Business ethics are some guiding policies that provide conditions under which a business venture should operate. Several years that have passed, people were used as slaves by those who were regarded as masters. They were forced to work without pay and under harsh working conditions. During the industrial revolution that took place in Britain and then spread to the United States of America, many industries and businesses were started (Schwab, 2017). These industries were in dire need of workers. However, the labor force was adequate, as many people did not have jobs. As a result, these industries were hiring workers to help in the operations. Before the industrial revolution, there were no definite ethics and laws that were laid down to facilitate smooth transactions and respect of individuals while at work.
Due to the lack of laws and ethics to guide the employees and employers on labor and business issues, there was the development of several challenges. Some of the obstacles were poor working conditions such as long hours of working with low wages, lack of leaves, and other requirements that make the working environment conducive for workers. Due to this mistreatment of workers by their employees, civil unrest, labor demonstrations, and strikes were rampant, and these activities were affecting the economies of the involved nations (Chen, Kacperczyk, & Ortiz-Molina, 2011). It was during this time that stakeholders came together to get solutions for these challenges. There was the formation of labor unions that were fighting for the rights of the workers. Conferences were held to deliberate these issues, and several proposals were made. Some of them were employees' and employers' rights, good working conditions, and employees' benefits, among other issues (Valticos, 2013). These forums led to the formation of policies to guide these issues. Various governments formulated laws to protect the employees and employers, and this is how the regulations came into place. This paper will dig deep into these laws and their effects on the people.
Why Were the Laws Enacted?
During the industrial revolution period, several issues were not well in the business arena. There were multiple levels of inequalities, discrimination, disrespect among employees, torture, and other injustices at the workplace. These issues led to the disrespect of fundamental human rights as well as breaking workers' rights. Labor organizations were started at a high rate to fight for these rights. Many workers joined the labor organizations to voice out their challenges to get solutions and to improve on the working conditions (Chen et al. 2012). Massive boycotts and strikes would take place in many parts of the world and the United States of America in particular. These workers' strikes would paralyze the business and the operations of the industries. The industries were essential to the economy of the country due to revenue that the government was collecting. These strikes made the industries to incur losses, which also affected the economy in several ways. Therefore the stakeholders found it necessary to find a lasting solution to the problems.
Concerns that Led to the Regulations
During the time of the industrial revolution, there was massive exploitation of human resource in industries and businesses. The employees would suffer various types of abuse, including abuse of their fundamental rights. Additionally, the employees were subjected to multiple forms of violence, among them sexual violence among women. Long working hours with low wages, lack of employees' benefits, lack of annual leaves as well as overworking of employees (Freeman, 2010). There were other forms of discrimination that the employees did not come into terms with and wanted them to be abolished. As a result, the laws and other guidelines were formulated to regulate the field.
Groups Involved in These Laws
Due to the outcry from the employees, several employees came together to form labor organizations that would unite people employed in different sectors as they were all going through similar challenges. These unions raised the voices of the employees to ensure that they were heard by their employees and the government as well to get permanent solution about the grievances the employees was facing (Chen et al. 2012). It is after their formation that massive strikes were taking place as a way of voicing out their challenges. Finally, the government and the employees heard their cry and wanted to get a lasting solution. So the labor union leaders, the employers, and the government had to sit together to get an answer. The solution they came up with after deliberations were formulating laws to restore sanity in the field. So the parties that were involved in developing these regulations were labor union leaders, employers, and the government.
One of the most critical laws that were formulated to help in solving these issues was the labor laws. The labor laws were formulated to restore sanity to the industries, among workers and employers, to ensure the rights of the employees as well as those of the employers (Gold, 2014). The labor law was critical, and almost all the stakeholders embraced the labor laws provided on the rights of the employees (Freeman, 2010). These rights include respect for the fundamental rights, freedom from discrimination of whatever type, freedom from sexual harassment among the employees, among other things (Freeman, 2010). The labor laws also stipulated the maximum number of hours that an employee can work every day. It also provided employees benefits that they must get from their employers as well as the provision of annual leaves for the employees every year. These laws were appropriate for the employees. However, they seem to favor employees more than the employer. However, they also provide the rights of an employer, which includes making decisions about the organization, the right to hire and fire an employee under specific guidelines.
The labor laws have brought varied impacts to the individual employers, employees as well as the organizations at large. To the employees, their lives and experiences were impacted positively as the laws upheld the rights of the employees. The regulations also provided and enhanced sanity in businesses leading to the right working conditions that the employees were fighting for many years (Valticos, 2013). To the employees, they benefited due to the sanity that the laws restored to their business. The employers also suffered some cost of providing benefits to the employees. Such benefits include pensions, insurance coverage, among others, which lead to expenses to them. The organizations at primarily enjoyed sanity as well and lack of interruptions related to the demonstration of workers, which would paralyze them. Generally, the laws had diverse influences on different stakeholders in the industry sector.
Labor laws are critical in the regulation of business as they ensure sanity and respect for each other rights. They also eliminate economic crises that are likely to be caused by strikes such as those that were being experienced during the industrial revolution time before the formation of these regulations. However, these laws are broken at times where they do not bring the benefits that were intended to be achieved from them. You will find that other employers still overwork their employees with poor salaries. Others do not provide benefits to their employees. Other employers still subject their employees to harsh working conditions and discriminations. It means that there are times when these regulations do not meet their intended purposes, hence making these laws and regulations nothing much but an oxymoron.
Chen, H. J., Kacperczyk, M., & Ortiz-Molina, H. (2011). Labor unions, operating flexibility, and the cost of equity. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 46(1), 25-58.
Freeman, R. B. (2010). Labor regulations, unions, and social protection in developing countries: market distortions or efficient institutions?. In Handbook of development economics (Vol. 5, pp. 4657-4702). Elsevier.
Gold, M. E. (2014). An introduction to labor law. Cornell University Press.Schwab, K. (2017). The industrial revolution. .
Valticos, N. (2013). International labour law. Springer Science & Business Media.
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