I was hired as a temporary employee of a toy manufacturing company, and the department I was assigned to was going through some rough changes. Their director had recently quit and the new director, from a similar company that had just recently filed bankruptcy, took her place. She said she had about 20 years in the imports business and knew it like the back of her hand. Naturally, her new employees were relieved and hoped that business would continue as usual. Months passed and I learned a lot about the imports aspect of our company. In those months, my co-workers and I noticed that our boss was not doing much work. We were used to a hands-on director who was not afraid to pull back her sleeves and….
Daily Archives: July 22, 2021
At work, we have a warehouse and an office in the building. During the Holiday season, we have a program to assemble gift sets, which requires hiring extra help for the season. About two to three months ago, a lady from the warehouse working on this project told me during a conversation that $30 was missing from her purse, which she left in the cafeteria because there was no other place for seasonal help to put their belongings. She did not make a big deal about it because she had no proof of who took the money. In addition, she did not speak English and so she did not know how to communicate to management what had happened. I asked her if she wanted me to explain the….
Bradley C. Birkenfeld was a private banker at the Swiss bank, UBS. In 2007, he began giving U.S. authorities detailed descriptions of the ways in which UBS was promoting tax evasion. He also confessed to smuggling a client’s diamonds inside a tube of toothpaste. According to Birkenfeld, he decided to become an informant when he learned that the bank’s activities were illegal and reporting it to the compliance office had no effect. In 2008, he was convicted of conspiracy for having withheld information about his top client, a property developer, and was sentenced to 40 months in prison. While still in jail, Birkenfeld was awarded $104 million for the role he played in exposing UBS. To date that is the largest amount awarded by the Internal Revenue Service….
When the False Claims Act was instituted in 1863, the motivations of the government were pretty clear: penalize companies or people who defraud the government. When the government enacted higher potential rewards and easier filing procedures in 1986 and then again in 2009, the number of whistle-blower filings exploded, with annual filings nearly doubling over five years from 2009 to 2013. However, something else exploded as well—the growth of serial whistle-blowers. Serial whistle-blowers file suit after suit in the hopes of landing the “big one.” Often these are healthcare–related cases. Since 1986, over 25 people or groups fall into this category of serial whistle-blowers with five suits or more filed in the last two decades. The phenomenon is also reflected in the number of frivolous lawsuits that do….
Companies like Walmart and J.P. Morgan are more actively involving themselves in employee wellness. They are paying firms to collect and crunch employee data to identify employee health problems and guide them toward doctors or services like weight-loss programs. Although health-privacy laws do not give employers the authority to view workers’ personal health information, they are able to get aggregated data on employees through wellness firms who have access to workers’ health data. For example, Cigna Corporation analyzed claims data for J.P. Morgan to identify employees who lacked primary-care physicians. Another company, Castlight, can identify segments of an employee population and tell an employer how many women are currently trying to have children through data that tracks women who have stopped filling birth-control prescriptions and/or who have made….
I worked in retail for a handful of years, and during that time, I have made great lifelong friends. Because I am a hardworking, committed employee, my boss/owner took notice and she promoted me to manager at age 17. My fifth year working at the store, we hired a new employee, Lindsey, and we instantly became great friends. We became so close that we were hanging outside of work, and Lindsey introduced me to her group of friends. My new group of friends and I became super close, where I would see them every day. Lindsey had a lot of health problems, and she would frequently call out sick. Being a manager, I had to take responsibility and cover her shifts, even though I would have other obligations…..
Amazon is a company with warehouses full of small, valuable items and a workforce that has relatively high turnover. In an effort to curb theft, Amazon has put up flatscreen TVs that display examples of alleged onthe-job theft, including silhouettes of employees stamped with the words “terminated” or “arrested” with details about how they stole, how much they stole, and how they got caught. In addition, Amazon is reported to display information about firings related to workplace violence, and “cheerier” announcements about updates on incentive bonuses and holidays. In warehouses without flatscreens, firings are posted on sheets of paper on a bulletin board or taped to the wall. Some have accused Amazon of having “two faces,” with a customer-focused, revolutionizing e-commerce platform on one side and a tougher,….
Both customers and employees are primary stakeholders and so when one begins to attack the other, stakeholder management becomes even more challenging. The problem of customer violence is real and appears to be growing. Although workplace homicides in the United States have declined in general, one form of workplace homicide is on the rise—assaults on employees by customers. The number is relatively low in terms of overall workplace fatalities, but the upward trend is a concern. In a recent survey of workplace violence, the Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) found that 61 percent of the 307 organizations surveyed believe that abuse of employees by customers has become significantly worse in the past year. Sometimes the abuse is simply verbal but other times it can result in serious….
In 2008, Peggy Young worked for UPS as a pickup and delivery driver. When she became pregnant, her doctor restricted her from lifting more than 20 pounds during her first 20 weeks of pregnancy and 10 pounds for the remainder. UPS placed Young on leave without pay because her job required her to be able to lift parcels weighing up to 70 pounds. UPS said they followed a “pregnancy-blind” policy that is nondiscriminatory by nature when they put her on leave. Young filed suit, claiming that her co-workers were willing to help her, and that UPS had a policy of accommodating other, non-pregnant drivers who suffered from disabilities, or who lost their Department of Transportation certifications. She brought suit against UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1987….
After only a few months of working with a new firm, my supervisor asked me to partake in a trip to Central America to tour our sister facility. The company had recently purchased a plant in Mexico and after several months of production, the main office needed to conduct a full inventory count. It sounded like a great opportunity and I gladly accepted the offer. While abroad we spent several long days in the warehouse and when the work was finally complete, the Director of Operations took us out to celebrate at the company’s expense. Following a nice dinner, a few of us were encouraged to continue the evening at a “Gentleman’s Club.” While there, the senior staff member began to urge us to take part in the….