Is a single pregnant woman entitled to maternity leave?

When a supervisor bases human relations decisions on his own personal philosophies and beliefs instead of accepted policy and practice, personnel problems and court cases are almost sure to erupt.

03/01/1998


When a supervisor bases human relations decisions on his own personal philosophies and beliefs instead of accepted policy and practice, personnel problems and court cases are almost sure to erupt.

Maintenance Foreman Lawton Helmsley was an old-line supervisor whose belief in morality, the flag, and the family was unshakable. These beliefs were all well and good. Helmsley was as conscientious and hard working as anyone in the plant. But even purity of mind and purpose can be carried to unrealistic extremes.

The company's maternity leave policy stated that "a leave of absence be granted to pregnant employees." When Carol Janus, an unmarried clerical worker, put in for leave under this clause, Helmsley denied her request. When she persisted, he fired her.

Janus wasted no time in protesting her dismissal to Helmsley's boss, Plant Engineer Fred Penney.

Question : In Penney's shoes, what action would you take?

Penney's response: Penney summoned Helmsley to his office. "I have two questions for you, Lawton: What year is this?"

The supervisor frowned anxiously. "Uh, I don't understand."

"That's apparent. I'm wondering if you think you're living in 1928 instead of 1998. My other question is: Have you ever heard of the Civil Rights Act or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?"

Helmsley squirmed in his seat.

"Let me make this clear, Lawton. Your personal beliefs and opinions are your own business entirely. But when they conflict with the way you treat people and run the department, they become management's business. Not only is your denial of maternity leave to Carol Janus and your mindless dismissal outrageous in this day and age, they are also against the law, which you should know as well as the Pledge of Allegiance, if you're doing your job. Carol deserves an apology, and I'd suggest that you grant her that leave as soon as possible before she hauls this company to court."





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Intelligent, efficient PLC programming: Cost-saving programming languages are available now; Automation system upgrades; Help from the cloud; Improving flow control; System integration tips
Smarter machines require smarter systems; Fixing PID, part 3; Process safety; Hardware and software integration; Legalities: Integrated lean project delivery
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again