Who should decide leave policies?
There are two responses in the July 1999 “Forum” column regarding offering bereavement leave to gay employees. (“A little on leaves…”).
These responses, as well as your original article, are setting companies up for major problems. Plant engineers must learn when to make the call themselves and when to ask HR. In this case, they’re stepping way past their boundaries and are effectively implementing new policies which may conflict with corporate policies.
Giving bereavement leave to gay employees effectively acknowledges that their partners are entitled to the same benefits as spouses. That step means they would also be entitled to medical benefits. The cost of this action could be huge.
While I agree that companies should offer this type of benefit to life partners, that’s a decision for corporate executives and HR to make — not the plant engineer.
Please warn your readers about the potential for problems that they’re creating if they start making benefit decisions on their own. — Joe Ragosta, Graver Technologies, Glasgow, DE