International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

Other potential problems arise most particularly in job sharing programs that provide fringe benefits to the participants. Working out the specifics of a shared benefits package can be a daunting experience, especially within the rigidly controlled world of public personnel management. Likewise, job sharing will almost certainly increase the paperwork burden for supervising managers and personnel departments. Thus, some managers can be expected to resist the implementation of this and other forms of scheduling innovations.

Despite these limitations, job sharing offers managers a relatively inexpensive (if not money-saving) means of meeting the needs of the contemporary workforce. It helps the organization attract workers who might otherwise be shut out of the labor market and provides important job coverage and motivational advantages. For these reasons, its use is likely to accelerate in future years.

STEVEN W. HAYS


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Austin, Nancy, 1994. "How Managers Manage Flexibility". Working Woman (July) 19-20.

Dessler, Gary, 1993. Human Resource Management. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Messmer, Max, 1990. "Strategic Staffing for the '90s". Personnel Journal 69 (October) 90-99.

Mueller, Wally, 1992. "Alternative Work Schedules". In Jean Hartley and Geoffrey Stephenson, eds., Employment Relations. Oxford, England: Blackwell, 318-323.

JOB TENURE. A legal term denoting that an employee has certain rights to the expectation of continued employment with the organization so long as performance remains satisfactory, and also conferring certain legal procedural protections for the employee in the event that adverse personnel actions are initiated by the organization.

Unlike American private-sector employment with its history of the "employment-at-will" doctrine governing the basic employment relationship, in public employment job tenure has long been a feature of the civil service concept. Hugh Heclo ( 1977) stated this philosophy in his book A Government of Strangers when he said, "Since jobs are to be filled by weighing the merits of applicants, those hired should have tenure regardless of political changes at the top of organizations . . . [and] the price of job security should be a willing responsiveness to the legitimate political leaders of the day" (p. 20). In 1897, at the urging of the United States Civil Service Commission, President McKinley issued the first rules restricting the arbitrary removal of classified employees. These were further elaborated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902.

Although for a time the judicially applied "Doctrine of Privilege" seemed to give public employers certain rights to restrict the constitutional protections in the employment relationship of public employees in the United States, since the 1960s this doctrine has gradually given way to one that is more protective of their employment status.

In the 1972 case of Roth v. Board of Regents, the American Supreme Court abandoned the privilege doctrine and indicated that the expectation of continued employment creates a property interest in the job -- an interest protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment states, "No state shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Therefore, if an employee has a propertied right to a job, due process protections apply against the employer (the state) in trying to deny to an employee that property.

When can a public employee be said to have an expectation of continued employment and therefore a propertied interest in a job? On this the Court has been less clear, but it is quite probable that when a civil servant has passed through a probationary period as a part of the selection process and has been granted job tenure, this propertied interest is present. Cases subsequent to Roth, such as Perry v. Sindermann and Bishop v. Wood, have further delineated these basic property rights. These cases have dealt with employee rights to pre- and posttermination hearings and, in effect, try to flesh out what the term "due process" means in a day-to-day employment setting.

Although job tenure does not grant to public sector employees unlimited rights to permanent employment, this concept has been important throughout U.S. history. Given the volatile political environment within which public sector employees must operate, it has been recognized that some guarantees of job tenure be a part of a healthy merit system, and such tenure should not be removed arbitrarily, but carefully, following prescribed procedures giving employees notice of such actions and an opportunity to respond with reasons why such proposed actions should not be taken.

ROBERT H. ELLIOTT


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bishop v. Wood, 1976. 426 U.S. 341.

Board of Regents v. Roth, 1972. 408 U.S. 564.

Heclo, Hugh, 1977. A Government of Strangers. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Lee, Yong S., 1992. Public Personnel Administration and Constitutional Values. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Perry v. Sindermann, 1972. 408 U.S. 593.

JUDICIAL ACTIVISM/RESTRAINT. Refers to an ongoing academic/legal debate that is as old as the U.S. Constitution. Simply put, judicial activism is when judges make law rather than interpret it. The philosophy of judicial restraint suggests that this practice should stop and that policymaking powers should return to the legislative

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
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