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The Workplace in Review: 2005

Date: 12/30/2005 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Global Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas put together a list of the most unbelieveable workplace events of 2005. The complete article can be found at www.SHRM.org

Making this year’s list:

An IT company in Leipzig, Germany, initiated a strict no-whining policy that required employees to sign a contract that stipulated two moans and you’re out of a job. The policy was prompted, according to an article on the German Embassy’s web site, “by a particularly cantankerous co-worker.â€?

DaimlerChrysler’s transmission plants in Kokomo, Ind., designated 80 percent of their employee parking for Chrysler vehicles only, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. Effective May 9, 2005, any non-Chrysler vehicle parked in a reserved area was to be towed 50 miles away to Indianapolis; employees faced a $200 bill to retrieve a vehicle. The policy did not extend to vehicles with license plates for disabled persons, the report noted.

In October, a Michigan woman was fired from her part-time job as a receptionist after she failed to report for work the day after she took unpaid leave to see off her husband, a National Guard member who was being sent to Fort Dix, N.J., for training and then deployment to Iraq.

An Indiana woman claimed she was suspended for spending too much time trying to rescue a squirrel trapped in the ceiling of the library where she worked, according to a Dec. 2 AP report. The story quoted the library’s executive director as noting that “I’m not running a squirrel condominium here.â€?

An executive was accused of embezzling more than $210,000 from the heart disease foundation he worked for and using some of the money to fly in a dominatrix for his use.

The National Labor Relations Board upheld a San Francisco-based security company’s rule prohibiting employees from getting together outside of work. The controversial policy forbids workers from going to lunch together, attending co-workers’ weddings or doing anything else together outside of their employment.

Thirty Muslim workers with a temporary labor agency walked off their jobs at a Nashville, Tenn., plant in February after their request for time off to pray at sunset was rejected.

A Racine, Wis., man was fired in February from his job as a forklift operator for that area’s distributor of Miller Brewing Co. products. No reason was given for his dismissal, but it occurred the same day a local paper published a photograph of him drinking a competitor’s beer—a Bud Light.

Two Spanish-speaking hairstylists in Chicago claimed in a federal lawsuit that their company strictly banned the use of Spanish, even during employee breaks. A sign at the salon read, “Speaking a language other than English is not only disrespectful, it’s also prohibited,â€? according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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