HRM 320 Week 7 Discussion 1
Congress passed the Employment Retirement Income Security Act to protect employee benefits including pension or retirement benefits. However, ERISA does not specifically address one of the current “hot topics” in employer retirement plans. That “hot topic” is the use of defined benefit or defined contribution retirement plans. Employers that have defined benefit retirement plans are increasingly converting those plans to defined contribution plans while almost all new employee pension plans are defined contribution plans. What protections does ERISA provide to employees in general? How might these protections be inadequate from an employee standpoint as our country faces challenging economic times? Can employees truly “rely” on benefits such as health insurance and retirement?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted due to unfair practices by employers. Since many companies pension funds were underfunded, the employees that were drawing retirement benefits from these companies were not being paid their retirement. With the introduction of ERISA, many of these instances were prevented as the act imposed minimum funding standards requiring companies to have adequate funds to pay for retirement funds (Moran, 2013).
In a defined benefit pension, the amount per year is fixed. What may seem to be a generous amount initially will erode over time because of inflation. Defined contribution plans usually offer a choice of graduated payments that will increase as time goes by (Moran, pg. 502). The reason why companies choose the defined contribution plan is because this plan offers tax incentives for the company.
Moran, John J. Employment Law, 6th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 01/2013. VitalBook file.
HRM 320 Week 7 Discussion 2
Compliance Publications (CP) has 2000 employees. Approximately 200 of those employees spend their 8 workday hours typing and transcribing materials for the various publications produced at Compliance. Many of these employees work in a large typing hall (an open location where each employee has a small desk and a computer where they complete their typing). Some employees, however, work from remotely from home during the same work hours, and are responsible for providing their own workspace. Recently, the employees have been complaining about pain in their back and wrists, eye strain, and discomfort on standing after the long day of typing. Individual employees have made the following suggestions.
Margaret, who works in the typing hall, asks for swivel typing chairs equiped with a high-back, lumbar (low-back) support, and foot rests.
Jung, who works in the typing hall, asks for the computer keyboards to be replaced by ergonomic keyboards.
Angel, who works in the typing hall, asks for computer monitor screen guards to reduce the glare coming from the existing computer monitors.
Kepi, who works in the typing hall, asks for current computer monitors to be replaced with large screen anti-glare plasma monitors mounted on ergonomic bracketing for the correct angle and positioning of the display.
Frank, who works in the typing hall, asks for CP to hire a trainer to come in and work individually with typists on ergonomic positioning.
Lavone, who works in the typing hall, objects to any changes to his workstation and wants CP to agree that any changes it makes will not apply to his workstation.
Roseanne, who is an Executive Assistant, has her own office, and spends less than 1/4 of her work day typing, asks that CP provide her with the same ergonomic equipment and training that it provides to its workers in the typing hall.
Destiny, who works from home, asks that CP provide her with the same ergonomic equipment and training that it provides to its workers in the typing hall.
Eileen, who works in HR, collects the suggestions and is asked to make a recommendation to CP about how to proceed