Rights and Responsibilities Issues
Generally, rights do not exist in the abstract Instead they exist only when someone is successful in demanding their application. Rights belong to a person by law, nature, or tradition. Of course, defining a right presents considerable potential for disagreement For example, does ail employee have a right to privacy of communication in personal matters when using the employer’s computer on company time? (The opening HR Insights in this chapter provides a good example). Moreover, legal rights may or may not correspond to certain moral rights, and the reverse is true as well, which opens up “rights” to controversy and lawsuits. Rights are offset by responsibilities, which are obligations to be Ac Countable for actions. Employment is a reciprocal relationship (both sides have rights . and obligations). For example, if an employee lies the right to a safe working, environment, then the employer must have an obligation to provide a safe workplace. If the employer has a right to expect uninterrupted, high-quality work from the employee, then the worker has the responsibility to be on the job and meet job performance standards. The reciprocal nature of rights and responsibilities suggests that both parties to an employment relationship should regard the other as baving equal rights and should treat the other with respect.