Raymond Dreyfack, Contributing Editor
How does a temporary transfer affect pay rate? The day stockroom attendant Gail Griffen was granted a two-week leave of absence to help organize and straighten out family affairs after her father's death, maintenance foreman Mike Rizzo approached Alison Garth. "Do you think you can handle Gail's job?" "No problem," Alison replied. Three employees were employed in the stockroom: Gail Griffen, Alison Garth and one other assistant. Garth performed well during Griffen's absence. A temp was brought in the fill the gap. A week later on Friday, following the disbursement of paychecks, Garth appeared at foreman Rizzo's desk. "What's the problem?" Garth presented her paycheck.
Effective hiring practices saves trouble down the line "It's recruitment time and the stakes are high. So states HR Matters, published by Personnel Policy Service, Inc. The report goes on to cite an industry rule of thumb that asserts hiring the wrong person can be expected to cost three times the person's annual salary during the course of employment. The trick in recruiting is to bend over backwards to ensure that the person you too hastily hire doesn't slowly drag you to court some time in the future. "I can't get this point across too firmly," plant engineer Joe Hadley told maintenance foreman Chuck McDonald one bright sunny Monday morning in October.
A rule is a rule — and then there are exceptions The 17th century English clergyman Robert Burton wrote: "No rule is so general which admits of no exception." We say, kudos for Burton. And double kudos for any corporate executive or supervisor who endorses and supports Burton's well-expressed sentiment. True, no nation, state, institution, corporation, corporate division or department could run efficiently without a custom tailored set of well-formulated rules established in an effort to regulate proper procedure and behavior.
When promoted, how long does past seniority last? Bill Chernoff had been a hardworking and conscientious member of Tony Royal's work group for more than three years. It was thus no surprise when, upon Tony's retirement, Maintenance Supervisor Arthur Sondheim, appointed Bill to take over the group. At the outset Bill was happy to receive the promotion and especially pleased with the pay raise that went with it. At least that's what he told himself.
Incentive bonuses also affect overtime pay Global Products' unexpectedly large rush order, specifying a July 15th delivery date, created a hectic work situation plant wide. As the shipping date drew alarmingly close, a management meeting was held to deal with the situation. Production Manager John Tower pulled no punches when he declared, "Like it or not, some of those guys are going to have to postpone their vacations." Plant Engineer Charley Kosten agreed. "Global is one of our biggest customers. We have no choice but to get that shipment out on time. "One thing I can guarantee," Personnel Manager Lou Koslowski added.
Age discrimination: Is your plant vulnerable? As I view it, the recently widened Supreme Court protections against age discrimination in the workplace trigger two key questions: Is my company a candidate for court action stemming from age discrimination? (Of equal if not greater importance) Are we getting maximum productivity yield from our older employees? In a nutshell, the ruling opens the door for older workers in companies with payrolls of 20 or more to claim discrimination based on "disparate impact" rather than discriminatory intent. To escape unscathed, an employer must prove the existence of a "reasonable factor" in response to a grievance. In short, if X receives a 3-day suspension for a time card abuse, under ordinary circumstances you can't fire Y for the same offense without a convincing explanation. Court Action: How Big a Concern? Big enough, considering that as Denver-based consultant Sheldon Steinhauser points out, about 20% of discrimination charges filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are for age discrimination.
Flexibility enhances the best of rules The 17th century philosopher and theologian Robert Burton wrote that "no rule is so general which admits of no exception." It's a thought for rule makers and rule enforcers—managers and supervisors—to ponder. Presumably, rules are established with a positive purpose in mind. In short, so far as the plant or company is involved, adherence to a rule in question should be beneficial to its bottom line performance.
Planning a large layoff? Take care Plant Engineer Hank Selleck had sweated hard times before, but never this tough. The small tool manufacturing plant employed 96 people. The introduction of new technology and other industry changes had all but destroyed the viability of the company's major product line that accounted for much of its sales and profits. Profits.
Voluntary stepdown What rate of pay? Class I Welder Juan Gomez had sensitive nostrils. He sniffed a change in the wind. He had too much time on his hands without jobs being assigned.
Cash or check Can management switch how you're paid? As far back as most employees could recall, they had received their compensation in cash. When Plant Engineer Sam Lipsky voiced the opinion that the policy of paying wages in cash was behind the times, the general manager agreed. A notice was posted on the bulletin board that effective the following month, employees would receive their wages by check. The announcement was greeted by a storm of protest. Unit Representative Mark Bluestein appeared at Maintenance Foreman Tony Gambino's desk to voice his objection. Echoing the feelings of the workforce, Gambino claimed that the long-established cash payment policy was as much a protected benefit as the coffee break or parking privilege. Bluestein disagreed.