Employee Focus

Photo by Clayton Cardinalli on Unsplash

If you’ve been reading my articles regularly, you’ve probably noticed a decided pro-employee stance in my writing. I wanted to explain why that’s so.

In my original article about my writing perspective, I mention that I’m explicitly writing about U.S. workplace issues. In the United States, due to a very disjointed legal system (employment laws in 50 different states vs. general federal employment laws vs. laws specific to industries or sizes of institution), many employers are uninformed about how many employment laws there are and which employment laws apply to them. They don’t know what they don’t know, and as a small business starts, they often want to pay as little money as possible for overhead expenses like HR. This lack of HR focus sets the business up for poor hiring and employment practices perpetuating as the business grows. Or, the employer knows they need help with this and make the mistake of hiring young and inexperienced HR staff right out of school who don’t have an adequate employment law background. These mistakes usually end up hurting the employees the most.

Having been on both sides of the human resources fence, I think that the employees are the ones who have little power over these poor employment practices, and therefore deserving of some consideration in the media to bring light to potential injustices. Employees DO have some leverage via lawsuits or complaints to state and federal agencies such as Departments of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and sometimes unions. Still, they may have been terminated from the company for many months without pay before those agencies settle the claims. Few employees can afford that.

I’m a sucker for the little guy’s (or girl’s) cause, and U.S. employees certainly fit that bill. I’m not against employers; I certainly wish growth and success to all of the companies trying to make it out there, but that success shouldn’t come at the expense of the people doing the work. In the U.S., we should be treating our employees better. More in a later article on what I think some solutions might be to fix these issues.