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Human Resource Management Acts Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 13th, 2020


Human resource management, commonly abbreviated as HRM, refers to acts of setting up, putting into practice, and dealing with recruitment, and also includes selection, guidance, career and other managerial development programs within a given firm or entity (the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2010).

The aim of any human resource department, therefore, should be geared toward making the most of the output of the firm by way of optimizing the efficiency of its staff while at the same time making the working conditions favorable and treating all involved as priceless resources. Therefore every HRM needs to ensure that at all times, all their energies are directed toward the promotion of individual growth of every staff member, staff contentment, and adherence to employer-employee regulations.


The main standards and applications related to HRM trace their roots to the commencement of humanity. Procedures were set up for picking of communal chiefs, for instance, and information was passed down to upcoming generations on various aspects of life like protection, hunting, among others (the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2010).

More developed and advanced aspects of HRM were in practice by the beginning of the initial B.C. periods. Worker screening examinations in China have been drawn way back to 1115 B.C.

As humanity advances with time, it has become clear that any form of discrimination in any workplace serves no good and there is a need to level the playing field for all members of staff. Thus, various nations and states have come up with laws to ensure no person is discriminated against on whatever grounds in the workplace. Some of the acts on human resource and their impact in the United States are discussed in detail below.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

This is commonly referred to as ADA and is a decree that was endorsed by the United States Congress in 1990. The then president, George W. Bush signed into law on the 26th July of the same year (Acemoglu & Angrist, 2001, p. 915). The act was later on amended, and the alterations were effected at the beginning of the year 2009.

The act is a broad societal rights regulation that prescribes, under given situations, bias, and prejudice on the grounds of impairment. It provides a similar safeguard against discrimination to United States citizens with impairments as in the same way as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The 1964 act illegalized any form of bias founded on grounds including race, religious affiliation, gender, nationality, and other attributes (Johnson, 2000, p. 14).

According to ADA, disability is classified as a bodily or intellectual impairment that significantly bars a major life action. The establishment of whether any given status is to be classified as a disability is normally made on a case by case base (Johnson, 2000, p. 16). There are particular conditions that are not classified as impairments as related to human resource management, and some really good examples are present substance abuse and visual disability, which can be rectified by the use of lenses.

Amendments were made to the ADA act as mentioned earlier and were given a presidential assent on September 25, 2008, by the then-president George W. Bush. These alterations were directed at providing a broad-based safeguard for impaired staff in any entity and deal with court judgments that the Congress thought were too refraining.

The ADA stipulates that any covered firm shall not show favoritism against a person with the required criterion and aptitude but is impaired (Johnson, 2000, p. 22). This is about employment application processes, takes into service, promotions, and reduction of staff, staff compensation, career education, and various other stipulations, and liberties of service. The term covered firm encompasses human resource hiring agencies, labor associations, and is by and large an employer involved in interstate business and having at least fifteen members of staff.

Discrimination in this case involves quite a number of things which include categorizing a job candidate or existing staff member in an unfavorable way, rejecting employment chances to persons who in fact meet the required criteria, or not making the necessary provisions to the well-known bodily or intellectual constraints of impaired members, not promoting disabled staff members in the firm, and/or not offering required room in instruction (Acemoglu & Angrist, 2001, p. 947).

Employers are allowed to use medical entry tests for candidates after the employment opportunity has been put forward. This is, however, only if all candidates must take it and should be treated as a classified medical record.

Eligible persons should not include anyone who at the moment is involved in the unlawful use of a substance(s) when that practice is the root for the individual’s actions (Acemoglu & Angrist, 2001, p. 957).

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964, 1991)

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 refers to a United States decree that was enacted in reaction to a succession of the US Supreme Court rulings which curtailed the liberties of workers who had taken legal action(s) against their employers for unfairness (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 4).

This act stood for the first endeavor since the enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to amend some of the fundamental bureaucratic and significant liberties afforded by national law in discrimination cases. It gave a provision for the right to trial by judges on prejudice allegations and brought about the opportunity of emotional anguish costs while restricting the quantity that a judge could give.

Predecessors of the Act

The 1991 Act united aspects from two different civil rights acts of times gone by; the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the service-related stipulations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, commonly known as Title VII, which is its position within the Act (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 6).

Title VII proscribes bias on the grounds of gender, religious affiliation, and nationality. It also authorized trial by the judicature and offered for only conventional impartial solutions; back pay, restoration, and restrictions against prospective acts of prejudice.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 increased the solutions accessible to victims of prejudice by altering Title VII of the 1964 act. Congress had altered this title once before in 1972. A progression of various court rulings led to this, and some are mentioned here. One is the Patterson versus McLean Credit Union in 1989.

The Supreme Court ruled that a worker could not take legal action for anguish brought about by racial aggravation on the job (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 7). The support for this was being touted that even if the employer’s manner(s) was prejudiced, he or she had not denied the worker the same liberty to come up with and put into effect contracts as was enjoyed by white nationals.

The case pitting Wards Cove Packing Co. against Antonio in 1989 made it further complicated for workers to provide evidence that an employer’s workforce ways, unbiased according to them, posed an illegal contrasting effect on them by way of having the need of them making out the specific procedure or condition that purportedly brought up disparities at the place of work and prove that it, in seclusion, brought about this impact (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 8).

Another noticeable case of the year 1989 was that of Price Waterhouse versus Hopkins.

The ruling maintained that the burden of proof budged the moment a worker had provided evidence that an illegal deliberation had played a role in the employer’s workforce verdict, to the employer to substantiate that it would have come up with a similar conclusion had it not been stimulated by that illegal aspect, but that such evidence by the employer would comprise an entire justification for the employer (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 8). All of these rulings proved to be contentious.

Amendments made by the Act

The Patterson versus McLean Credit Union case drew a great deal of disparagement since it left an impression of leaving workers who had been discriminated against by racial aggravation on the job with no effectual solutions (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 12). Congress tackled this matter by redefining the act of making and enacting contracts to bring on board the creating, execution, alteration, and ending of contracts and the enjoyment of all privileges of the contract.

Congress also had a feeling that the Wards Cove Packing Co. against Antonio case made it too complex to prove contrasting effect claims under Title VII.

It altered the act to make it possible for a worker to provide evidence on his or her case under this mechanism by illustrating how an individual act or collection of acts led to a distinct effect on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, gender or nationality, and the accused is unsuccessful in showing how such action is needed by industry necessity (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 14).

Congress was also on point to clarify that the plain occurrence of a numerical disparity in an employer’s workers on the grounds of race, religious affiliation, gender, or nationality is not in itself enough to institute a first sight case of contrasting effect contravention.

Whereas the greater part of Congress was behind the burden-budging law in the Price Waterhouse versus Hopkins case, it was not well augured with an employer’s capability to use evidence that it would have made a similar resolution in any occurrence as a full defense in a situation in which it had been demonstrated that color or gender or any other illegal aspect played a noticeable function in its resolution.

The act was thereby amended to give provision that the employer’s evidence that it would have made a similar resolution, in any case, was a defense to restoration and other solutions, but not to accountability as such (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 15).

The matter-of-fact of this alteration was to permit a party that substantiated that the employer prejudiced, but could not show that it made any sensible difference in the ending, could still reclaim advocate’s charges after proving that indeed the employer was biased, even in instances where no other solution was granted.

Congress also bounded the liberties of non-parties to attack assent rulings by blockading any face ups to by parties who had prior knowledge or ought to have known of the law or who were sufficiently represented by the initial parties (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 15).

The Supreme Court also approves judgments on Title VII claims and permits Title VII petitioners to claim emotional suffering and disciplinary compensation, while at the same time enforcing caps on such respite under the same title (Rodriguez & Weingast, 2003, p. 18).

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967)

Age bias in any workplace and other facets of service is forbidden by this national age discrimination law, which is commonly referred to as ADEA (Matthews, 1996, p. 5). Employers falling under this jurisdiction are prohibited from categorizing against workers and job applicants in any element of employment, including taking into service, firing, advancement, and any other privileges.

ADEA also particularly bans other things such as; conditions in job vacancy advertisements of age predilection and restraints, refutation of benefits to elder workers with a condition that benefits can only be trimmed down founded on age only if the expenditure of availing the lessened benefits to older employees is similar to the requirement of availing complete benefits to younger employees (Matthews, 1996, p. 12).

However, obligatory retirement based on age is allowed for senior management above the age of sixty-five who are permitted to a retirement fund above the least annual amount (Matthews, 1996, p. 20). As from 1978, ADEA also outlawed compulsory departure from service in a majority of sectors, with the chaptered exclusion of compulsory retirement for advanced employees such as university and college professors.

Employers who have at least twenty workers may not show any bias on the grounds of age against present employees and employment seekers who are over forty years old. Employment firms, employee unions, and local and civil workplaces are governed by this decree.

States and local authorities are authorized to endorse discrimination laws that are comparable to the ADEA. Depending on the prevailing conditions, workers plights are covered by whichever law, whether at the national, state, or local stage (Matthews, 1996, p. 23).


The above-discussed acts were geared towards leveling the playing field for all citizens in matters relating to employment and employee benefits. They are vital for the advancement of any economy in the ever-developing world (the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2010). They have and will continue ensuring that qualified individuals sit at various workplaces and deliver the desired results.

Reference List

Acemoglu, D. & Angrist, J. (2001). “Consequences of Employment Protection? The Case of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Journal of Political Economy, volume 109 (2001). 915 – 957.

Johnson, M. (2000). “Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve & The Case Against Disability Rights.” Louisville, KY: The Advocado Press. 14 – 22.

Matthews, J. (1996). “Social Security, Medicare, and Pensions: The Sourcebook for Older Americans.” Berkley, CA: Nolo Press. 5 – 23.

Rodriguez, D. & Weingast, B. (2003). “The Positive Political Theory of Legislative History: New Perspectives on the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Its Interpretation” University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 151. 4 – 18.

United States Equal Employment opportunity Commission. (2010). Web.

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