Consider the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 that went into effect during the summer of 1993. While most businesspersons are sympathetic to an employee's need for time off to care for a sick family member, the new law presents many questions. Who is covered by this law? Does an employer have to give time off without pay to an employee who wishes to give care to an elderly uncle who raised the employee as a child; a person with whom the employee is living, but not married; or the child of the person the employee plans to marry?
Other thorny issues deal with the nature of covered illnesses and medical conditions, the job rights of an employee returning from leave, and whether an employee has provided appropriate notice to an employer as contemplated by the act.
To be sure, these and other questions will be definitively answered by decisions from the judiciary--but not with finality before the turn of the century. What are managers and employees to do until then? Answers are needed now, not years in the future.
The authors believe that the best way to resolve these and other workplace problems is through an equitable and accessible complaint resolution system. In most cases, this is the most viable alternative to litigation or administrative proceedings.
As we stress repeatedly, there is no one complaint resolution system perfect for all employment settings. However, we address the need in