Employment Law in the Automotive Dealership
Employment law involves many factors, acts, regulations, and laws. Many federal, state, and local laws and regulations have been enacted to protect U.S. workers. This employment law paper will analyze a firsthand experienced employment situation and describe the legal actions taken to handle or resolve the situation. The employment situation that will be discussed involves an older dealership parts department employee who becomes ill and must miss many days and weeks off from work. Later after returning to work, the employee is terminated.
This paper in evaluating this scenario will describe the history and evolution of federal laws pertaining to the employment situation, describe how effective these federal laws were in resolving or not resolving the issue, and what company obligated functions or acts were used to comply with federal employment acts. In addition, a comparison of how the situation may have differed or been resolved differently if the employee were an agent of the company, contract laborer, a union member, or a party to a collective bargaining agreement.
In this employment law scenario, an older male employee has become ill and has missed several days of work. He has gone to his doctor and been given a note to stay home and return to work after a week of recovery. The employee attempts to return to work after his weeks rest. However, within just a few hours of his starting to work he becomes noticeably ill by sweating profusely, turning pale, and having labored breathing. He was instructed to go home as it was inhibiting his ability to perform his job functions waiting on customers, answering phones, and picking and pulling parts physically.
Returning to the doctor, a discovery is made that the employee has a developing lung disorder and must have additional time off. Yet the employee attempts to come to work and cannot make it through a day much less a week without becoming ill. Concern increases among dealership management that the environment surrounding the employee could be contributing to his condition. In the parts department, employees are subject to dust, mold, pollen, and other naturally occurring pollutants as well as man made pollutants such as gas, diesel fumes, burning oil, battery acid, and various other solvents and chemicals that create fumes of various toxic levels.
Dealership management attempt to contact the physician to inquire on why he has sent the employee back to work when he obvious cannot perform his duties. The physician only states that the employee is a “very sick puppy” and cannot divulge any more information due to the privacy acts now in place to protect individuals from others’ inquiries. The employee has been instructed not to return to work without full consent of his physician and acknowledging his condition could prevent him from staying as a fulltime employee. The situation presented a difficult challenge for the dealership and it was recommended to the employee perhaps a letter from the physician for disability would be a good idea.
History and Evolution of Federal Laws Pertaining to the Employment Situation
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act enacted in 1993 is “a federal act that guarantees employee’s unpaid time off for family or medical emergencies” (Cheeseman, 2007, p.419, ¶4). The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be difficult to adhere to for many organizations. One of the stipulations is the fact that an employee does not necessarily have to specifically ask for the leave time. Instead the employer must be aware of the situation and make available the time and offer the employee the leave as an option. During this scenario with the dealership employee being in and out of work so often, the dealership opened up a FMLA case and began using this act to cover and protect his job at the dealership. Under the FMLA up to 12 weeks can be taken off for a medical necessity or family emergency. The dealership paid the employees’ remaining sick days and vacation time to the employee before applying the FMLA act procedure.
The employee missed 8 weeks of work before being able to return. During this time the dealership had become busier and the parts department could not keep up with the increased business with one less employee at home sick. During this time it became evident that another parts employee was necessary. As a result an additional parts employee was hired to alleviate some of the burden to the remaining parts employees attempting to coverer for the ill employee at home.
- Quote paper
- James Tallant (Author), 2008, Employment Law In the Automotive Dealership , Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/167357