Readers object to “politically correct” response
I read Human Side of Engineering every month and often learn a lot. However, I believe you made a major mistake in “Are gay couples entitled to the same benefits as straight couples?” ( PE , February 1999, p 14).
This question is a very complex issue with many ramifications and should not be decided by a plant engineer. While his intent was commendable, he just created a precedent that management will have to live with. That decision means that a gay person can ask for all the other benefits for his/her partner, including medical benefits or shared retirement benefits, and the company won’t easily be able to refuse. The cost of added medical benefits alone could be immense. Where do you draw the line?
Part of the message that you need to get across is that there are some times that the plant engineer needs to defer to management. Given the impact on a company (potentially millions of dollars), this is one of those times. — Joe Ragosta, Graver Technologies, Glasgow, DE