HRMN 408 Discussion Questions (All A+ Solutions)

HRMN 408 Discussion Questions (All A+ Solutions)
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HRMN 408

Week 1 to Week 8 Discussion Questions and Solutions

Week 1

Topic 1:

Provide an example of two interview questions that definitely should not be asked by a potential employer of a potential employee in a job interview.  Explain why each question should not be asked why.

You must substantively respond to colleagues. Use a minimum of one HR/legal reference.

Topic 2

When onboarding new employees, what are two important laws to keep in mind and why? Also discuss the legal ramifications [penalties] for the employer if he/she fails to comply with the two laws you have cited? Be specific on possible penalties.


Week 3

A male employee complains to his supervisor. The employee is gay.

He says another employee – who is straight – says things whenever the gay employee passes the straight employee’s cubicle. The gay employee says the straight employee makes sexually suggestive remarks to him, like “Nice buns” or “Nice basket.” of “I’d let you ‘do’ me, even if I am straight.” The straight employee shows pictures of handsome men from his sports magazine to the gay employee and says, “I bet you wouldn’t throw him out of bed for eating crackers!” or “I bet you’d like to see his baseballs!”

The gay employee finds this behavior offensive; he is in a long-term relationship and has no interest in the straight employee.  He finds it offensive to have pictures of these handsome athletes shoved in his face along with suggestive comments. The gay employee demands that something be done or he will seek legal advice.

The supervisor shows up at your HR door. He wants answers for the following questions:

  1. “Federal law doesn’t protect against anti-gay harassment, does it?  Why or why not?”
  2. “Can he sue under a specific state law”?
  3. “Can’t I tell him he has to live with this?” Why or why not?”

You might “skim” this article for help; the ‘twist’ in this hypothetical is that the “straight” employee does not really have any sexual interest in the gay employee.  It doesn’t fit the usual situation (e.g., a male supervisor “hitting on” his female secretary, who fears for her job if she complains to anyone).

Complex Law Review Article on Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

You must substantively respond to two colleagues.

Use a minimum of three HR/legal references.

Here are a few references to get you going.  [Link to all state laws.]


Week 4

Joe has had a difficult life. His parents separated when he was an infant. His mother began drinking heavily to deal with her depression and became alcoholic. Social Services intervened to remove Joe from his mother’s care. Joe’s grandmother took Joe in and raised him from infancy.

Joe is now employed for your company which is situated in California.

His grandmother needs a serious operation on her eyes and will require constant monitoring and help 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Joe asks for 6 weeks unpaid leave from his important job to provide care for his grandmother.

Your boss comes to you – “Are we legally obligated to grant Joe unpaid leave and guarantee him his job?”

  1. Write a memo to your boss:
  2. What are the Federal FMLA eligibility requirements relative  to Joe being able to take unpaid leave and have a guaranteed job, to take care of his grandmother?
  3. What are the Calif FMLA eligibility requirements relative to Joe being able to take unpaid leave and have a guaranteed job, to take care of his grandmother?  Only address differences between Calif FMLA and Fed FMLA, if any, as to the question of Joe being able to leave to take care of his grandmother?

You must substantively respond to two colleagues.

Use a minimum of two HR/legal references to support your conclusions. Below is couple of links to get you started.


Week 5

 Topic 1:

Draft a company policy on use of the internet by employees. Draft it in the form of a memo to employees.

Take into consideration the following issues:

  1. Is it realistic to believe that all personal use of the internet at work can be prohibited? How do you deal with this?
  2. Do employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in, e.g., an email they might send at work? A website they might visit? How could your policy deal with this?

Use a minimum of two references to support your conclusions.

Here is one reference to get you started.

Topic 2:

As the result of the company adopting a policy on use of the internet, a group of employees plan to meet to discuss a possible response to the policy.

Your boss comes to you as head of HR. He knows you have personal friends among the employees who are perfectly happy with the policy you have drafted and circulated.

The boss wants you to ask one of your friends to attend the meeting and report back to you what the employees discussed. You are then to report to the boss. Are the employees happy with the policy? Unhappy? Is it too strict?  Not strict enough?

How would you respond to your boss and why?

Use a minimum of two references to support your conclusions.

Here are a couple of references to get you started.


Week 6

Topic 1: Random Drug Testing

Today it is quite common for employers to have random drug testing policies and procedures in place for their employees and staff. In most cases, employees must be willing to submit to and pass a pre-employment drug test and then agree to additional random drug screening throughout their employment with the company to help ensure a drug-free work environment. However, in most cases, the employer usually needs to have at least some level of suspicion before requiring an employee to submit to drug testing.

And while marijuana is now legal in several states, it is still illegal on the federal level, which can complicate things for some employers. This means that employers can still require testing and set consequences for employees who test positive for marijuana use. These consequences can include enrolling in a rehabilitation program, loss of benefits, and even termination. However, for an employer to conduct legal random drug testing there are several steps they must follow.

As the HR manager, it falls upon you to create a detailed written “drug-free workplace” policy, that provides your employer and company employees with legal protection. This policy will have to be provided to each and every employee for them to refer to at any time. They must sign and date a copy of the document providing proof that they have both read it and understood it before you place it in their personnel file. There are currently 14 states with laws in place that require employers to provide current and potential employees with a written drug testing policy. There are also two states who require state approval of any written drug testing policy before it is put in place.

It is your task for this discussion to craft a memo to your boss, based on a specific state law, answering the questions below. Do not pick a state that does not have a drug testing policy law,  Pick one of the 14 states alluded to in the previous paragraph and shown in the link below. You will have to research the specific state law. Here is link to get your started.

  1. Set out the specific requirements for conducting a legal “drug-free workplace” policyspecifically on random drug testing. For each specific requirement in your policy, provide short justification for inclusion in the policy [ie. notice requirements, who is to be tested, now often, consequences for refusing to take a random drug test etc].
  2. Next provide a general “drug-free workplace” testing plan. Some things to consider for your memo are what specific subjects should be included in the policy memo, except random drug testing which you will discuss in 1. above [i.e. pre-employment testing, scope of testing, list of drugs to be tested for, employee retest request, consequences for violating drug policy, reasonable suspicion,  what should occur if employee tests positive, etc. This is not an all inclusive list of subjects to be considered in your general workplace drug testing policy memo.]

You must substantively respond to two colleagues.

Use a minimum of one HR/legal reference to support your conclusions. Here is one link to get you started.


Week 7

Topic 1:

Your boss comes to your office. He has just seen a YouTube video.

A single person appears in the video. Although he appears in the shadows in an effort to hide his identity, the boss clearly recognizes who it is.

The person names the company and makes disparaging remarks about the boss and the company. He also complains of unsafe conditions – some of which you know or strongly suspect are true.

The person recently received an unfavorable performance evaluation. The boss wants to fire the employee immediately. You attended an HR conference and learned that the NLRB has spoken on this subject.

  1. What has NLRB said on the subject?
  2. What does a specific state law say on the issue?
  3. Is the Dawnmarie Souza’s case relevant to this set of facts? If so in what way?
  4. Based on the NLRB, specific state law and Dawnmarie case, can your boss fire the employee and if so on what grounds and why or why not?

Topic 2:

You have learned that an employee is writing a publicly-accessible blog. He is using his own name, and the name of the company.

In his blog he makes accurate and humorous comments on fellow employees – who you easily recognize from his descriptions.  Some of these comments are unflattering.

  1. What advice would you provide the CEO of the company? Consider in your advice – Should the CEO respond or not to the blog? Why or why not?  And if so, what should blog say?
  2. What actions, if any, should our CEO take against the blogger?
  3. What specific actions should the company take to protect its brand?
  4. Pick a specific state law and is it applicable and if so why and if not why not?


Week 8

Topic 1:

You are the HR director of a company in the State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Your Supervisor comes to you and says that he is having various issues with the office manager. Over the past few weeks, the office manager has been arriving at work consistently late. His direct supervisor has spoken to him several times about it, and the manager says that he is having “personal issues”. Sometimes during the day, although his jacket is thrown over his chair in his office, no one can find him or reach him for several hours at a time. The CEO suspects that he is slipping out of work during the day to resolve other issues. Most of his reports are late, and when he does turn them in, there are often frequent errors in the reports.

The Supervisor wants to terminate the office manager immediately but is willing to listen to your advice on progressive discipline and what should be done with this employee.

He is also concerned that the employee might retaliate by claiming discrimination since he is part of a minority group.

  1. Based on Maryland state law, write out a plan, for your Supervisor including steps of progressive discipline, timing, documentation, and ultimately, termination, if the earlier steps do not achieve the needed results.
  2. Include steps that can be taken and documentation that may be needed to protect the company against a possible claim of discrimination.

Topic 2:

Since we are at the end of this class, this is the perfect time to reflect upon the achievement of Course Outcomes.

As the Syllabus states….  After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze employment law and its applications and implications in the workplace
  • Evaluate rights, obligations and liabilities in the employment process and relationship
  • Evaluate compliance with current laws and regulations related to safety and fairness in the workplace
  • Effectively communicate to internal and external audiences the principles and application of employment law in the business environment


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