With the introduction of the Employee Free Choice Act into legislative deliberations, there come several aspects of the newly proposed bill which would have a great effect on human resource management. In considering the major themes illustrated in the conceptual framework of the proposed legislation, one notes that penalties will be strengthened against employers who break the law, contract mediation will be available at the request of employers or employees, and workers would be allowed to form a union through the process of majority sign up (EFCA, 2009).
Human resource specialists are uniquely affected by the idea of implementing the Employee Free Choice Act, as they often sit as mediators between employee desires and employer demands. In the effort to ensure the happy coexistence of employers and employees, promoting workplace satisfaction for the entire team, human resource personnel have a unique and sensitive grasp of the connectivity and relations between employers and employees.
After having reviewed the proposition to implement new legal structures concerning the formation and function of unions with regard to revised employer and employee rights, it is the decision of the Human Resources Group to support the Employee Free Choice Act in its current form. Every proposed act of the legislature experiences a period of fine tuning, and some would argue that the most essential elements of a bill can get pared down to almost nothing during this refinement process.
However, it is the hope of the Human Resources Group that the three most fundamental changes to the legal system which are proposed by the Employee Free Choice Act are put into effect, emphasizing both employer and employee rights and responsibilities. In a more detailed analysis of the proposed bill, one can better understand the need for the three major revisions of the current United States labor laws (AFLCIO, 2009).
By removing the current barriers to union implementation, workers would be legally capable of forming unions and bargaining collectively, freer from the constraints imposed by corporate management and able to act more independently. When the majority of employees have signed union registration cards, then the new union would simply be registered with the National Labor Relations Board.
In regard to formulating a first contract, the new law provides for contract mediation when an agreement cannot be made within 90 days, reviewed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. When an agreement still cannot be reached after 30 days, then the dispute is referred for binding arbitration, effectively reducing the delay, frustration, and animosity that can be generated by a company-dominated system which does not respect employee rights. The strengthening of penalties against employers who break the law also encourages respect for workers.
Civil penalties such as a maximum of $20,000 per violation against companies, treble back pay where companies much compensate up to three time the amount of lost wages for employees who have been discharged or discriminated against, and mandatory injunctions imposed by the National Labor Relations Board against noncompliant companies are some of the effective threats which could be used against companies if this new legislation were to pass. From the point of view of the Human Resources Group, the measures proposed by the new legislation are fair and long overdue.