Reader Forum

Moral issues in the corporate world I usually enjoy reading the Human Side articles in PLANT ENGINEERING , but I have to say after reading the "When work and religious observance conflict" story, I am sorely disappointed at the verdict formed. Just because the receptionist shares the same religious background as the animals that brutally attacked our country in September, it makes her no...


Moral issues in the corporate world

I usually enjoy reading the Human Side articles in PLANT ENGINEERING , but I have to say after reading the "When work and religious observance conflict" story, I am sorely disappointed at the verdict formed. Just because the receptionist shares the same religious background as the animals that brutally attacked our country in September, it makes her no more guilty than German descendants of Nazi war criminals or European descendants of slave owners. How can you force Asa to work in a job that demands that she be out of contact with the public simply because of her religion?

I am an African American process engineer, and if my employer asked me not to put myself in contact with its customer base because some of them were descendants of former slaver owners or Nazis, I can tell you where my next stop would be: to an excellent civil rights attorney to sue for civil rights discrimination and harassment. Asa was hired and is still employed because of her satisfactory skills and expertise. End of story. Does she have any connection to terrorists group in or outside the country? Is she under federal investigation for treason, espionage or terrorists acts? If no, I suggest you rethink your position.

Harassing innocent people, constantly living in fear of extremists, and profiling the innocent simply because they share a predetermined (sometimes genetic) characteristic of the guilty is the main goal of terrorists and racists. No company in a million years would follow this advice if it didn't want a battle with the ACLU and countless other organizations who have fought for years to ensure that this great nation of ours remains the "land of the free and the home of the brave." We, the people means exactly that. The forefathers, although erroneous on other measures of Constitutional law, did not install the phrase, We, the Christians; we, the non-Muslims, or we, the nonfemales, for a very good reason. Forcing Asa to work in another department would be tantamount to the internment of the Japanese Americans during WWII — a bad idea and an even worse era in this country's rich history. — Lakeysha D. Garrett, process engr. I

Ray's response:

I first of all want to thank Mr./Ms. Garrett for broadening the perspective on this case. From a moral and ethical standpoint I couldn't agree more with what he/she says. However, life in the corporate world is never simple. I view Plant Engineer John Duggan as a decent executive caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

On the one hand he wanted to do the "right thing" by Asa. On the other, he felt obligations to the company's customers and stockholders. He saw transferring Asa as a compromise, however imperfect, that addressed both responsibilities. I discussed the case with Human Case expert/educator-consultant-arbitrator Len Smith. He points out that from a civil rights standpoint Duggan did not discriminate against Asa's religious beliefs. There was no threat of discrimination, and she was not asked to shed her head dress. Nor was there a loss of pay benefits or seniority. Thus, he sees no viable civil rights case.

I recall reading a lawyer quote recently that went, "Anyone can be sued for anything any time," so I can't say with certainty how a particular attorney given this case would proceed. What would I, in Duggan's place, have decided? I'm not sure but I can't fault his decision. The question also arises: Would Asa have been comfortable in the job had she rejected the transfer? Did this critical consideration influence her decision to accept it? Had she vehemently opposed the transfer, what steps would I have taken? Good question. I wouldn't like to be in that spot, and I suspect neither would Duggan. — Ray Dreyfack, contributing editor

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me