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NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION

1. Select a newspaper article (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, or other appropriate quality journalism cite) which addresses a current Employment Law topic. A good place to look would be in the business pages or an analysis of a Supreme Court decision. You have access to these newspapers free of charge through the University�s library. You should select a news article and not an “opinion” piece.

2. Summarize the article. Ensure that you identify the source of the article and date in your summary. In addition, you should attach the article or provide a link to it so we can read the original article. The heading for your post should contain a short title that will entice other students to read your article. Do not simply “copy” large portions of the article. The writing skill of summarizing will be evaluated.

3. Identify and describe/explain any legal or ethical issue(s) and their relationship to the context of proper HR management

4.Discuss how the event/case/issue is relevant to the course. i.e. it addresses and expands on material discussed in a specific chapter etc. Be specific.

5.Discuss the implications of the current event and any legal and/or ethical issues in the context of employment in the domestic and/or global business environment.

Answer

Employee’s paid leave days in the US gains a new momentum

Businesses across America are increasingly embracing paying their employees during their leave days. More workers in big and small corporations are increasingly enjoying paid leaves in organizations such as Oregon, Seattle Chain, Chipotle, McDonalds, and Microsoft. In the new article entitled New Momentum on Paid Leave, in Business and Politics posted by Claire Miller on June 22nd 2015 at the New York Times, it was noted that this move paid leave is likely to get a political backing from Hillary Clinton. Clinton, in her presidential bid, notes that American employees should not be forced to choose between working and taking care of their health and that of their relatives. Other political leaders are seeking to pass rules and policies to lift the living and working standards of the middle-class level employees. Corporate are also slowly warming up to the idea of increasing employee benefits as a retention policy.

Paid leaves in the US is viewed by the legal and employment law experts as a move towards enhancing income and wages equality, as well as improving employee benefits. It is also viewed by many as good for both employees and business. The move has also created an opening for federal and state policies geared towards improving the employment landscape. It is noteworthy that America lags behind in drafting policies on paid leaves. The only notable policy is Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which gives the employees 12 weeks unpaid leave (Appelbaum & Milkman, 2011). This has over the years lead to employment inequality as most women are forced to terminate their contracts when faced with family problems. The middle and low-income bracket is the most affected by the unpaid leaves. The trend affects not only the individual employee but also the American economy. However, with an increase in legal and policy approach towards employment, both individual and states stands a chance to benefit in terms of increased productivity and economic growth. The most embraced paid leaves are sick leaves for individuals and their children, and family leave for the employee to take care of a sick family member. Miller (2015) notes that majority of the American population supports the move with over 80 percent voting for paid family leave and 85 percent voting for paid sick leave. The move is also welcomed by the American corporate world that has also fought for employee’s paid leaves, noting that overburdening the employees reduces their productivity. The paid leave is also likely to take the direction of the minimum wage that is well stipulated in the prevailing laws and policies.

However, with the increasing move towards increasing paid leaves, there is also opposition emerging from different quarters. In the last 12 months, about eleven countries have banned the sick and family leaves on the ground that they increase the wage and reduce the employee productivity when out of office (Matos & Galinsky, 2014). Analysts have also noted that paid leaves are unsustainable to small and medium organizations. Paying staffs that do not render their services for over 12 weeks is likely to translate into losses to the organizations. Payment of family and sick leaves is also likely to translate into negative economic impacts (Houser & Vartanian, 2012). As such, the author recommends devising policies that apply to both men and women. The policies should also apply to both small and large organizations and corporate. Biasing the law towards only favoring women may hinder them from rising high in their professional life. It may also hinder employees from hiring women since it binds to offer maternity leaves among other paid leaves and benefits. This trend can be retrogressive, leading to employments inequalities.

The debate on whether or not to legalize paid leaves has taken political, ethical, and factual angles. Ethically, paid leaves largely reflect the societal values and morals. In the current employment status, there is employment inequality in the employment landscape. Most of the low and middle-income earners lack the employment benefits accorded to the high-income earners and privileged in the society. Morality and ethics require that employees be accorded time to recover when they are sick or attend to their immediate needs as long as it is within the state and organizational law. Working through an illness may affect the health of the worker and that of his colleagues. In the political and legal lenses, it is important to pass relevant laws that accord the staff their entitlements ones they fall sick. Some of the previous attempts such as the 2008’s Sick Leave Bill in California, amongst other state policies, have failed to see the light of the day due to political interference (Ghosheh, 2013). It is important to have a rethinking on how to strike the balance between workers and employers so that both needs are met. Paid leave is not only an ethical and legal concern but also a best practice in human resources management. Leaves help in building the organizational reputation and maintaining the staff within a competitive market. Besides, workers who are entitled to leaves are better positioned to increase their productivity within the working period to reduce the work log. However, there should be clear human resources regulations when issuing leaves to the staff to avoid misuse and overpayment of staff when they are on leave.

The debate on paid leaves is highly relevant in my course. Numerous studies have established that leaves are not only important to the individual but also the business. My course work, as well as numerous researches such as Matos & Galinsky (2014), establishes that workers need time off from their usual workplace to attend to other private things such as health and family matters. Promoting paid leaves in an organization and enshrining it to the public policy framework at states and federal level can play a key role in reducing the costs associated with recruitment and orientation of the new staff, through reducing worker’s turnover rate.  As established during my coursework, the turnover costs are very high to the organization, and they affect the individual and organizational productivity.  To illustrate, California has enacted paid leaves as a state law for over ten years. Consequently, most of the employees return to the same employer after their paid leave. This boosts customer loyalty and morale to serve in the organization. With the two comes increased productivity of the employee and profitability to the business. In comparison, states without paid leaves as a policy have recorded high rate of staff turnover, which impacts negatively on both organizational and state economy. Competition is also enhanced by paid leaves. Smaller organizations stand better chance to compete with larger organizations if they offer paid leaves. However, the rates may not match depending on the organization’s size and profitability.

Paid leaves and employee’s benefits continue to impact differently to the domestic and global business environment. Globally, Europe is ranked top in terms of the paid leaves and other benefits that employees are entitled to by their employers (Davis, 2013). Most employees are entitled to 28 days annually for paid leaves, 8 of which are public holidays. This however changes with years of services and accrued leave days. Other benefits such as sick leaves and family leaves are awarded depending on the employee-employer agreement. Pro-rata basis is also used when awarding paid leaves to the employees. US lag behind many nations in terms of standardizing paid leave days. Employers are tasked with the mandate of discussing employment benefits such as leaves with their employees with minimum state standards. This has created variability in terms of the off and leave days for the employees.

 

            References

Appelbaum, E., & Milkman, R. (2011). Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California. US: Center for Economic and Policy Research Publication.

Davis, C. (2013). World’s Most Paid Vacation Days: Europe Guarantees Most Paid Leave For       Workers. Retrieved 15 July 2015 from             http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/worlds-most-paid-vacation-            days_n_3697394.html

Ghosheh, N. (2013). Working conditions laws report 2012: A global review. Geneva:             International Labor Organization.

Houser, L., & Vartanian, T. (2012). Pay Matters: The Positive Economic Impact of Paid Family Leave for Families, Businesses and the Public. NJ: Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey Publication.

Matos, K., & Galinsky, E. (2014). 2014 National Study of Employers. US: Families and Work Institute Publication

Miller, C. (2015). New Momentum on Paid Leave, in Business and Politics. Retrieved 15 July            2015 from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/upshot/a-federal-policy-on-paid-leave- suddenly-seems-plausible.html?abt=0002&abg=1&_r=0

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