Read and respond to the following question: What are the issues involved in these situations? How are they best addressed by the decision makers? 250 words
Setting—A woman is preparing for a job interview.
Dilemma—She wants the job desperately and is worried that her marital status might adversely affect the interview.
Decision—Should she or should she not wear her diamond engagement ring?
Considerations—When queried for a column in the Wall Street Journal, some women claimed that they would try to hide their marital status during a job interview.
1 One said, “Although I will never remove my wedding band, I don’t want anyone to look at my engagement ring and think, she doesn’t need this job, what is she doing working?” Even the writer remembers that she considered removing her engagement ring some years back when applying for a job. “I had no idea about the office culture,” she said. “I didn’t want anyone making assumptions, however unreasonable, about my commitment to work.”
Wellness or Invasive Coercion?
Setting—Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Marysville, Ohio.
Dilemma—Corporate executives are concerned about rising health-care costs. CEO Jim Hagedorn backs an aggressive wellness program and anti-smoking campaign to improve health of employees and reduce healthcare costs for the firm.
Scott employees are asked to take extensive health-risk assessments; failure to do so increases their health insurance premiums by $40 a month. Employees found to have “moderate to high” health risks are assigned health coaches and given action plans; failure to comply adds another $67 per month.
In states where the practice is legal, the firm will not hire a smoker and tests new employees for nicotine use. In response to complaints that the policy is intrusive, Hagedorn says, “If people understand the facts and still choose to smoke, it’s suicidal. And we can’t encourage suicidal behavior.”
Decision—Is Hagedorn doing the right thing by leading Scotts’s human resource policies in this direction?
Considerations—Joe Pellegrini’s life was probably saved by his employer. After urging from one of Scotts’s health coaches, he saw his doctor about weight and cholesterol concerns.
This led to a visit with a heart specialist who inserted two stents, correcting a 95 percent blockage. Scott Rodrigues’s life was changed by his employer; he is suing Scotts for wrongful dismissal.
A smoker, he claims that he was fired after failing a drug test for nicotine even though he wasn’t informed about the test and had been told the company would help him stop smoking. CEO Hagedorn says, “This is an area where CEOs are afraid to go. A lot of people are watching to see how badly we get sued.”2
Super Saleswoman Won’t Ask for Raise
Setting—A woman is described as a “productive star” and “super-successful” member of an eighteen-person sales force.10
Dilemma—She finds out that both she and the other female salesperson are being paid 20 percent less than the men. Her sister wants her to talk with her boss and ask for more pay.
She says, “No, I’m satisfied with my present pay, and I don’t want to ‘rock the boat’.” The sister can’t understand how and why she puts up with this situation, allowing herself to be paid less than a man for at least equal and quite possibly better performance.
Considerations—Women still earn only about 75 cents on the average for each dollar earned by a man. Some claim for the wage gap and its growing size is that women tolerate the situation and allow it to continue, rather than confronting the gap in their personal circumstances and trying to change it.
Firm Goes Public with Annual Bonuses
Setting—Executives released to the public information on the annual bonuses paid to store employees.
Dilemma—The bonus program has been in place for a number of years. The goal is to link employee motivation and performance with the firm’s financial success.
In the past each person’s bonus was considered a private matter and no bonuses were made public within the firm. However, recently the firm has released to the news media data on bonuses paid to lower-level employees. Coincidentally, the firm has been receiving negative publicity about the low wages paid to employees and the minimal benefits they are eligible to receive.
A company spokesperson says that going public with the bonuses was not a response to such criticism.
Considerations—One employee said she received over $1,000 as a bonus, more than the prior year. But a critic stated that the firm “gives executives millions in bonuses and the mere crumbs to the workers.”