Letters


We Struck A Chord With "Love vs. Work"

PLEASE SEND ME TWO copies of "Love vs. Work" by author Shari Caudron, which appeared in your September issue. I'm a retiree with two married children who work long hours and spend too much time away from home. It's causing relationship problems. In one case, my son and his wife both work full time. His company couldn't care less about the long hours and the traveling time away from home. He regularly gets up at 3 a.m. to finish work before the day starts whether at home or on the road. When he's away, his wife gets the two children off to day care, picks them up, does the house chores and prepares meals. It's very hard on her when my son isn't there. In terms of my daughter, her company was recently bought by another firm, and it demands more then ever. She takes work home daily to meet deadlines.

Today's companies seem to only care about downsizing and working the good employees almost to the breaking point. In no way is it good for a marriage. Both of my children put in 60 hours to 70 hours per week.

A retiree who preferred to remain anonymous. Cleveland, OH

Good Description of HR's Role with Disabilities

IN THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF WORKFORCE, Nancy L. Breuer wrote an outstanding article called "Must HR Diagnose Mental Disabilities?" I agree very much with her on all aspects of HR's role and responsibilities. Hers is the best description and explanation of HR's role. Keep up the good work

Eugene S. Polk Sr. Director of Human Resources Madison Madison International of Michigan Inc. Detroit, MI

States Differ on Regulating Tobacco

THE NOVEMBER ARTICLE in "Legal Insight" entitled "Employee LifestylesHow Much Can You Regulate?" provided excellent insight regarding the addressed subject matter. However, the article failed to acknowledge that many states have statutory mechanisms that prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals who use tobacco outside the workplace.

Therefore, I believe your readership would have an interest in the following: Since 1989, more than half of the states have enacted legislation that prohibits employers from mandating that prospective and current employees abstain from tobacco use outside the workplace. Some state statutes specifically bar discrimination on the basis of "tobacco use" (Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon, Wyoming). Other states (Illinois, Minnesota, New York) have enacted broader language that protects individuals who engage in lawful activities or use lawful products outside the workplace. Depending on the state, these broader provisions may also protect prospective and current employees on the basis of alcohol use, food intake and recreational activities. I trust this additional information will further reinforce the article's strong message that employers must make jobrelated decisions.

David W. Arnold General Counsel Reid Psychological Systems Chicago, IL

Trying To Gain Credibility

THANKS FOR THE OCTOBER article "Stay a Step Ahead With 5 Key Skills" by Jennifer J. Laabs. It was such a relevant issue for the position in which I work. Last year I was promoted from a receptionist to the only HR position (at least according to title). …

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