Human Resource Management in Legal Context
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This paper is designed to address the increasingly important role of employment law in human resource management.
Students are exposed to current employment laws as they relate to issues such as health and safety, discrimination, harassment, strikes, individual agreements, collective agreements and dismissal.
This paper has a strong practical orientation, where students are expected to discuss short legal cases in class. Although these cases have been written by the lecturer, they are typically based on real-world situations or real-world legal cases. The focus is on providing students with the skills and knowledge required to handle employment law situations as they might actually arise. As such the course is suitable for a wide variety of people: business owners, managers, employees, other workers, civil servants (mediators at MBIE, for example), I/O psychologists, and consultants.
This course will be delivered via 3 methods:
- First, several mini-lectures (each less than 15 minutes) will be recorded on Panopto for students to watch prior to the face-to-face and Zoom classes.
- Second, students and lecturer will meet face-to-face in class at 1 PM on Fridays for 60 to 90 minutes to do case studies and have discussions, based on the Panopto mini-lectures.
- Third, students (who prefer or who are outside New Zealand) and lecturer will meet on Zoom at 1 PM on Tuesdays to do the case studies done later in the week during the face-to-face workshop on Fridays at 1 PM.
Students will be expected to attend either the face-to-face classes at 1 PM on Fridays or the Zoom classes at 1 PM on Tuesdays (or both, though this is definitely not required). Please see Moodle page for more details. Zoom and face-to-face classes will be the same.
Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:
Employees versus Contractors
Explain whether a worker is an employee or individual contractor, with reference to a case exampleLinked to the following assessments:
Individual versus Collective Agreements
Identify the legal requirements of individual and collective agreementsLinked to the following assessments:
Individual Agreements versus Collective Agreements
Explain why a worker would wish to join a union or remain non-unionLinked to the following assessments:
Personal Grievances and Mediation
Explain how and when employees can take a personal grievance and what they can expect at mediationLinked to the following assessments:
Explain whether an action is a strike and whether it’s lawful or unlawful, with reference to a case exampleLinked to the following assessments:
Health and Safety
Identify hazards, identify prevention steps, and explain whether the prevention steps are practicable, with reference to a case exampleLinked to the following assessments:
Explain whether a dismissal has been carried out with substantive grounds in a procedurally fair manner, with reference to a case exampleLinked to the following assessments:
Explain whether a worker has suffered discrimination involving a prohibited ground, with reference to a case example.Linked to the following assessments:
Explain whether a worker has suffered sexual or racial harassment (as defined by HRA or ERA), with reference to a case example.Linked to the following assessments:
The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.
The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.
Error: Assessment components must add up to 100%
At least one Assessment Component needs to be entered
|Component Description||Due Date||Time||Percentage of overall mark||Submission Method||Compulsory|
|1. Test 1||
8 Apr 2022
|2. Group Essay||
10 May 2022
|3. Test 2||
20 May 2022
|4. Test 3||
10 Jun 2022
Required and Recommended Readings*
No required readings
Statutes, Contracts and Common Law
Thaler, Richard, and Sunstein, Cass, 2003, Libertarian paternalism, American Economic Review, 93, 2, 175-179.
Individual and Collective Agreements; Independent Contractors versus Employees
Freeman, Richard, and Medoff, James, 1984, What Do Unions Do? New York: Basic Books, 3-25.
Mitchell, Daniel, and Erickson, Christopher, 2005, "Monopsony: Today's New Labor-Market Reality," WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society, 8, 671-682.
Mitchell, Daniel, and Erickson, Christopher, 2005, "De-Unionization and Macro Performance: What Freeman and Medoff Didn't Do," Journal of Labor Research, 26, 2, 183-208.
Freedom of Association (voluntary versus compulsory unionism)
Charlwood, Andy, and Haynes, Peter, 2008, "Union Membership Decline in New Zealand," Journal of Industrial Relations, 50, 1, 87-110.
Delaney, John, 1998, "Redefining the Right-to-Work Debate: Unions and the Dilemma of Free Choice," Journal of Labor Research, 19, 3, 425-443.
Godard, John, 1994, Industrial Relations: The Economy and Society, Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 323-326.
Olson, Mancur, 1971, The Logic of Collective Action, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 53-97.
Union Recognition and Access
Godard, John, 1994, Industrial Relations: The Economy and Society, Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 279-285.*
Godard, J. 2003."Do Labor Laws Matter? The Density Decline and Convergence Thesis Revisited," Industrial Relations, 42, 458-492.
Harcourt, Mark, and Haynes, Peter, 2011, "Accommodating Minority Unionism: Does the New Zealand Experience Provide Options for Canadian Law Reform," Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, 16, 51-79. (available in L drive)
* Godard outlines union certification (recognition) procedures in Canada and its provinces.
Disputes and Grievances
McAndrew, Ian, 2002, "Research notes: Determinations of the employment relations authority," New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, 27, 3, 323-337.
Dumbleton, Alastair, 2001, "The Employment Relations Authority Gets Under Way," New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, 26, 1, 119-130.
Martinez-Pecino, Roberto, Munduate, Lourdes, Medina, Francisco, and Euwema, Martin, 2008, "Effectiveness of Mediation Strategies in Collective Bargaining," Industrial Relations, 47, 3, 480-495.
Feuerbach-Twomey, Rosemarie, "Mediation and its Merits as an Alternative Method of Employer-Employee Dispute Resolution," Competition Forum, 4, 2, 414-420.
Right to Strike
Baker, David, 2003, "Policing Industrial Disputation: Lessons from the Lyttleton Picket Line Tragedy," New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, 28, 3, 258-270.
Godard, John, 1998, "Strikes and the Law," Relations Industrielles, 53, 2, 258-277.
Hornsby-Geluk, Susan, 2012, "An Uneven Playing Field - Partial Strikes", New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 37, 1, 60-69.
MacKay, Paul, 2013, "The Right to Strike: Commentary," New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 38, 3, 58-70.
Discrimination & Harassment
Blackwood, Kate, Bentley, Tim, Catley, Bevan, Tappin, David, and Forsyth, Darryl, 2012, "Out of Step? The Efficacy of Trans-Tasman Law to Combat Workplace Bullying," New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 38, 1, 27-41.
Debono, Julie, 2001, "Sexual Harassment in Employment: An Examination of Decisions Looking for Evidence of Sexist Jurisprudence," New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, 26, 3, 329-340.
Keith, Michael, 2000, "Sexual Harassment Case Law Under the Employment Contracts Act," New Zealand Journal of Industrial Relations, 25, 3, 277-289.
Dismissal & Redundancy (includes Employment at-Will)
McCall, John, 2003, "A Defense of Just Cause Dismissal Rules," Business Ethics Quarterly, 13, 2, 151-175.
Radin, Tara, and Werhane, Patricia, 2003, "Employment-at-Will, Employee Rights, and Future Directions for Employment," Business Ethics Quarterly, 13, 2, 113-130. Paul Weiler's 1990 book, Governing the Workplace: The Future of Labour and Employment Law, also has some important information about employment at-will.
Health and Safety
Gunby, Philip, 2011, "How bad is the state of occupational fatalities in New Zealand", New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 36, 1, 35-51. Lamm, Felicity, Massey, Claire, and Perry, Martin, 2007, "Is there a link between Workplace Health and Safety and Firm Performance and Productivity," New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 32, 1, 72-86.
Templer, Leanne, 2012, "New Zealand and the proposed Australian model workplace health and safety act", New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations, 37, 1, 90-99.
Weil, David, 1999, "Are mandated health and safety committees substitutes for or supplements to labor unions?" Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 52, 3, 339-360.
Cialdini, Robert, and Goldstein, Noah, 2002, "The Science and Practice of Persuasion," Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 43, 2, 40-50.
Garaudel, Pierre, Noel, Florent, and Schmidt, Geraldine, 2008, "Overcoming the risks of restructuring through the integrative bargaining process: Two case studies in a French context," Human Relations, 61, 9, 1293-1331.
Luthy, Michael, Ryan, Mike, Desselle, Bettye, and Byrd, John, 2007, "Developing a Strategic Negotiation Plan: Toyota Highlander," Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 13, 4, 51-59.
McKersie, Robert, Sharpe, Teresa, Kochan,Thomas, Eaton, Adrienne, Strauss,George, and Morgenstern,Marty,2008, "Bargaining Theory Meets Interest-Based Negotiations: A Case Study," Industrial Relations, 47, 1, 66-96.
Rudman, Richard, New Zealand Employment Law Guide, Auckland: CCH New Zealand
HRMGT302 is a 15 point paper and students should expect to spend 150 hours learning overall.
Students should spend 50 hours attending lectures.
Linkages to Other Papers*
Restricted papers: HRMG301 and HRMG401