations and also their alma mater, state/town of birth,

hobbies, other experiences, and the person’s views and opinions. Much of this is not illegal

(though it may be unfair and contrary to productivity and work climate). Unless the decision

making directly discriminates against a protected class or causes a disparate impact on a

protected class (which can be hard to prove) an employer can openly exclude applicants that

collect stamps, deny promotion to those that don’t belong to a county club, and a host of other

things that don’t make ethical or business sense.

The Use of Attributes in Hiring and Promotion

I have read a lot of research that shows that the use of non-essential attributes in hiring and

promotion is the norm. That’s right; even with good job descriptions and selection practices,

most hiring and promotion decisions follow the following pattern.

1. Applicants are screened. This might be done based on essential attributes but is most

often done by eliminating certain people. For example, an applicant possesses a

disqualifying attribute or a contra-indicator. These may be ethical and legal; for example,

the day care worker applicant who is a convicted pedophile. These may be illegal or

illogical; for example, excluding kite-flying enthusiasts or excluding members of a

protected class just because they are members of that class. A lot of pre-screening is

based on non-essential attributes (see below). When screening/ranking is not based on

essential attributes there is a great risk of eliminating people who can do the job and

keeping people in the pool who cannot.

2. Someone is selected that has the best combination of non-essential attributes. By

definition, non-essential attributes are not essential. Much favoritism and adverse impact

falls into this category. For example, does the employer value a firm handshake, a witty

personality, a nice looking suit, etc. Are those things and others really essential attributes

that are necessary to accomplish primary job duties? Or are those things just believed

(maybe subconsciously) to be necessary to accomplish primary job duties? Many, many

things are believed (often subconsciously) to be required to accomplish primary job

duties (that is why they are called requirements) but they are really just based on personal

preference. Is the B.S. degree really essential for a certain job? Remember that essential

is not defined by the employer saying it is essential; it is essential because it really

is—you cannot do the job without it.

The above process is usually iterative, i.e., it goes through several cycles until a person is

selected. Notice that person who can best perform essential job duties is not the focus.

Other decision factors. Many employee decisions (hiring, promotion, reduction in force, etc.)

are further hindered by not knowing essential job functions, not knowing the attributes required

to accomplish essential job functions, or not knowing how to measure and evaluate those

attributes. Also, aggressive and affirmative recruitment/advertising may not have taken place.

Therefore, many applicant pools are limited or skewed (toward one group or kind of skill or

A lot of the decision making is subconscious, which is why I believe in using scientific methods

and not intuition and opinion. A compounding factor is often the need to narrow down the pool

but not having a truly rational basis for doing so. If essential job attributes are truly primary and

essential and if they are well described, personnel decisions are easy, you simply select the

candidate that best can accomplish the essential job functions. Obviously, this is going to be

complicated if the employer has not focused on essential job functions (e.g., essential job

functions are ill defined or non-essential attributes are considered) or doesn’t know how to (or

doesn’t do it) determine if the candidate has the essential attributes to accomplish the primary job

In narrowing the pool, it is very common to use many unscientific, fad, pet peeve, opinion

driven, etc. techniques. This is a major reason that research reveals that, on the average, for ½ of

all employees hired, the employer wished they hadn’t have hired them. Likewise, for ½ of all

employees hired, the employee wished they didn’t take the job. The two halves are not the same

or mutually exclusive. There is a very good reason for sticking to essential/primary job functions

and the employee’s ability to perform those functions.

Assessing attributes. It should be evident that good job/task analysis is needed and good ways

of assessing ability to perform the tasks. Perhaps surprisingly, research shows that the worst

ways to assess essential attributes are via recommendations and interviews. This shouldn’t be

surprising because recommendations and interviews allow much subjectivity and opinion. As

humans, we want to see who we are hiring and hear what others have to say about whom we are

hiring, but the visual, cultural, and personality attributes that can be assessed by

recommendations and interviews are seldom of an essential nature.

The low reliability and validity of using recommendations and interviews extends to supervisor

ratings. The research shows that, on the average, there is no relationship between a supervisor’s

rating of an employee and the employee’s actual job performance. You read this correctly, a

supervisor is just as likely to rate an employee high that does a good job as the supervisor is

likely to rate an employee high that does a poor job, i.e., there is no correlation between

employee job performance and supervisor rating. Even though almost all supervisors genuinely

think they are being fair and accurate, they are affected by prejudices, pet peeves, opinions, etc.

Of course, there could also be problems due to what is being measured and how it is being

measured, e.g., measuring nonessential functions/attributes or using unreliable

The most valid way to measure employee performance is via tests (not necessarily written) and

peers. “Peers” doesn’t necessarily mean co-workers. Co-workers are also affected by prejudices,

personal opinion, etc., although a group of co-workers will be less affected than a single

supervisor. “Peers” means others that are qualified to do the job (have done the job, have the

essential attributes to do the job). Due to the complexities of evaluating correctly, it is common

to rely on subjective opinions and non-essential attributes.

In case you are interested, the most valid way to make decisions about essential attributes is via

testing and measurement (qualitative and quantitative). Remember that qualitative is not

synonymous with fuzzy, subjective or opinion. “This apple is red” is a qualitative evaluation; this

applicant speaks loud enough to be heard is a qualitative evaluation. In essence, qualitative

assessments describe/measure attributes with words, while quantitative assessments

describe/measure attributes with numbers.

Of course a merely accurate (on target) description doesn’t guarantee a reliable (stable,

repeatable, precise) description. Nor does accurate and reliable description/measurement

guarantee valid description. For example, I cannot validly use an extremely accurate and precise

bathroom scale to assess IQ. Lastly, a valid method of assessing an essential job attribute might

be too cumbersome, expensive, etc., i.e., it might not have utility.

Because of the complexity of these testing and measurement issues, because essential attributes

and job functions may not be known, and because some employers don’t know any better, the

use of non-essential attributes is common as are subjective techniques and opinion-related

criteria. Only considering or preferring certain memberships is likely to make a disparate impact

on a protected class. Just one downside of favoritism is that it is likely to discriminate against

others. I would argue to not base decisions on most memberships for this reason and because it

takes the focus off ability to do the job. Membership in a professional organization might be a

valid requirement akin to certain experiences and educational preparation.

Other Organization Contentions

There are several elements common to any organization, largely based on human behavior. Some

of these elements (which follow, and I am sure there are many more) tend to get more the larger

the organization gets and the older its gets. It should be noted that a special challenge for the

successful organization is that the more successful it is the longer it tends to last (which leads to

 The longer the organization lasts the bigger and more complex it tends to get (until a

turning point, which may or may not be inevitable, which leads to its decline and

dissipation). In decline, the organization that ultimately disappears tends to not get

smaller or less complex but finally implode. Organizations that have a declining period

but pull through tend to down size and reorganize.

 The longer a person (or group) stays in a position, especially a position of power or

authority, the more they tend to think (a) they own the position, (b) no one else can fill

the position, and (c) they are inherently right/correct because they are they.

 Most people like to make associates (friends, mentors, confidants, underlings, servants,

etc.) and deal with those associates (whether they trust them or not) to the exclusion of

others. Combined with the bullet above, there is a tendency to not want input or change.

Therefore, persons who are not an associate (not in the clique) may not be fully utilized

(might even be ignored or worse).

 Miscommunication and all the other bureaucratic deleterious trappings tend to grow

exponentially as an organization grows larger or lasts longer.

 Organizations tend to focus more inwardly the older they get. This is true even of service

and nonprofit organizations, e.g., a professional society or a relief agency. An

organization might start out focused clearly on providing a quality product, feeding the

hungry, helping members advance in their profession, etc. Over time, there will tend to be

more and more focus on (x) perpetuating the organization's existence and growing in size

(and not necessarily so the organization can still fulfill its original mission or do that

mission better) and (y) providing jobs and good salaries to the employees of the

organization. (x) and (y) or not bad per se but they can become more important than the

original mission. A typical result, without reorganization, is the ultimate imploding and

demise of the organization

 Based on the above, obvious good practices would include (1) being the right size, (2)

maintaining focus on the mission and doing it well, and (3) reorganization as necessary.

Of course (4) a proper environment with the right members, e.g., employees who possess

essential job attributes, is also necessary (as is other elements). A conundrum is that poor

management also leads to reorganization, new missions, and new persons (associates,

employees, etc.). In no way is new (people, reorganization, mission, procedures, etc.)

inherently better. Smart people know this. Hence, another conundrum: resistance to

change is natural because it is sometimes the right thing to do.

One point of all the above is that technological, sociological, and ideological systems are very

complex. The question of what role law can, does, or should play is not only complex but

requires many extra-legal elements.

Ideally, an employee is an employee because he or she is necessary for the

company/organization to fulfill its goals. For the company's, the employee's, and the customers'

sakes, it is best if the particular employee is among the best at whatever that employee does and

that the company makes a profit (and/or accomplishes other goals) while satisfying customers. A

clear job description can help in doing all the preceding.

There are many contributing factors but the motivation and satisfaction of employer, employee,

and customer are directly related to how employees do their jobs. A good job description is key

to selecting, developing, evaluating, and retaining employees. It is a sort of contract that reminds

the supervisor and the employee of the employee's primary job tasks. Job descriptions need not

be long or complicated but they should be clear and based on organizational mission and goals.

Job descriptions (though truncated or summarized) are used to select employees (hire, place,

promote, reward, recognize), direct employees (assign duties, instruct, train), evaluate

employees, and make other decisions. Based on all the previous topics, you should realize that

there are many things that legally and logically influence job descriptions. Consider the

 What is the purpose of the job description, e.g., be a useful tool, comply with a policy or

law, be a marketing tool, etc.

 Assuming the description is actually going to be useful, does the description mesh with

organizational goals, affect management, affect moral and the work environment.

 Does the job description focus on essential job duties (does it need to)?

 Who is going to use the description (the employee, the HR department, the supervisor)?

 Does the description comply with the intent and/or letter of the Civil Rights and other

laws, e.g., ADA, ADEA, etc.

1. A list of dos and don’ts concerning employment decisions. You can focus on

interviewing, promoting, job descriptions, or any other specific category of employment

decisions or make an inclusive or general list. Be sure to differentiate the legal, the

ethical, and/or the good managerial, and how they relate.

2. Respond to the CIBS situations.

3. Find a job description or job advertisement from your employer or career field. Post it

and analyze it for the legal, ethical, and managerial dimensions.

1. Screening or weighting employment applications according to the address of the

2. Inquiring in an interview if the applicant can speak any foreign languages when a foreign

language is not an essential job junction.

3. Giving more seniority to U.S. citizens.

4. Not hiring someone because she is pregnant.

5. Favoring Free Masons when hiring or promoting.

6. Not hiring a devout Muslim because their holiday preferences are greatly different from

the company's holiday schedule.

7. Giving preference to U.S. citizens over permanent residents.

8. Not hiring a vegetarian to work at a steak house.

9. Not hiring someone because their National Guard duty will inconvenience vacation

10. Asking an applicant if they have any close relatives residing in a foreign country,

especially a country with which the United States is currently involved in a military

action, e.g., Iraq or Serbia.

Assignment

1. A list of dos and don’ts concerning employment decisions. You can focus on

interviewing, promoting, job descriptions or any other specific category of employment

decisions or make an inclusive or general list. Be sure to differentiate the legal, the

ethical, and/or the good managerial, and how they relate.

One of the important points related to the employment decisions is to be broad and

thorough while interviewing the candidates. The companies should look at broad

perspectives rather than only one specific item. The don’ts include that the employers

should not use the typical “box” related to the crime questions. The employers should

follow the law while conducting background check of the employees or the applicants,

the employers should not try to bend the laws and they should follow the rules.

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