Court upholds Md.in jobless benefits caseRichard D. Hager...

WORKPLACE & CARREERS

July 16, 1993|By Kim Clark | Kim Clark,Staff Writer

Court upholds Md.in jobless benefits case

Richard D. Hager, who took care of his 6-year-old son in the evenings, said "no" when his boss at Salisbury-based Imperial Cup Corp. wanted to change his work schedule to the evenings.

So the company, since renamed Imperial Bondware Corp., fired him in mid-1991.

And Maryland denied Mr. Hager's application for unemployment insurance even though it usually OKs payments to people whose child care arrangements caused their unemployment.

Maryland's decision went up to the Court of Special Appeals, which last month endorsed it. The court's reason: Mr. Hager hadn't told his boss why he was rejecting the shift change. And he hadn't tried hard enough to find alternative child care.

Mr. Hager has since found new employment, says his attorney, Timothy J. Hogan.

Lynn M. Weiskittel, the assistant attorney general who handles unemployment appeals in court, says she doesn't usually fight cases in which a person has a child care problem. But, she adds, the worker must make an effort to tell his employer about the problem and to meet the employer's needs.

She says Mr. Hager's case illustrates the heightened battle over unemployment checks -- which average $180 a week in Maryland.

In the past, people who felt they were improperly denied unemployment checks could simply get another job. Today it's more difficult to get jobs, so more people are fighting the state for the checks, she says.

Ironically, the trend is helping the legal job market. Ms. Weiskittel has been so swamped with appeals of unemployment decisions that her office has hired two new attorneys.

Japan's bloated payroll keeps joblessness down

Some Japanese employers have found a novel solution to the unemployment problem. But will American competitors follow their lead?

The Sumitomo-Life Research Institute found that Japanese companies, loath to lay off and fearful of a worker shortage, are keeping nearly 2.5 million employees on the payroll -- even though there is nothing for them to do.

The Tokyo-based research institute said that if the companies laid off all the workers who have nothing to do, Japan's unemployment rate would jump from today's 2.5 percent to a more U.S.-like 6 percent.

More female executives married, with children

Just 10 years ago, most female executives had to choose between a family and a career. For example, a study found that only 40 percent of senior-level women were married or had children.

Today, many senior-level professional women at major companies have both family and career, another survey by the UCLA Graduate School of Management says. Sixty percent of female executives are married, and 57 percent have children.

The latest UCLA study of 400 women who were at least vice presidents at large companies found that the average female executive was 44 years old.

The female executives still haven't reached family-and-career parity with men. A study cited by UCLA found that 90 percent of 10 men at the same professional level were married and/or had children.

Hardee's firings case has 2-month delay

An administrative law judge has granted a two-month delay in the public hearing on Maryland's allegations that Hardee's Food Systems Inc. violated state age discrimination laws by firing 14- and 15-year-old employees.

Sally Swann, the attorney prosecuting the case for the Maryland Human Relations Commission, says the hearing is scheduled to resume in late September.

She says the case, which was supposed to have been argued this week, was delayed because the testimony and cross-examination of the first two witnesses, teen-agers who had been fired, took much longer than expected. The delays made it impossible to fit in other witnesses who couldn't return to Baltimore for several weeks.

Laid-off '90-'91 workers paid less in new jobs

Workers who were laid off in the 1990-1991 recession but managed to find new jobs weren't able to maintain their old incomes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found.

Displaced workers made only about $369 a week in their new jobs -- a decline of $62, or 14.4 percent, from their old jobs.

Big losers were workers who were laid off by communications or other public utilities. They took an average pay cut of about $247 a week -- or 36 percent of their old income.

Other big losers: those laid off by financial, insurance or real estate companies. They lost about $109 a week, or 18.2 percent of their old salaries.

The only winners among displaced workers were professionals, such as attorneys and accountants. They got a raise of about $6 a week, or 1.5 percent, in their new jobs.

The erosion of income was worse in the 1990-1991 downturn than in the 1980-1981 recession, the BLS found. In a 1983 survey, the BLS found that displaced workers lost 11 percent of their earning power when they shifted to new jobs.

Miners were the big losers in that recession, suffering a 24 percent decline in earnings. Professionals, meanwhile, saw their

new paychecks rise by 16.6 percent.

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