Definitions: IRL 101 - Public Policy

Affirmative Action - Granting certain advantages or preferences to a group in order to overcome the effects of previous or current discrimination against that group

Appropriate Bargaining Unit - A group of workers determined by the National Labor Relations Board to be suitable to decide if they want union representation

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification - It is legal to discriminate in favor of certain groups if membership in those groups is absolutely required to perform a certain job effectively

Common Law - Law made by judges

Discrimination - The unfair treatment of some group based on characteristics which don't relate to job performance

Disparate Impact - Behavior which, although not intended to be discriminatory, has differential impacts on different ethnic, racial, religious or gender groups

Disparate Treatment - Deliberate discrimination

Duty of Fair Representation - The obligation of a union to speak for all members of the bargaining unit equally and without invidious discrimination

Employment at Will - The legal doctrine that, in the absence of a written contract that provides otherwise, an employee may be terminated at any time for any reason

Exclusive Representation - The rule that one and only one union may represent a group of workers for purposes of collective bargaining

Exempt Employees - Those not covered by th e Fair Labor Standards Act

Experience Rating - Basing unemployment compensation taxes on the amount of job instability attributable to that employer

Featherbedding - The practice of a union demanding and receiving payment for members who do work which the employer believes is unnecessary (i.e. which does not add to output).

Hostile Environment - A form of sexual harassment in which the surroundings are allowed to become unpleasant in a way that relates to gender

Injunctions - A court order to an individual or group forbidding certain behavior

Mixed Motive Cases - Discrimination cases in which the employer's decision was based on both legal and prohibited factors

Non-exempt Employees - Those covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act

Portability - A pension is portable when an employee can continue to participate in the same pension program even if he/she changes jobs

Quid Pro Quo - A form of sexual harassment in which hiring or job advancement is made contingent on a relati onship with the person who has the power to offer jobs or advancement

Race Norming - Setting different passing standards on tests for different racial groups

Reasonable Accommodation - What employers must be willing to do for disabled employees

Secondary Strikes and Boycotts - Attempts by a union to bring p ressure on an employer with whom it has a dispute by taking action against other employers with whom that employer does business

Sexual Harassment - A form of gender discrimination

Social Security - A set of federal programs designed to provide pensions, health care, and protection from the financial consequences of disability

Unfair Labor Practices - Specific management and union activities forbidden by the National Labor Relations Act

Union Security Agreements - Collective bargaining provisions designed to protect the financial and membership base of the union

Unwelcome Attention - A form of sexual harassment in which employees continue to engage in gender-based behav ior which the recipient does not desire

Vesting - A pension is vested when it cannot be taken away from the employee

Workers' Compensation - State insurance programs to protect workers financially from the consequences of job-related injuries

Yellow Dog Contracts - Employment contracts prohibiting the empl oyee from belonging to or joining a labor union