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Ethics and Legal IssuesAn overview related to the workforce
Focus Question• Name some traits that employers want when they hire an employee.
Ethics• Principles of conduct that govern a group or society
Commonly Observed Unethical Behavior• Lying• Withholding needed information• Abusive or intimidating behavior• Misreporting actual time or hours worked• Discrimination• Misuse of Internet and email privileges• Theft or misuse of company property
Confidentiality• Keeping your mouth shut and not sharing information that has been entrusted to you.
How to Handle Unethical Behavior• Keep a written record. Describe each incident including date and time.• Check your observations with trusted friends colleagues.• Gather evidence/proof• Decide whether to remain anonymous or speak up• Report only facts or observations
Focus Question• Brainstorm some typical ethical scenarios you may face in the workplace.
Focus Question• Brainstorm some typical laws that affect workers.
Workplace Rights: Minimum Wage• Federal government and state governments establish these laws that establish the lowest hourly wage an employer must pay for worker’s services. Current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. NJ minimum wage is currently $7.25 and hour although there are proposals in the assembly and senate to increase the minimum wage.
Focus Question• Do you support a raise in the minimum wage?
Workplace Rights: Compensatory Time• Some states allow workers to receive time off from work rather than money for working overtime
Workplace Rights: Collective Bargaining• Laws that allow unions to negotiate with management for better salaries, wages,benefits and working conditions
Workplace Rights: Strikes• Work stoppage organized by workers in order to force management to accept unions terms in negotiation.
Focus Question• If your company went on strike would you join them, why or why not?
Workplace Rights:Unemployment Insurance• Government insurance program that provides financial aid to workers who lose their jobs.
Workplace Rights: Family Leave Act• Family Leave Act passed in 1993 guarantees employees at companies with more than 50 employees to 12 weeks of personal leave to care for a family member such as a spouse or a child.
Workplace Rights: NJ Family Leave Insurance Act• As of 1/09, NJ just started deductions from workers (.09% of wages or about $1.12 per pay period) to pay for NJ family leave insurance which allows workers to take paid time off to take of a sick family member or bond with a newborn or adopted child
Focus Question• Give an example of prejudice that you have personally witnessed.
Discrimination• Unequal treatment based on such factors as race, religion, nationality, gender, age, or physical appearance
Equal Pay Act of 1963• Requires equal pay for men and women for equal work.
Civil Rights Act of 1964• Bans discrimination in employment based on race, color, creed, religion, gender and national origin.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990• Protects the rights of individuals with disabilities for example it requires employers provide wheelchairs and other accommodations.
Affirmative Action• A government plan to provide access to jobs for people who have suffered discrimination in the past
Focus Question• Do you support affirmative action? Why or why not?
Illegal Immigrants in the Workplace• Businesses must by law verify that all new employees have proper working papers and identification. Businesses face fines if they hire illegal immigrants.
Focus Question• How should the government handle issues of illegal immigration?
Services offered by Lawyer• Lawyers handle many services including: defending clients, wills, deeds, property law, divorce, tax liability, discrimination.
Civil Law• Laws that apply to conflicts between private parties. Examples include divorce, breach of contract, personal injury.
Contingency Fee• Most lawyers work on a fee (hourly) basis however some will accept a fee (%) of the amount awarded in civil case.
Settlements• Mutual agreements between parties in order to avoid going to court . A settlement may include a monetary award or a correction of a situation. Many states require parties to a civil case to try to settle out of court.
Criminal Law• Government brings an indictment or list of criminal charges against a business or person. Examples include fraud, murder, manslaughter.
Focus Question• Describe the difference between criminal and civil law.