On what basis does the government allow some people to be paid sub-minimum wages and others not? Why not allow anyone who has difficulty getting work or is unemployable to work at sub-minimum wages? What about people who are only slightly more mentally able than the mentally challenged? How about felons on parole? To prepare your answer, research the government website at
http://www.dol.gov. Under Topics, click “wages” and on the next screen under Subtopics, click “sub-minimum wages.” Please discuss at least two categories of people who are eligible to work at sub-minimum wages and justify or criticize the rule allowing this. Compare and contrast with other categories of people who are out of work.
Read the following case and answer the questions in proper essay form.
Case: Fireworks on the Fourth Mufid and Janet are both machine operators at Fireation Engineering, Inc. Their supervisor Reginald has assigned them to work on a 4th of July holiday decoration project for the company. Mufid has protested that though he is a patriotic American, he doesn’t feel comfortable as a Muslim celebrating a secular holiday. Reginald explains that all members of his department are required to assist in holiday preparations, and he can’t make an exception for Mufid. He orders Mufid to help Janet in the project. Without Reginald’s approval or Mufid’s knowledge, Janet has used company credit to purchase an electric toy that is supposed to safely simulate a fireworks display. The instructions on the package say that the toy will light up sparklers inside a glass enclosure. While Mufid is helping Janet set up and do a test of the display, it catches on fire and burns his right hand and arm badly. As a result, Mufid becomes disabled and will not be able to do his machine operator duties for at least 18 months, maybe longer. Janet and Mufid are both so upset about the incident that they have written to Reginald about ordering Mufid to do the 4th of July decoration against his religious conviction. Reginald responds by having them both fired for incompetence, insubordination, and misuse of company funds. (He produces company files documenting their incompetence on the machines. Janet and Mufid know that the reports have been fabricated, or at the least, distorted.) Fireation Engineering, Inc.’s employment contract states that employees can only be fired for good cause. But in addition, it states that there is zero tolerance for dangerous conduct, endangering other workers. And it states that the employer will object to any employee benefits or welfare programs if the employee is at fault.
Question: Analyze the case in the light of the following: What employee welfare benefits are Mufid and Janet likely to be entitled to and why? State and answer objections likely to be made by the employer. What if they apply to get their jobs back? Why might they be denied? What arguments might they use to establish entitlement to reinstatement?