Gulf Port Ships, Inc. is a large shipbuilding company located in the Gulf Coast. One afternoon the firm made the decision to shut down operations due to an approaching hurricane and forecasted arrival of tropical storm force winds to the local area as early as Wednesday of that week. The decision was to shutdown beginning Wednesday AM. They were told that time lost would be excused with pay.
By Tuesday it was clear the hurricane would not hit until Thursday at the earliest. Nonetheless the shipyard decided to maintain the decision to shut down on Wednesday. Emergency hotline for the shipyard confirmed this information but also said that missed time for salaried personnel would be charged against each employee’s vacation bank. It was a liberal leave policy enacted.
Wednesday the message was updated to state that the shutdown would continue through first shift on Thursday with normal operations commencing on the second shift. The hurricane then hit the area on Thursday PM (during the second shift) leaving many roads littered with branches and debris.
Friday morning when all personnel reported for work (many were without power at home) they were informed that they had lost two days of vacation. Hourly personnel had the option of charging the two days off to vacation or taking time off without pay. Salaried personnel did not have a choice; they were required to charge the time to vacation. This action was in line with the company’s policy for complete shutdowns despite what some personnel were told prior to the shutdown.
Needless to say within a few days employees became very upset with the handling of this situation and based on the fact that they just lost two vacation days for no good reason. The company’s vacation policy states that salaried employees accrue vacation time based upon length of service. Employees with less than five years seniority receive one day per month, those with five to ten years experience earn one and one half days per month, and those with more than ten years earn two days per month. Employees have the right to carry over vacation time to the next year. The policy also states that, if the shipyard is shut down for any reasons, the time lost by salaried employees will be charged to each person’s vacation bank. Additionally, the policy states that in the event of a partial shutdown, salaried employees who report to work and are then sent home will be paid for any time missed and will not be required to charge lost time to their vacation funds. You will write a short paper in APA format addressing the following:
- Imagine you are an HR consultant to the organization involved in this situation. The organization wants to be responsive and fair. How would you handle the staff who is now upset and what would you recommend to senior leaders?
- Why is it important to have a policy outlining the organization’s procedures regarding time off?
- Identify any laws, which regulate discrimination in the workplace or legal issues pertinent to the case.
- Write a policy statement you would submit to the organization to be included in their employee handbook.
- What are the risks and challenges the organization faces by implementing the policy you recommend?
- Provide an example of ways in which it is effectively or ineffectively implemented. Elaborate upon and assess this situation.
- There are many policies available online that are pertinent. If you use a policy from an online source or from your current organization, you must cite within the text and provide the reference.