Bandag Automotive is not a Mom and Pop store. It is in fact a medium-sized company that employs 300 people. But the case says that top management is saddled with many problems with regards to their most precious resource which is their personnel. They simply have no system in place to manage an organization that big. It has to be pointed out that the size and complexity of managing a company this size is not only limited to the number of employees but also in terms of logistics based on the fact that Jim and his core leaders are managing a five-store operation.
The leadership must understand that HRM is not just something that they can take for granted. It is an effective tool that they can use to solve problems regarding the management of their employees. They also have to understand that top management must be directly involved in HRM. Jim and the other members of the management team must come in agreement that the absence of a real HRM department is the reason why they are deluged with problems. If the company will stop treating HRM as an insignificant component of their organization then they will begin to develop a competitive edge (Bratton, 1999).
In their present situation the company is about to lose a great deal of money because they had violated labor laws concerning how employers should deal with their employees. This means that instead of having an HRM that will enable the company to reduce the turnover rate and to train and develop skilled and reliable employees, what the firm is facing is a great number of litigation that will surely become a drain to their resources.
Changing Bandag’s HRM system
The current practice of using standardized forms for their HRM needs requires drastic change. The first thing that they need to do is to hire an expert in human resource management. This person will in turn help them determine their needs and the solutions that will improve their overall performance. Moreover, the consultant will help them develop the necessary documentation that will be of tremendous help when it come to streamlining an operation that was recently hobbled by numerous complaints and threats of litigation.
By hiring a consultant Bandag’s corporate leaders will be able to accurately measure the job performance of all their employees. In this regard they will have the capability to ascertain if a particular employee is due for promotion or if lacking in the skills required to do an effective job. A new system will also enable them to find out if a particular employee requires more training.
There is no need for the company to resort to guesswork. They will also have the capability to determine pay adjustments. If in the past they utilized a crude system of creating a pay scale based solely on the cost of living then by investing on the services of an HRM consultant, the company will have a clear idea of how to adjust pay based on merit and also on inflation. Aside from hiring a consultant the company should consider hiring a permanent HR manager. The practice of using Jim’s assistant as some sort of a part-time human resource personnel will never be enough to increase the efficiency of their system.
Poisonous Relationships is no Basis
Jim fired Henry Jacques without any legal basis that will stand up in court. This is a major problem for the company because it seems that Jim has fired Mr. Jacques not because he cannot do his job but because of other reasons that is covered by the American Disabilities Act of 1990 or ADA (Blanck, 2000). The store manager himself made it clear that Mr. Jacques did his job well but fired him because he is making a lot of complaints regarding the workplace. This according to the store manager is creating an environment that is poisonous. This could not be the reason for firing or else Mr. Jacques has a legitimate claim against the company.
Top management will also have to worry about violating the ADA because it is known by them that Mr. Jacques is suffering from some form of mental illness. The ADA stipulates that there should be no discrimination in the employment of disabled person (Blanck, 2000). This is especially true if the employee is competent. The company has to consider their actions because if Mr. Jacques will push trough with his plan to sue the company then they will find themselves in no win situation and this would be costly for them.
Miriam and the Smokescreen
It is common practice for employers to discriminate against pregnant women. This is easy to understand because pregnancy has its challenges and there is that belief that women who are pregnant are unable to give their best in the workplace. But aside from the hassle and inconvenience that pregnancy may bring an employer is prone to loath female employees that are pregnant because they get time off from work and they get benefits on top of that. This is why the government created a way for pregnant women not to be discriminated upon.
According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act employers must not discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2008, p.1). Miriam worked for six years in Bandag. There were no complaints and there were no conflicts but problems came after her leave totaled 15 weeks and on top of that she was making other pregnancy related requests. She was fired using flimsy evidence. Jim said that he may have proof that she forged some documents. But the language itself says he is not sure. This means no investigation was made. It is clear in fact that it was just a smokescreen and that Jim showed discrimination against her pregnancy.
The Deaf has Rights
The company must first establish clear and strict guidelines for hiring someone to work in the delivery section of the company. This includes driving skills and the ability to fill out forms correctly so that there is an accurate documentation of the delivery of the products. They had to invite the deaf employee to take the test and if he succeeds then the company has to hire him. Under the guidelines of the ADA, no company can refuse to hire a deaf person if he or she is qualified for the job (National Association of the Deaf, 2000).
The top management of Bandag Automotive has treated the Human Resource Management aspect of their company as if it is not that important. Not enough resources was set aside to improve the management of personnel. As a result Jim and his management were ignorant of the many significant laws that protected discrimination and bias on the basis of gender, disabilities and even pregnancy. This is why the company struggles to maintain a competitive edge. The best way to solve these problems is to hire a consultant and make the position of human resource manager a permanent one.
Bratton, J. & Gold J. (1999). Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. London: Macmillan Press, Ltd.
Blanck, P. (2000). Employment, Disability and the American with Disabilities Act. IL: Northwestern University Press.
National Association of the Deaf. (2000). Legal Rights: The Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People. Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2008). Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination. Web.