When I first did research on Walmart’s workplace practices in the early 2000s, I came away convinced that Walmart was the most egregiously ruthless corporation in America. However, ten years later, there is a strong challenger for this dubious distinction—Amazon Corporation. Within the corporate world, Amazon now ranks with Apple as among the United States’ most esteemed businesses. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO, came in second in the Harvard Business Review’s 2012 world rankings of admired CEOs, and Amazon was third in CNN’s 2012 list of the world’s most admired companies. Amazon is now a leading global seller not only of books but also of music and movie DVDs, video games, gift cards, cell phones, and magazine subscriptions. Like Walmart itself, Amazon combines state-of-the-art CBSs with human resource practices reminiscent of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Read more.
Recently, someone calling herself “Sue Whistleblower” posted a petition on Change.org charging that Staples ordered managers not to schedule any part-time workers for more than 25 hours per week in order to avoid providing health insurance. Could this be the dreaded “Obamadodge”?
The Affordable Care Act has a provision, taking effect in 2015, which says that people working at least 30 hours a week count as full-time employees. Big companies of 50 people or more either have to provide affordable healthcare to such workers or fork over a big penalty. Read more.
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