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Law, Democracy, Government Policy and Employee Behavior

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  • Pages: 8
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  • Category: Democracy

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Public behavior is regulated by compliance of Law. Law is created and legal authorities established for the purpose of maintaining an established social order. Social order includes public, all institutions and workplace order. Law is created and should be adhered to even at workplace so as to prevent misconduct or egregious workplace behavior.

 Law is linked to employee behavior because it condones certain workplace behavior which the company does not have policies or rules against so as to encourage or promote social behavior within and outside workplace. Such behaviors that employees engage are sexual harassment and physical assault. In such cases, the company may lay off the employee only to re-hire him or her later encouraging the behavior to go to deep lengths. The law will discipline the culprit by either a jail term or fine which will discourage the behavior from occurring again. Any deviation from law constitutes a criminal behavior and is executable at a court of law.

Criminal justice system has classification of criminal activities with respect to employees work environment and has set procedures and rules on how to conduct a court case concerning egregious workplace behavior.

The private sector is affected by law because social order has to be exercised within workplace, and employees in the private sector, if they commit any crime within workplace, will have to be executed in a court of law. The private sector has an obligation towards the society which requires them to establish and maintain a social order and condone employee’s egregious behavior within and outside work environment.

Democracy affects workplace environment, communication issues in particular, and this affects employee behavior. Democracy at workplace entails its application in all issues, activities and processes (Derina R. Holtzhausen, 2002). Unions at workplace normally exercise Democracy but also those organizations without unions also have some kind of Democracy.

Command hierarchy is a commonly employed method of workplace Democracy, where, the boss can hire or fire anyone and takes responsibility and accountability of his or her own wellbeing and issues under him or her. Democracy should be exercised in such issues as decision making, voting, debates, appeal systems, and Democratic structuring. It ensures that managerial powers are controlled and no manager should have complete control over one employee so that employees are not fired at will by managers.

Democratic structuring is a better method of democracy because it allows major decisions to take consideration of such democratic norms as deliberative democracy, co-leadership and gender equity. These norms will ensure that no employees (including decision makers & those who are not involved in policy making) are discriminated against. Lack of democracy at workplace leads to lack of commitment, management mistakes, reduced morale, poor team work, and low employee turnover (Derina R. Holtzhausen, 2002). This is because people discriminated against are helpless to give their appeal for what they think are stupid decisions by management. Democracy structuring ensures management decisions’ criticism occurs and that the employees doing the criticisms are not fired on false pretext.

Participatory Democracy brings into sight employee ownership of organizations. Employee ownership ensures more employee influence at job and departmental levels and also at organizational level (Donald V. Nightingale, 1982). Employees are more committed and enjoy their work lives and are more involved in the organizational wellbeing. Motivation and employee satisfaction is improved and communication is enhanced between management and workers. Employee ownership ensures qualified democracy because employees are involved in appointments of board members which ensure a quality management that will involve employees in decision making, hence employees will enjoy their work, be motivated, and committed to achievement of organizational objectives and goals (Donald V. Nightingale, 1982).

Democracy at workplace is very important because it improves trust, information flow, face- to- face, and superior and subordinate communication amongst employees of an organization.

The criminal justice system is responsible for setting procedures and processes of executing criminal cases of undemocratic actions of organizations. For Public companies there are corporate laws and democratic structuring. The private sector should be influenced by the law to exercise democracy within work environment and ensure that employees are treated equally and are involved in major decision making sessions especially if decision made affect them directly. The criminal justice system should ensure that undemocratic actions of organizations are prosecuted in a law court and process for prosecution is not lenient to any party.

Government policies regulate what employees ought to behave both within and outside their organization and the measures an organization can take with regard to employees such behaviors. Employees will be able to think deeply of what they do if this constitutes a law suit by their company. The company in turn will be restricted on the way it controls behavior within and outside the organization.  Policies will ensure employee privacy and substantially control employee behavior outside the organization.

Privacy, individual differences, human dignity and individual respect polices ensure employee behavior that is acceptable across all platforms of an organization workplace and even outside. Business conduct policies are geared towards achievement of a respectful working environment. The policy, which highlights harassments such as sexual harassments, and inappropriate behaviors should state clearly areas of the elements which constitutes breaking of the law and hence the policy. All employees are responsible for creating a respectful working place and they understand clearly what behavior should be avoided so as to promote a healthy and respectful working environment and the ways of reporting such behaviors violating law and the policy.

Government policies regulate how a company should investigate and respond to a filed case of inappropriate behavior, the company’s responsibility towards the filed case and also prohibit organizations from retaliating. It should enable the organization to set procedures towards preventing the violations from occurring again. This way, employee behavior is enhanced and conducive working environment is created that ensures peaceful and appropriate employee relationship.

The criminal justice system has set procedures that will be followed in prosecuting violations to the law and policies with regard to inappropriate behavior or harassment. The system is responsible for setting guidelines of ensuring proper means are followed in any law suit against policy violations.

The private sector is required to set policies for regulating employee behavior that will ensure creation of a healthy and peaceful working environment. The law should ensure that the policies set by the private sector or private organizations are correct, fair and appropriate so that the full process is represented.

Law, Democracy and government policies regulate and govern employee behavior within the work place and even outside. Employees are satisfied with their evaluations of the corporate rules and procedures especially if they perceive the organization to be legitimate and they will be more committed, satisfied and involved in creation of a healthy and respectful workplace (Tom R. Tyler, 2007). This is because they know the procedures, policies and rules of their organization are supported by law and therefore, are legitimate.

Laws that govern, direct, support or inform behavior:

Civil Rights Act of 1991- This Act states that “anyone claiming to have been a victim of intentional employment discrimination can sue for damages”. Behavior towards employment is governed by this law which ensures that no one suffers from employment discrimination due to gender, age or\ and disability. This means any deterrence in compliance with this law will be prosecuted using the normal state and federal legislative process.

OSH Act of 1970- the Act applies to workplace employment performed within a state, the districts having jurisdiction and the Canal Zone. The interior secretary, by regulation, provides for judicial enforcement of this Act by courts established for places where there are no United States district courts with jurisdiction. This Act does not affect workmen’s compensation law, enlarge/diminish or affect common law or statutory rights, duties, or liabilities of employers and employees under any law with respect to injuries, diseases or death arising out of employment.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – The policy in this Act governs behavior in that, it prohibits violence and threatening behavior in the federal workplace. The policy is aimed at preventing inappropriate behavior within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The policy calls for criminal law procedures to be taken once a violation to the policy occurs.

Whistle Blower Act of Colorado State- This law is meant to protect employees who disclose certain disturbing information, as regulated by law, from retaliation by their organizations. The law enables employees to file charges against organizations under the sate employee protection law. The federal law can also apply to prosecute such cases. This Act is supported by the Federal Whistleblower protection Program which prohibits anyone from discharging or in any way discriminating against an employee because the employee has exercised rights under the Act (U.S. Department of Labor).


Employee behavior is very important in a workplace because it creates, if good, conducive environment that is peaceful, secure, and clean to work and live in. The behavior is influenced by law which prevents misconduct or egregious workplace behavior, Democracy which uses such methods as democracy structuring, participatory, and simple command hierarchy democracy to ensure employee satisfaction and participation in major decision making sessions, and Government policies that ensure the policies made at organizational level are regulated by law and that any violations by employees or employers to the employee behavior policies (such as inappropriate behavior, harassment and retaliation) are prosecutable by law.

The three elements: law, democracy, and government policies are linked together to regulate and control employee behavior. Employees follow policies and obey rules when they view their corporation as legitimate and entitled to be obeyed and are concerned with the degree to which these policies are consistent with their own moral values (Tom R. Tyler, 2007).

There are various laws created to govern, direct, support, or inform behavior. They include Civil Rights Act of 1991 which enables employees to sue employment discrimination actions, OSH Act of 1970 which highlights various policies regarding employee behavior or conduct within several states, and Whistle Blower Act which protects employees from company retaliations. These laws affect and are affected by other common laws and statutory right laws which must be considered while proceeding with a case. This is because a violation of any of these laws requires procedures of other common laws to be applied in prosecution process (U.S. Department of Labor).


Donald V. Nightingale (1982): Workplace Democracy, an Inquiry into Employee Participation in Canadian Work. University of Toronto Press

Tom R. Tyler (August 7th, 2007):  Why People obey the law, maintaining social order. Princeton University Press

Retrieved on 13th October, 2007

Form http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/p8230.html

Derina R. Holtzhausen (June, 2002): The effects of workplace democracy on employee communication behavior, implications for competitive advantage.

Retrieved on 13th October, 2007

From http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go2762/is_200206/ai_n7042200

U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Whistleblower Protection Program

Retrieved on 13th October, 2007

From http://www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html

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