Pinterest OKs working abroad; Universal Music sacks employee ‘mourning’ Roe v Wade decis…

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Jul 8, 2022
This article is part of a series called The Most Interesting HR Stories of the Week.

Pinterest to give employees more freedom over where they want

Staff working for photo-haring social media platform, Pinterest, can now spend up to three months working outside of their country of employment in any given 12-month period. The perk is an extension of its popular ‘PinFlex’ employee incentive program, and it was made available to all full-time staff (with a minimum of six months’ service), from the start of July. In a statement, Pinterest said: “We listened to feedback shared by employees and added this flexibility to empower everyone to do their most impactful and inspired work.” It added: “Our Pinners are global, and we know that having worldly perspectives in our company to support them – both at the technological level and the human level – will enable us to deliver on our mission to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love.” Those with less than six months’ service aren’t totally excluded. They’ll be able to work outside their country of employment for up to 30 days a year.

Employee fired for ‘mourning’ Roe v Wade decision

Universal Music employee, Michael Lopez, has hit out about being sacked by the company because he was in ‘mourning’ over the Roe v Wade decision, and was therefore unable to do his job. Lopez who describes himself as a ‘queer brown person’ said it has “been hard to process how the company expects us to be productive while our rights are being stripped away.” He then sent an email to bosses saying he couldn’t work the day after the Roe v Wade ruling was overturned because “I’m in mourning due to the attack on people with uteruses in the US.” According to The Daily Mail, a few days later, Lopez received a ‘surprise Zoom video chat’ from HR letting him know he was fired for not doing his job and ‘disrupting the day of 275 people and poor judgement.’

Tesla hit by new lawsuit

Tesla, has been hit by a new discrimination lawsuit, with employees alleging Elon Musk’s electric car company operates under a ‘pre-Civil Rights’ atmosphere of racial discrimination. The mass-action lawsuit, filed in Alameda Superior Court in California, argues plaintiffs were subjected to racially motivated harassment and intimidation in Tesla factories. The plants were described as being ‘racially hostile work environments.’ In a statement published in Business Standard, attorney Mike Arias said: “It’s hard to imagine a workplace culture that these hard-working people had to endure day after day, having to live through racist comments and abusive behaviour.” He added: “Hearing story after story of employees being subjected to this level of disgusting and threatening behavior and language is almost unbelievable.” Alleged abuse/harassment includes African American and Hispanic staff being subjected to offensive comments and behavior by colleagues, managers, supervisors, and even HR professionals on a regular basis. Earlier this year, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Tesla, claiming that its Fremont factory is a “racially segregated environment, where black workers are subjected to racial slurs and [are] discriminated against.” Tesla is also under investigation by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

San Diego losing record numbers of cops…

The San Diego Police Department is losing record numbers of cops, according to official figures. The data shows that in the year ending 30 June 2022, more than 230 officers left the department. Not only is this a 52% increase on the previous year [and the highest number for more than a decade], but more worrying, is the fact 67%, didn’t retire from the department — they resigned. Moreover, nearly half of those resignations were by officers who then joined other law enforcement agencies. The department is now reportedly losing more officers than can be replaced. Police union leaders have blamed the city’s vaccine mandate for the steep rise in departures. But in exit interviews, Department spokesperson Lt. Adam Sharki said it was the negative narrative surrounding law enforcement that was leaving staff feeling demoralized and under greater scrutiny. In order to stem the loses, the police department has raised pay by 10% and is also proposing paying bonuses for those making internal lateral moves.

…while America is revealed to need more women in work

Number-crunching by the Financial Times has revealed female labor force participation in the US was 1.4 percentage points lower at the end of 2021 than it was before 2000. By comparison, during the same period, women’s labor force participation increased 5.3 percentage points in France, by 5.4 points in Canada, by 6.7 points in the UK, and by a much larger 14.3 points in Japan. The culprit, it argues, is lack of affordable childcare (where employment in this sector is itself massively down – at only 89.2% of the pre-pandemic level). The report says: “Mothers in states with more childcare center closures have lower levels of employment.” It quotes US secretary of commerce, Gina Raimondo, who says: “We desperately need non-college educated women back in the labor force, but unless we tackle childcare, they aren’t going to come back.”

States with the most flexible jobs revealed

With news that the number of remote job postings increased 12% between 2020 and 2021, Employee Benefit News has revealed which US states now have the highest ratio of available remote jobs to active job seekers. The data comes from Flexjobs, the search site for flexible employment. Rhode Island tops the list, followed by states mainly on the East Coast. By contrast, southern states and states on the West Coast did not make it to the top of the list. The 15 states with the most remote jobs are: Rhode Island, Washington DC, Delaware, North Dakota, Maine, Vermont, South Dakota, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Connecticut, Kentucky and Massachusetts. States performing the best tended to be smaller ones with active economies and less labor competition.

Bored Panda compiles best ‘Anti-Work’ posts

Humor, it is argued, is almost 90% based on the truth – which is why Bored Panda’s compilation of the best (or should that be worst?) posts from the Anti-Work Facebook page makes interesting reading. It lists 59 of what it calls ‘the most powerful posts’, to reveal what it calls the ‘dark side of capitalism.’ Included are comments such as ‘My corporate employer is going to pay my travel expenses to have an abortion…because they don’t want to pay for your maternity leave’ and ‘Retirement age is 67; life expectancy is 78. Work for 50 years to maybe enjoy 11. Start enjoying life now.” Another post sees one writer commenting on Larry Summers’ assertion that the US needs a 5% joblessness rate for five years to ease inflation. He simply says: “If you need to destroy millions of people’s lives to improve the economy, it is time to change the economic system altogether.”





This article is part of a series called The Most Interesting HR Stories of the Week.