December 11, 2004
Employee's Disruptive Behavior
"Outrageously egregious conduct frequently carries a steep price tag for employers. At times, companies even may be hit with punitive damages, which are intended both to punish the company and to deter others from similar conduct. In such cases, the legal damages alone can soar into the millions."
So notes Linda Wasmer Andrews in a new article in Human Resources Online (a magazine of the Society of Human Resource Management),
In Hard Core Offenders, Andrews notes that the costs of disruptive conduct by employees carry enourmous consequences, even in the absence of litigation, such as:
decreasing productivity, increasing absenteeism and turnover, driving up health care costs for stressed-out employees, and generally dragging down the company’s bottom line.
December 10, 2004
Interesting article on the issue of workers who have eldercare duties. According to the article:
Six in 10 working caregivers reported their caregiving duties had impacted their work, according to a 2004 survey of 1,247 caregivers by the National Alliance for Caregiving. The study's results provided a picture of how working caregivers juggle their responsibilities:
- 57 percent came to work late, left early or took time off;
- 17 percent took a leave of absence;
- 10 percent switched from full-time to part-time job status.
Only one-quarter of nearly 300 companies surveyed offered eldercare benefits to employees and only 6 percent had a specific policy addressing eldercare issues, according to a December 2003 poll by the Society for Human Resource Management. However, more than three-quarters of respondents indicated their companies make exceptions to formal policies to provide more flexibility to caregiver employees.
Getting through it: care and work, Home News Tribune (by Sharon Waters)
December 9, 2004
New Online Magazine from LERA
Perspectives on Work introduces the Perspectives Online Companion and Complimentary Articles. The magazine's Winter 2004 issue (V. 7, No. 2) presented four articles on work and employment relations in China. Three of the following articles complement that earlier feature by closely examining the rights and challenges facing Chinese workers, and the last article follows up on the lead feature of the Summer 2004 Perspectives issue (V. 8, No. 1), which addressed labor and regional development.
Labor Unrest and Denial of the Right to Organize in China By Robin Munro
Behind a gloss of modernity, Chinese labor relations operate according to outmoded and unsustainable principles, including the prohibition of an independent trade union movement.
Despite labor-market regulations and rapid export-sector growth, life for China's migrant factory workers remains insecure and vulnerable.
Legal Aid, Labor Law Remedies and Industrial Relations in China By Earl V. Brown Jr.
The Chinese legal aid initiative is a positive development, but lawyers alone cannot assure legal compliance or the long-term objectives of industrial social justice and stability.
LABOR AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ENCORE Living Wage Jobs and Quality of Life: The Community Benefits Initiative in San Jose By Nari Rhee
In San Jose, California, a labor/community coalition is seeking to improve the quality of life for working families by taking the initiative on local economic development.
Begun in 1997, Perspectives on Work, LERA's highly-acclaimed magazine, celebrates LERA’s rich history by looking forward. With it, we want members and potential members to learn about the issues that concern the Association—striving to make the workplace and employment relationships work for all stakeholders. Edited by a LERA member, the magazine is guided by an Editorial Advisory Board made of scholars and practicioners in the fields of labor and employment relations.
December 8, 2004
Wages and Hours Division
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, announced:
"that investigators collected a total of $196,664,146 for 288,296 workers in fiscal year 2004. The agency’s results build on its strong record of collecting back wages, protecting the rights of workers across the country and resolving complaints more quickly each year."
“Over the last four years, this Administration has launched strong new enforcement initiatives to ensure that America’s workers, especially vulnerable immigrants, receive a full day’s pay for a full day’s work,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “I am pleased to announce that, once again, Wage and Hour continues to set records in the collection of back wages for workers.”
Thanks to an alert reader ("Dan") who noticed that the story and report I blogged earlier today referenced last year's WHD report. My apologies for the mistake.
The new report is not yet available in the DOL's website.
Wage and Hours Division Report
"The Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) recovered more than $212 million in back wages in fiscal year 2003 - a 21 percent increase over the record setting amount in fiscal year 2002." This, according to the most recent enforcement figures released by the Department of Labor.
Regarding enforcement of the Family and Medical Leave Act, the WHD reports:
"The number of Family and Medical Leave Act investigations concluded increased slightly in 2003, but the number of violation cases dropped by nearly 5 percent. As a result, the amount of back wages collected and employees affected also declined. In fiscal year 2003, WHD collected nearly $2.4 million in back wages for violations of the FMLA. Termination of employees seeking FMLA leave continues to be the primary reason that employees filed a complaint."
December 7, 2004
International Labor Report
Competition among developing countries to attract foreign investors is forcing their governments to adopt policies (tax breaks and labor regulation) "with the result of a fast-track to escalating labour abuses" according to a special report issued by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). taking place in Miyazaki, Japan from 5- 10 December 2004.
Competition among developing countries to attract foreign investors is forcing their governments to adopt policies (tax breaks and labor regulation) "with the result of a fast-track to escalating labour abuses" according to a special report issued by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).is being launched today as part of the international labour movement’s focus on globalisation at the ICFTU 18th World Congress
taking place in Miyazaki, Japan from 5- 10 December 2004.
Commentary on Immigration Policy
Our existing immigration system is out of step with the realities of American life. Our economy continues to produce opportunities for low-skilled workers in important sectors of our economy such as retail, services, construction, and tourism. Meanwhile, the pool of Americans willing and happy to fill those jobs continues to shrink as the average American worker grows older and becomes better educated. Yet our immigration system has no legal channel for workers from Mexico and other countries to come to the United States even temporarily to fill those jobs. The result is widespread illegal immigration.
The solution, he argues is:
Legalization would improve the lot of millions of workers. Newly legalized workers would possess more bargaining power in the marketplace because they could more easily change jobs to improve their pay and working conditions. They would be more likely to qualify for private health insurance and to invest in their language and job skills.
December 6, 2004
Surge in Latino Self-Employment
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch (STLToday.com):
Latinos, blacks and women increasingly abandoned their jobs to take the leap into self-employment last year, a government study finds.
The most dramatic increase in self-employment was by Latinos. Last year, 1.3 million Hispanics reported that they were self-employed, compared with 241,000 in 1979, a fourfold jump, according to a study by the Advocacy Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
December 5, 2004
Union decertification election
A union decertification election has removed Teamsters Union Local 959 as the “exclusive bargaining representative” of more than 200 Anchorage-area school bus drivers. The victory comes after the employees successfully challenged the results of a previous union decertification election in which Teamsters officials narrowly prevailed when company officials unfairly limited employees’ rights to speak out against union representation. The workers decertified the union by a 105-83 vote.