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Exam Questions

  1. The judicial concept of adverse impact was created in which Supreme Court decision?
    1. Griggs v. Duke Power
    2. McConnell-Douglas Corp. v. Green
    3. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    4. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson
  2. The utilization analysis section of an affirmative action plan:
    1. Displays information on the composition of the organization by gender and ethnicity for each organizational unit
    2. Aggregates the information from the organizational profile
    3. Evaluates the availability of workers for jobs internally and externally
    4. Compares the availability analysis with the job group analysis
  3. Replacement charting can be used in workforce planning to:
    1. Forecast the need for employees
    2. Forecast turnover
    3. Forecast external supply of employees
    4. Forecast internal supply of employees
  4. All the following are advantages of recruiting internally except for:
    1. Brings new ideas and methods into the workplace
    2. Promotes high morale
    3. Provides a career path for employees
    4. Reduces recruiting costs
  5. Which of the following is not a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
    1. Women
    2. African-Americans
    3. Gay Americans
    4. Workers over 40 years of age
  6. A candidate for a supervisory job opening is asked how she would handle a particular situation involving a subordinate. What type of interview is being conducted?
    1. Nondirective
    2. Unstructured
    3. Behavioral
    4. Situational
  7. When may medical examinations be administered during the selection process?
    1. As a prescreen to determine whether the individual has a disability
    2. Anytime there is an obvious physical or mental disability
    3. Only after a conditional offer of employment
    4. Only when the employee reports to work after being hired
  8. All the following are considered to be disadvantages of using the contingent workforce except for:
    1. Lack of loyalty
    2. Impact on morale of permanent workforce
    3. Flexibility
    4. Loss of internal capabilities
  9. You have been assigned a project to develop a new job description for about 200 truck drivers employed by your organization, all of whom perform similar duties. Which of the following job analysis data collection methods might be most appropriate?
    1. Observation
    2. Interviews
    3. Questionnaire
    4. Employee logs
  10. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when:
    1. An employee is refused a promotion because she is perceived to be too old
    2. An employee is refused a promotion because she has cancer
    3. An employee is refused a promotion because she refuses to go out on dates with the supervisor
    4. An employee cannot do her work properly because of the constant horseplay, dirty jokes, and sexual innuendo pervasive in her work area

Answers to Exercises

3.1 Employment Law

Legislation/Regulation

Provisions

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Ace (1988)

Requires employers to provide 60-day advance notice for certain plant closings or mass layoffs

Executive Order 11246

Requires federal contractors with contracts of at $50,000 and 50 or more employees to prepare and implement affirmative action plans

Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures

Federal regulations that assist employers in complying with federal antidiscrimination legislation

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967)

Prohibits, with certain exceptions, discrimination in employment for employees 40 and over

Immigration and Reform Control Act (1986

Requires employers to establish the identity and eligibility to work of all employees


3.2 Adverse Impact

The answer to the first question is that the recent expansion hire resulted in adverse impact for African-Americans. As shown in the following table, the highest selection rate was for whites at 67%. The adverse impact threshold is computed by using the 4/5ths rule (.80 x .67) and is 54%. African-Americans were selected at a rate (50%) below the adverse impact threshold.

Expansion Hire

Group

# Interviewed

# Hired

Selection Rate

Hispanic-American

50

30

60%

African-American

50

25

50%

White

60

40

67%

Asian-American

9

5

56%

Totals

169

100

 

The answer to the second question is that Asian-Americans are under-represented and experiencing adverse impact. This is determined by comparing their percentage of the internal workforce by their percentage is the external labor market, again using the 4/5ths rule to calculate an adverse impact threshold. The following table includes the adverse impact threshold calculations. Only Asian-Americans are represented less in the workforce population than the adverse threshold (3% versus 4.6%).

Comparison of Workforce with External Labor Market

Group

% of Workforce

% of Labor Market

4/5ths of Labor Market

Hispanic-American

17

20

16%

African-American

20

18

14.4%

White

60

56

44.8%

Asian-American

3

6

4.6%

Answers to Review Questions

  1. You remind him that job analysis is the systematic process of gathering information regarding the duties required of a job and the human characteristics necessary to successfully perform those duties. Job analysis can be described as a six-step process:
    1. Determination of the purpose for conducting the job analysis. In this case, the purpose is to begin documentation of job descriptions and job specifications because the organization currently has none.
    2. Identify jobs to be analyzed. Again, in this case all jobs need to be analyzed because no job descriptions exist.
    3. Review relevant background data. There is not likely to be much to review in the organization because this is the first job analysis project. An organization chart might exist, which would be a start.
    4. Plan and execute the job analysis. This step involves collecting data from employees regarding what they do and what knowledge, skills, and abilities that they use.
    5. Write the job descriptions and specifications. The documents are written and verified with the employees and their managers prior to finalization.
    6. Periodic review. In this step, a system is developed to review the job specifications and job descriptions for accuracy and to update them as needed.
  2. You can tell her that EEOC has made a determination that the organization is covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the request for information is used to make an initial determination as to whether there is reasonable cause to believe that illegal discrimination has occurred. The process will continue from this point as follows:
    1. The EEOC investigates the allegation. During this period the organization is required to respond to the allegation by providing its defense and is required to provide information requested by the EEOC. If the investigation reveals that no illegal discrimination has occurred, EEOC dismisses the case.
    2. If investigation reveals that it appears that illegal discrimination has occurred, the EEOC issues a cause letter (letter of determination) and attempts conciliation and settlement. The organization must determine whether it is in its best interest to offer a full or partial settlement.
    3. If a settlement is not reached, the EEOC either files suit against the organization or issues a right-to-sue letter to the complainant. You can tell the President that, being a small organization with few employees, the EEOC is unlikely to file suit itself.
  3. You can respond as follows:
    • The advantages are
      • Flexibility
      • Savings in the cost of taxes and benefits
      • Access to expertise not internally available
      • Potential savings in overall compensation costs
    • The disadvantages are
      • Perceived lack of loyalty
      • Lack of knowledge of the organization's culture, policies, and procedures
      • Potential for overall higher costs, depending on the situation
      • Concern with disclosure of organizational proprietary information
      • Impact on morale of permanent workforce
      • Loss of internal capabilities
      • Potential for increased training costs when contingent workers must be trained on unique or unusual processes or procedures used by the organization
  4. You can tell them that a disabled individual has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life functions, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded or treated as having an impairment.
    • Physical impairment refers to any physiological condition or loss of one or more body systems (neurological, respiratory, speech organs, cardiovascular, digestive, and so forth). Mental impairment encompasses such conditions as mental retardation, mental or emotional illness, and learning disabilities.
    • Major life functions include
      • Caring for oneself
      • Reproduction
      • Performing manual tasks
      • Walking
      • Seeing
      • Hearing
      • Speaking
      • Breathing
      • Learning
      • Sitting or standing
      • Lifting or reaching
      • Thinking or concentrating
      • Interacting with others
    • However, certain conditions are specifically exempted from the definition of disability in the act. They are
      • Homosexuality and bisexuality
      • Sexual behavior disorders
      • Gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments
      • Compulsive gambling
      • Pyromania
      • Kleptomania
      • Current illegal use of drugs
  5. You can tell him the following:
    • Quid pro quo means this for that and occurs when an employee is forced to choose between submitting to sexual advances or forfeiting employment opportunities or benefits. It is harassment in which employment outcomes are linked to the granting of sexual favors. By definition, the harasser must be in a position or perceived to be in a position to, in fact, create the employment opportunities and tangible employments promised. Consequently, quid pro quo harassment must be perpetrated by a supervisor or manager. EEOC guidelines provide that the employer is strictly responsible for the actions of its supervisors regardless of whether the employer knew or should have known of their occurrence. Nevertheless, it is possible for the employer to avoid legal liability in some cases of quid pro quo sexual harassment by using an affirmative defense.
    • A hostile workplace environment can violate Title VII even if there is no employment or economic effects if that environment unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. As opposed to quid pro quo sexual harassment, the employer is liable only if it knew or should have known that the conditions existed. Also as opposed to quid pro quo, the harassers do not have to be supervisors for the organization to be found guilty. In fact, the harassers do not even have to be employees of the organization. Customers, suppliers, independent contractors, and so forth can all create a hostile work environment. Activities such as sexual or derogatory jokes or remarks, offensive physical contact, sexually oriented horseplay, posting of offensive or pornographic material, inappropriate emails, solicitation of sexual favors, and so forth could lead to hostile environment claims.

Answers to Exam Questions

  1. The correct answer is A. Griggs v. Duke Power created the judicial concept of adverse impact. McDonnell-Douglas Corp. v. Green (answer B) created the judicial concept of disparate treatment. Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (answer C) created the judicial concept of reverse discrimination. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (answer D) created the judicial concept of hostile environment.
  2. The correct answer is D. The utilization analysis compares the job group analysis with the availability analysis to determine whether underutilization exists. The organization profile displays information on the composition of the organization by gender and ethnicity (answer A). The job group analysis aggregates the information from the organizational profile (answer B). The availability analysis evaluates the availability of workers internally and externally (answer C).
  3. The correct answer is D. Replacement charts provide information on internal employees who are currently ready for a promotion should a job become open. Replacement charts will not assist in forecasting turnover (answer A) nor can they be used to forecast either internal (answer B) or external (answer C) overall supply of employees.
  4. The correct answer is A. Bringing new ideas and methods into the workplace is an advantage of external recruiting not internal recruiting. Promoting high morale (answer B), providing a career path (answer C), and reducing recruiting costs (answer D) are all advantages of internal recruiting.
  5. The correct answer is C. Sexual preference is not protected under federal law. It might, however be protected under state or local law. Sex (answer A), race (answer B), and age (answer D) are all protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  6. The correct answer is D. Situational interviews ask candidates how they would likely respond in theoretical situations. A nondirective (answer A) interview occurs when the interviewer relinquishes control of the flow of the interview to the interviewee. An unstructured interview (answer B) occurs when there are no predetermined questions. A behavioral interview (answer C) occurs when the interviewee is asked how she handled a situation in the past.
  7. The correct answer is C. Medical examinations under the Americans with Disabilities Act may be administered only after a conditional offer of employment. Using medical examinations as a prescreening device (answer A) and when there is an obvious disability (answer B) violates ADA. Requiring a medical examination after the employee reports to work (answer D) does not violate ADA, but might is not, in general, considered to be a good business practice because it might obligate the employer to pay compensation to employees that are incapable of performing the essential functions of the job. Furthermore, it might open up the organization to potential discrimination complaints because it terminated those individuals.
  8. The correct answer is C. Flexibility is an advantage, not a disadvantage, of using contingent rather and full-time permanent workers. Lack of loyalty (answer A), impact on the morale of the permanent workforce (answer B), and loss of internal capabilities (answer D) are all considered to be disadvantages associated with use of the contingent workforce.
  9. The correct answer is C. Questionnaires are appropriate for collecting data from a large number of employees. Observation (answer A) would likely be too time-consuming to capture the necessary data because truck drivers do not do repetitive short-cycle work. Interviews (answer B) are staff-intensive and would likely incur too much cost in this case because of the large number of employees. Employee logs (answer D) are not viable because of the large amount of time that would be required to analyze the data from the 200 employees and because employees frequently do not complete the logs in a timely and accurate manner.
  10. The correct answer is C. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employee is forced to choose between submitting to sexual advances and forfeiting employment opportunities. Answer A is an example of age discrimination. Answer B is an example of discrimination based on disability. Answer C is an example of sexual discrimination based on a hostile environment.

Suggested Readings and Resources

  1. Books and Articles
    • Brannick, M. T. & Levine, E. L. (2002). Job Analysis: Methods, Research, and Applications for Human Resource Management in the New Millennium. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
    • Buford, J. A. Jr. & Lindner, J. R. (2002). Human Resource Management: Concepts and Applications for HRM Students and Practitioners. Cincinnati, OH: South-Western.
    • Cook, M. (2004). Personnel Selection: Adding Value Through People (4th edition). West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.
    • Dessler, G. (2005). Human Resource Management (10th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
    • Jackson, S. E. & Schuler, R. S. (2003). Managing Human Resources Through Strategic Partnerships (8th edition). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.
    • Mathis, R. L. & Jackson, J. H. (2006). Human Resource Management (11th edition). Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western.
    • Naffziger, F. & Phillips, L. (2004). "Conducting Employee Investigations Prior to Imposition of Discipline." Midwest Law Review. 19 153-176.
    • Robinson, R. H., Franklin, G. M. & Wayland, R. (2002). The Regulatory Environment of Human Resource Management. Forth Worth, TX: Harcourt.
    • Wendover, R. W. (1998). Smart Hiring: The Complete Guide to Finding and Hiring the Best Employees (2nd edition). Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
    • Yorks, L. (2005). Strategic Human Resource Development. Mason, OH: Thompson South-Western.
  2. Websites
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