Is a single pregnant woman entitled to maternity leave?

When a supervisor bases human relations decisions on his own personal philosophies and beliefs instead of accepted policy and practice, personnel problems and court cases are almost sure to erupt.

03/01/1998


When a supervisor bases human relations decisions on his own personal philosophies and beliefs instead of accepted policy and practice, personnel problems and court cases are almost sure to erupt.

Maintenance Foreman Lawton Helmsley was an old-line supervisor whose belief in morality, the flag, and the family was unshakable. These beliefs were all well and good. Helmsley was as conscientious and hard working as anyone in the plant. But even purity of mind and purpose can be carried to unrealistic extremes.

The company's maternity leave policy stated that "a leave of absence be granted to pregnant employees." When Carol Janus, an unmarried clerical worker, put in for leave under this clause, Helmsley denied her request. When she persisted, he fired her.

Janus wasted no time in protesting her dismissal to Helmsley's boss, Plant Engineer Fred Penney.

Question : In Penney's shoes, what action would you take?

Penney's response: Penney summoned Helmsley to his office. "I have two questions for you, Lawton: What year is this?"

The supervisor frowned anxiously. "Uh, I don't understand."

"That's apparent. I'm wondering if you think you're living in 1928 instead of 1998. My other question is: Have you ever heard of the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?"

Helmsley squirmed in his seat.

"Let me make this clear, Lawton. Your personal beliefs and opinions are your own business entirely. But when they conflict with the way you treat people and run the department, they become management's business. Not only is your denial of maternity leave to Carol Janus and your mindless dismissal outrageous in this day and age, they are also against the law, which you should know as well as the Pledge of Allegiance, if you're doing your job. Carol deserves an apology, and I'd suggest that you grant her that leave as soon as possible before she hauls this company to court."





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Getting ready for industrial IoT; Visualizing the (applied) automation continuum; Preventing VFD faults and failures; Using wireless for closed-loop applications
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.