Friday, October 09, 2015

In the midst of debates over family leave and scheduling of hourly workers, one company demands its salaried workers "volunteer" for free weekend production work

I see another back-door wrinkle in the paid paternal and family leave debate.

As retail companies give up the practice of expecting hourly workers to be “on call” to come in suddenly when needed, suddenly at least one asks salaried employees to “volunteer” to work weekend shifts to prepare packages for shipment.  That’s Urban Outfitters. ABC News has the story here. Oh, yes, the company paid meals and transportation. It's supposed to be for "team building."

This certainly sounds abusive.  Will people on family leave get out of this while those without it have to work for free (as “slaves”?) 

When at NBC in the 1970s, as salaried programmer I “volunteered” for strike duty filming soaps during the 1976 NABET strike, and was paid double (about eight weeks).

Petula Dvorak weights in on DC’s “legislated humanity” with its proposed (not yet passed) generous mandatory paid leave program for Washington DC residents (see Issue blog Oct. 7) in the Washington Post.   But you have to be “part of a family”.  Everyone belongs.  (As in Martin Fowler’s book, Aug 27, 2014 on my Books blog).  But if you don’t belong somewhere, you pay for someone else who does.  Dvorak denies that this is “socialism”.  The link is here.  No, the world is not one big intentional community.
Second picture: This expectant tabby wants paid parental leave, right now.

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