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Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog

Posts in ethics and values.

A year of hurricanes, fires, explosions and mass shootings has shown that employers are ill prepared for a new type and volume of catastrophes - and in fact may not even recognize the next big catastrophe coming. It's time to plan, and to be creative.

Last week I was honored to be named a Top Author in J.D. Supra Readers’ Choice Awards. I write a great deal when I should probably be billing, but you guys seem to enjoy my stuff, so thanks! However, I often read an article or have an experience which merits discussion, but I don’t have the time to prepare my preferred detailed analysis.

The SEC recently voted to require employers to disclose the pay gap between the CEO and his or her employees. Unions, investors, and other groups have increasingly been using this disparity to attack companies. As Fortune calmly pointed out:

The rule is well intentioned. CEO pay in 2014 was an eye-popping 373 times that of an average worker, according to data compiled by the AFL-CIO, and a sharp rise from 331 times in 2013. This imbalance contributes to America’s growing wealth gap and accompanying social and political inequities. Requiring companies, especially large public corporations, to disclose how richly their CEOs are paid would provide valuable information for shareholders and possibly help the larger national debate about economic fairness. WSJ the Big Flaw in the SEC’s Pay Ratio Rule.

Most people acknowledge that they are not getting enough sleep and that this lack of sleep affects everything from their work to their marital life. Groups such as the National Sleep Foundation regularly announce that at least one-fifth of Americans sleep fewer than 6 hours a night and are sleep deprived. The National Sleep Foundation’s 2008 “Sleep in America Poll,” found that 29% of Americans fall asleep or become very sleepy at work. Phillips Consumer Lifestyle 2010 “Workplace Power Outage Sleep Study” found that nearly one-fourth of 1,000 U.S. office workers admitted to stealing a nap at work. We know better, but we skip sleep anyway. Likewise, management’s response ranges from disinterest to actively encouraging employees to skip sleep and get in more hours.

Not every commentator links character, love of family, and a commitment to one’s family, nation and industry to business success, but I’m convinced that the connection exists as much now as in the supposedly less complicated “Old Days.” Certainly our values and view of the world has changed much in my 55 years, but have certain core values and principles changed? I think not.

I’m writing this post while a band does a nice job with Beach Boys songs while my buddies here at the AGC National Convention in San Juan, are, to use the vernacular at the time, cutting a rug. And I’m typing. Not sure what that says about me, and yes, that was rhetorical, so spare me the responses. Now they’ve switched to Sweet Home Alabama. These guys are good and clearly know the group’s tastes. Good stuff.

We’re going to comment on the numerous policies and rules which must be revised because of the NLRB’s many changes last year; especially during December 2014. Today, we’ll briefly discuss email.

I love reading the Economist and they justified my appreciation with an August 9 Obituary on Warren Bennis, who they rightly described as “the world’s most important thinker on the subject that business leaders care about more than any other: themselves.”

Although Americans have celebrated some sort of Thanksgiving since 1661, Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday by proclamation on November 28, 1861. The Thanksgiving holiday takes on more meaning when one considers that an American people so exhausted by war, nonetheless gathered together to offer thanks.

I recently read an article stating that over one-half of 250 HR respondents thought that the traditional employee survey is dead. Most respondents felt that the future of employer research was “qualitative” rather than “quantitative,” and 80% believe that mobile technology will become the most common way for employees to voice their opinions.

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