International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

needs of dual-career couples. These include the use of flex- time (altering the starting and ending times for an employee's work day or changing the number of days per week that an employee will work) and "flexiplace" (adjusting the places or locations where employees actually perform their work). Both provisions can make it easier and more feasible fore employees involved in dual-career relationships to balance their work and family obligations.


Promoting Family-Oriented Employee Benefits

Members of dual-career couples often have pressing family responsibilities, such as caring for young children or taking care of an elderly relative. Agencies can alleviate the burdens imposed by these responsibilities by establishing child care assistance programs (on-site day care centers) and more flexible leave policies (e.g., allotting additional time off to employees so that they may stay home with a sick child or an elderly relative).


Establishing Clear Organizational Guidelines to Deal with Dual-Career Personnel Matters

Although some agencies still explicitly prohibit their employees from engaging in personal relationships with one another, most have established more realistic personnel guidelines for dual-career couples. Such guidelines might prohibit one member of a dual career couple from serving as a supervisor of the other member, or they might specify the situations where potential conflicts of interest may arise. Often times these provisions are established as much to prevent the mere appearance of "wrongdoing" as they are in actual response to instances of impropriety or collusion among dual career employees.

All of these provisions have one thing in common. They are designed to accommodate the special needs of dual-career couples, while simultaneously maintaining a general set of personnel practices that treat all employees fairly and equally.

SAUNDRA K. SCHNEIDER


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bruce, Willa M., and Christine M. Reed, 1991. Dual-Career Couples in the Public Sector: A Management Guide for Human Service Professionals. New York: Quorum Books.

Reed, Christine M., and Willa M. Bruce. 1993, "Dual-Career Couples in the Public Sector: A Survey of Personnel Policies and Practices". Public Personnel Management, vol. 22, no. 2 (Summer): 187-197.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1989. Handbook of Labor Statistics. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

-----, 1991. Labor Force Statistics Derived from the Current Population Survey: A Databook. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women's Bureau, 1991. Facts on Working Women. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

DUE PROCESS. Fundamental fairness in legal procedures. The word "due" is used in several different contexts such as due care, due and deliberate speed, and due process, and has several distinct meanings. When used in the phrase due process or due process of the law, it refers to certain fundamental rights which our system of jurisprudence generally recognizes as legitimate, as right and proper. It refers to law in its regular course of administration through courts of justice.

The discussion of due process that follows is cast within the framework of an examination of how to insure that the laws of our nation are executed in a fair and equitable manner. What steps must be taken by judges and public administrators to secure due process or fair treatment? Answering this question has proven to be a formidable, ongoing and, at times, frustrating challenge for the question arises, due process for whom? The obvious response is for the individual involved in a particular case. Yet this response is problematic, for what may appear to be fair and just for an individual may well prove to be unjust for society. This suggests that any consideration of due process will necessarily involve attempting to balance the needs and interests of the individual with the needs and interests of society.

Judges and public administrators are continually faced with difficult decisions and choices as they attempt to balance the interests of society with the interests of the individual. As tyrannical and abusive governments can suppress and deny fundamental individual rights and freedoms, so individuals can abuse their constitutional rights, causing an undue threat to the public interest. When courts attempt to employ a balanced doctrine, they are faced with protecting the constitutional rights of individuals while simultaneously preserving the interests of society. As society grows in size and complexity, and the social problems we face grow more acute and intractable, government involvement in everyday life expands, underscoring both the herculean task as well as the significance of defining and implementing due process. A brief historical note prefaces a continuation of this discussion of the meaning and significance of the phrase due process.


Historical Background

Tracing the historical roots of due process reveals that the phrase suggests conformity with the ancient and traditional laws of the English people or laws as indicated by Parliament ( Davidson v. New Orleans, 96 U.S. 97, 24 L.Ed. 616 [ 1819]). The history of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence displays an incipient notion of due process within the Magna Carta. When King John of England signed this "great charter" in 1215, certain basic civil and political rights were extended to the English people. For instance, the principle that no one should be denied justice because of financial considerations was established, thereby recognizing that

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
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