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Employee relations refers to the interactions between employees and their employer. Some similar, but slightly different, terms are human resources, human relations, labor relations, industrial relations, and personnel administration or personnel services. Generically speaking, the term includes an array of employer efforts, such as recruitment and selection, orientation, training, performance appraisal, safety, equal employment opportunity (EEO), handling of employee complaints, discipline, and even management training and, in some instances, union relations.

Terminology Evolution

The terminology has clearly evolved in this business functional area. During the 1930s and 1940s, the department overseeing the interaction of the employer with employees was known as the Payroll Department, a central area of interaction. From the 1950s to the 1960s, it came to be known as the Personnel Department, run by low-level ...

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