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The Role and Function of Law

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The Role and Function of Law Law plays of significant role in the operation of a successful business and society. One of the characteristics of law is that is “creates duties, obligations, and rights that reflect accepted views of a given society” (Melvin, 2011, pg. 4). Law also helps businesses resolve disputes that have to do with the rights of the business and citizens (Melvin, 2011, pg. 4). Obtaining an understanding of the legal system can help businesses gain a competitive edge, as well as add value to the business. Many businesses rely on attorneys to help them with their business needs. By obtaining an attorney, or counsel, businesses often reduce the cost of risk and liability and result in business opportunities (Melvin, 2011, Pg. 7). There are many regulations that businesses have to follow, such as environmental regulations (The Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, The Safe Drinking Water Act, The Pollution Prevention Act, ect.) (“All Businesses”, 2009). It is evident that some regulations are put in place to protect the environment, while others are put in place to protect citizens or businesses them self. There is also much compliance that businesses must follow, such as minimum wage laws. Each state provides business owners with a different minimum wage amount to help protect employees. An example of the minimum wage being enforced would be businesses in New York paying their employees no less than $7.25 an hour and businesses in Washington paying their employees no less that $9.04 an hour (“United States Department of Labor”, 2012). In many court cases, consumers are holding businesses responsible for their actions. The court does not always side with the consumer. An example of this occurred in the Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc. case. Cipollone brought up a suit against Liggett for false advertising and misrepresenting the hazards of smoking. Even though Liggett did violate New Jersey statutes, the court dropped the case because of two federal laws that were in place, The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 and The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969. These federal laws preempted the state laws, which caused the court to favor with Liggett and drop the suit. Law plays an important part in every individual’s job or industry. I work at TD Bank as a Store Supervisor and there are many different regulations that we have to follow on a daily basis. One regulation that I have to follow on a regular basis is the Equal Credit Opportunity. This regulation ensures that lenders are not discriminating again any applicants. It also “establishes guidelines for gathering and evaluating credit information, and requires written information when credit is denied” ("Board Of Governors Of The Federal Reserve System", 2012). Every year each Certified Consumer Lender is required to participate in and online training to make sure that the proper regulations are being followed. TD Bank enforces thee training programs to protect their consumers from being discriminated against, as well as themselves from receiving any fines or lawsuits from the government. Another daily activity that ensures the bank is following the necessary regulations is to provide a Truth in Savings disclosure to every customer opening a savings account. The customer will be able to compare our savings rates and products to those of other financial institutions. Not only do we provide our customers with the necessary disclosures, we make sure that every disclosure is fully reviewed and that they understand. After researching some of the required business regulations and reviewing “The Legal Environment of Business” by Melvin, S.P., I feel that I have a better understanding as to the role and functions of law within a business. Although sometimes it may not seem like it, law is made to protect society, businesses, consumers, and the environment. By preserving and not taking advantage of law, you are making the community in which we live a better place. Without law, we would live in a very disorganized country with a lack of respect for our fellow citizens.

References:
All Businesses. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.allbusiness.com/ government/environmental-regulations/11898-1.html#axzz2C3Sn03iA
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/reglisting.htm Melvin, S. P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Theory to practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
United States Department of Labor. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov /whd/minwage/america.htm#NewYork

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