Magazine article Personnel Journal

When the Team Takes Advantage of Single Employees

Magazine article Personnel Journal

When the Team Takes Advantage of Single Employees

Article excerpt

In today's complicated world, ethical decisions aren't always black or white; options often fall into gray areas. Readers responded to this situation posed by PERSONNEL JOURNAL.

The Dilemma:

Cindy and Andre are two single employees recognized as go-getters on their way up. In light of steady promotions, you imagined they were happy with their jobs. Cindy set you straight. She's frustrated over what feels like a subtle form of discrimination. Whenever their team is on deadline, it's the two of them who are expected to stay late-so the family folks in equal jobs can rush home to their kids. Your company is enthusiastic about its family-friendly policies, so how do you respond?

Readers Respond:

We're taught to not discriminateperiod! The essential function of any job is to be there to get the job accomplished. If the job requires working extra time, then the work should be distributed equally. We aren't talking about having a family as being a disability-which would require a reasonable accommodation. We choose to many, and anyone who has both a job and a family should expect that both need some extra care at times. The company shouldn't always be the one giving in this relationship. It takes two and it works both ways, just like marriage. Equal employees shouldn't be discriminated against whether they have a family or don't.

Terry Martin Administrative Manager Beam Industries Webster City, Iowa

When someone with Cindy's abilities reveals a frustration, she'll have thought of ideas for a solution, which should be discussed. If Andre has felt similar disappointments, he also should be given an opportunity to discuss his thoughts.

They both should be encouraged to discuss their feelings in a positive manner in the next project team meeting-asking other team members to consider their needs when planning for deadlines. If the project team members have a good working relationship and they take responsibility for the project, then the team will work together to resolve conflicts without infringing on anyone's rights under the company's family-friendly policies.

Ed Laging

Personnel Manager FLEXSTEEL Industries Inc. Harrison, Arkansas

The first thing I would do is investigate the situation. Cindy may be blowing things out of proportion and feel that she's being singled out because of her marital or nonmarital status. If her accusations are true, then the team needs to be addressed about the situation.

Cindy might have felt that she needed to stay when others felt she was volunteering to stay. Lack of communication could be the problem. …

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