The Centre grows and purchases quality plants and garden accessories with the aim of satisfying the needs of gardeners in Texas. The centre endeavors to provide the best quality and unique garden products at the fairest price in the region. The centres vision is to continuously provide top quality services to the local community by focusing on providing customers with new and hard to find items. The centre drives diversity by developing its employees through training, and hiring and retaining new talent. Employees at the centre are equipped with sufficient skills to assist customers in finding plants and products that work best in their yards. Moreover, some of the employees at the nursery are professionals, who are certified by the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association. The centre boasts of a diverse workforce, based on factors such as age, ethnicity, and gender among others. The centres commitment to diversity, therefore, supports its mission and vision by creating an inclusive working environment that promotes innovation, creativity, and colleague engagement by supporting employee resource groups and through inclusive leadership skills training and awareness regarding the needs of the community.
Promoting Fairness and Consistency in Hiring
The hiring process should be fair to ensure that everyone has an equal employment opportunity. To achieve a fair and consistent hiring process at the Garden Centre, I would consider the following elements;
a) Embracing Diversity
Diversity is a vital element in the workplace since it helps in equipping companies with strong, unique, and dynamic adaptability abilities. Moreover, diversity helps in increasing the productivity of a company through introducing creative approaches to problem solving. Hence, with regard to diversity, I would focus on hiring the most appropriate candidate for the job, whereby factors such as age, ethnicity, and gender should not influence the decision to select the best candidate. Discrimination on such factors, therefore, is eliminated, while hiring is solely influenced by a candidates competency levels.
b) Creating a Value-based Process
Utilizing the value-based approach to hiring is crucial in ensuring a fair hiring process by eliminating discrimination. This approach would involve establishing the Centres values, such as hard work, innovation, creativity, commitment, and value among others and translating them into behaviors that are used to measure the suitability of the candidates.
c) Maintaining a Fair Playing Field
To avoid discrimination in the hiring process by looking at candidates subjectively, I would consider establishing key selection criteria to measure the candidates suitability for the job. The criteria would include element such as;
The level of knowledge required to ensure effective performance of the given task
The documents required during the application process
The required technical and non-technical skills
The level of experience in the given field
A candidates suitability based on their compatibility with the companys culture
d) Prior Determination of the Disqualification Factors
Providing information to candidates regarding the reasons that they failed to secure a job is vital in eliminating feelings of unfairness among the candidates. Moreover, candidates should be informed of the factors that made them fail during the hiring process so that they can make corrections on the same to better their chances of securing a job in future.
Other factors that I would consider to ensure a fair hiring process would include training the interviewers on the interview structure to ensure consistency in the companys interviewing and hiring processes. Moreover, legal considerations are vital in promoting fairness in the hiring process, whereby structured interview processes are important in defending a company against discrimination or bias claims regarding its hiring practices. Additionally, structured interviews promote fairness during hiring since they are applied to every applicant, indicating a companys commitment to fairness.
Legal Aspects in Hiring
Employers need to take caution against illegal discrimination of persons for the given position during hiring. Most job applicants are aware that discrimination on the basis of factors such as disability, ethnicity, religion, and gender among other factors is prohibited by law, indicating that employers must be keen to avoid discrimination to avoid the severe consequences of the law. Employers must be specifically keen on laws that discourage various forms of discrimination, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964), which discourages discrimination based on gender among other others (Gpo.gov., 2016, p. 1).
Hiring at the Garden Centre should be free of any form of discrimination. For instance, individuals who have worked as stockers in a garden before could have suffered from back injury, whereby in extreme cases, they become disabled. In cases where such individuals make applications at the centre, they could be assigned to other duties, which do not put them at a further risk of back injury. On the other hand, healthy individuals who have their backs injured while performing their roles as stockers are compensated for the injuries to facilitate their recovery process. Further, workers are provided with sufficient accommodation to allow them continuity in performing their duties at the company. Since employees who have injured their backs may not be in a position to immediately resume to their position as stockers, accommodations such as relocating the employee to a position that involves lighter physical requirements and low productivity expectations are provided. Such accommodations are provided according to the ADA requirements to allow the disabled employee to keep working for the organization (Eeoc.gov, 2016, p. 1).
Family and Medical Leave Act
The garden is subject to the FMLA since the garden employs more than 50 employees for a minimum of 20 weeks in a year, which meets the eligibility criteria for employer compliance with the Act (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016, p. 1). To comply with FMLA, the benefits that The Garden Centre must provide include granting eligible employees unpaid leave of up to 12 work weeks in a year due to such reasons as;
The birth of the employees child, and caring for the child
Caring for an immediate family member suffering from a critical health condition
The ill-health of the employee, rendering him or her unable to work
The placement or adoption of a child by the employee, and caring for the newly placed child
Apart from leave, an employer is expected to provide maintenance and health benefits, which include maintaining a group health insurance, which includes family coverage for the employee on leave, with the same terms as if the employee is working. Moreover, the employer is required to provide benefits such as cash payments instead of group health insurance, elected life insurance coverage. Additionally, the FMLA requires that the employer restores an employee to his or her initial job position or an equivalent job, in terms of benefits, pay, and the terms and conditions of employment, when he or she returns from FMLA leave.
Eligibility for the FMLA benefits requires an employees employer to be covered by the Act. Moreover, the employee must have worked for the employer for a period not less than 1 year, whereby he or she must have worked for a minimum of 1250 hours during the 1 year period prior to the beginning of the FMLA leave. Further, employees must work at a location that possesses a minimum of 50 employees
Minimum Wage Rate and Overtime
The Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) is responsible for regulating the minimum wage rate in Texas as well as overtime pay. Moreover, the Act covers equal pay for workers of both genders (male and female), who perform similar tasks at the same level of experience, skill, and qualification among other factors. According to the Act, pay differences must be established based on business-related factors rather than factors such as age and gender among others, which are considered discriminatory. Further. FLSA covers child labour, whereby children who are younger than 14 years are banned from working for employers. However, although children between the age of 14 and 15 are allowed to work, they are banned from working in hazardous occupations, and they can only work when there is no school.
Children between 16 and 17 years are not limited in terms of working hours, but they are restricted to working in non-hazardous occupations. Individuals aged 18 years and above are not limited in terms of the duties they perform or the number of hours they work. According to FLSA, employers must compensate employees in case they exceed the weekly recommended working hours. In Texas, the minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour, which is similar to that of the federal state. Moreover, employers are required to compensate employees for overtime hours at the rate not less than time-and-a-half of the standard pay (Twc.state.tx.us., 2016, p. 1).
Eeoc.gov. (2016). EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Workers' Compensation and the ADA. Retrieved 21 August 2016, from https://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/workcomp.html
Gpo.gov. (2016). Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2016, from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ2/html/PLAW-111publ2.htm
Twc.state.tx.us. (2016). Fair Labor Standards Act - What It Does and Does Not Do. Retrieved 21 August 2016, from http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/efte/flsa_does_and_doesnt_do.html
U.S. Department of Labor. (2016). The Family and Medical Leave Act - Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - Dol.gov. Retrieved 21 August 2016, from https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/1421.htm
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