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Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Jon Allison

First Of Its Kind Maternity Leave Policy
Earlier this month Vodafone Group, a global telecommunications company, announced that, by the end of 2015, all of its 30 operating companies around the globe will be offering a minimum of 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.  Additionally, for the first six months after returning from leave, new mothers will be required to work just 30 hours per week while earning their full salaries.  The policy may be the first of its kind.  The rationale is assisting women in transitioning back to work after maternity leave will improve recruitment and retention of talented female employees.  Vodafone found that 65 percent of women who left the company after a maternity leave did so in the first year.  It also found that in countries where mandates were in place for companies to help women transition back to work after a maternity leave retention rates were higher.  Vodafone’s 16 weeks of paid leave puts it at the high end of what companies offer in the U.S.  Compared to other countries, however, the U.S. lags behind.  For more read this article.

Medical Inquiries Must Be Job-Related And Consistent With Business Necessity
The trucking company PAM Transport Inc. was ordered last month to pay approximately half a million dollars to 12 former truck drivers in a disability discrimination lawsuit.  PAM was utilizing a medical clearance policy requiring all drivers to notify it of any contact with medical professionals.  Under federal disability law, employers are not permitted to make medical inquiries of employees unless they are job-related and consistent with business necessity.  PAM was also ordered to change its medical clearance policy.   Read more here . . .

Wisconsin The 25th Right-to-Work State
Last week Wisconsin became the 25th right-to-work state.  Right-to-work laws allow workers to opt out of paying union fees even if their workplace is represented by a union.  Workers who opt out would still benefit from bargaining the union does with the company to increase wages and benefits even without giving money to the union to support those efforts.  Less money means less resources for the union and reduced union power.  Studies have found that right-to-work laws result in reduced wages and benefits.  Right-to-work laws until recently were hard to pass outside the South and Mountain West.  That has changed with numerous Republican victories in statehouses across the country.  Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin are now all right-to-work states.  This article goes in to greater detail.

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