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Management Assignment: Workplace Safety For American Workers


Task: Write a critique on management assignmentof the text included below. Ensure that your critical analysis focuses on both the "what" (main ideas in the text) and the "how" (ways in which the speaker or writer conveys her/his ideas). Finally, make sure your critique gives your assessment, based on your analysis, of how effectively this text conveys its message to its intended audience.

Title: Warning: This Is a Rights-Free Workplace
Author: by Barbara Ehrenreich

1. If the laws of economics were enforced as strictly as the laws of physics, America would be a workers' paradise. The supply of most kinds of labor is low, relative to the demand, so each worker should be treated as a cherished asset, right But there have been only little gains in wages over the last few years, and in the realm of dignity and autonomy, a notable decline.

2. In the latest phase of America's one-sided class war, employers have taken to monitoring employees' workplace behavior right down to a single computer keystroke or bathroom break, even probing into their personal concerns and leisure activities. Sure, there's a job out there for anyone who can get to an interview sober and standing upright. The price, though, may be one's basic civil rights and -- what boils down to the same thing -- self-respect.

3. Not that the Bill of Rights ever extended to the American workplace. In 1996, I was surprised to read about a grocery store worker in Dallas who was fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers T-shirt to work on the day before a Cowboys-Packers game. All right, this was insensitive of him, but it certainly couldn't have influenced his ability to keep the shelves stocked with Doritos. A few phone calls though, revealed that his firing was entirely legal.
4. Freedom of assembly is another right that never found its way into the workplace. On a recent journalistic foray into a series of low-wage jobs, I was surprised to discover that management often regarded the most innocent conversation between employees as potentially seditious. A poster in the break room at one restaurant where I worked as a waitress prohibited ''gossip,'' and a manager would hastily disperse any gathering of two or more employees.
5. Then there is the more elemental and biological right—and surely it should be one—to respond to nature's calls. Federal regulations forbid employers to ''impose unreasonable restrictions on employee use of the facilities.'' But according to Marc Linder and Ingrid Nygaard, co-authors of ''Void Where Prohibited: Rest Breaks and the Right to Urinate on Company Time,'' this regulation is only half-heartedly enforced. Professionals and, of course, waitresses can usually dart away and relieve themselves as they please. Not so for many cashiers and assembly-line workers, some of whom, Linder says, have taken to wearing adult diapers to work.
6. In the area of privacy rights, workers have lost ground in recent years. Here, too, the base line is not impressive—no comprehensive right to personal privacy on the job has ever been established. I learned this on my first day as a waitress, when my fellow workers warned me that my purse could be searched by management at any time. I wasn't carrying stolen saltshakers or anything else of a compromising nature, but there's something about the prospect of a purse search that makes a woman feel a few buttons short of fully dressed. After work, I called around and found that this, too, is generally legal, at least if the boss has reasonable cause and has given prior notification of the company's search policies.
7. Purse searches, though, are relatively innocuous compared with the sophisticated chemical and electronic forms of snooping adopted by many companies in the 90's. The American Management Association reports that in 1999 a record two-thirds of major American companies monitored their employees electronically: videotaping them; reviewing their e-mail and voice-mail messages; and, most recently, according to Lewis Maltby, president of the Princeton-based National Workrights Institute, monitoring any Web sites they may visit on their lunch breaks. Nor can you count on keeping anything hidden in your genes; a growing number of employers now use genetic testing to screen out job applicants who carry genes for expensive ailments like Huntington's disease.

8. But the most common invasion of privacy is drug testing, usually of urine, more rarely of hair or blood. With 81 percent of large companies now requiring some form of drug testing -- up from 21 percent in 1987 -- job applicants take it for granted that they'll have to provide a urine sample as well as a resume. This is not restricted to ''for cause'' testing -- of people who, say, nod or space out on the job. Nor is it restricted to employees in ''safety-sensitive occupations,'' like airline pilots and school-bus drivers. Workers who stack boxes of Cheerios in my local supermarkets get tested, as do the editorial employees of this magazine, although there is no evidence that a weekend joint has any more effect on Monday-morning performance than a Saturday-night beer.

9. What we need is nothing less than a new civil rights movement -- this time, for American workers. Who will provide the leadership remains to be seen, but clearly the stakes go way beyond ''labor issues,'' as these are conventionally defined We can hardly call ourselves the world's pre-eminent democracy if large numbers of citizens spend half of their waking hours in what amounts, in plain terms, to a dictatorship.

Your essay should be clearly organized and include
1. An introduction that
• names the author and other pertinent details about the text
• presents the thesis of the text you're discussing
• gives your thesis about the text (your perspective on it)
• previews the main ideas you are going to discuss, and the order in which you will discuss them

2. At least 4 well-organized paragraphs comprising the essay body, that
• discusses one idea per paragraph
• has a clear topic sentence for each paragraph
• includes clear transitions between paragraphs
• uses specific evidence from the text to back up your assertions, documented using clear in- text parenthetical citations.
• doesn't spend too much time giving background or summarizing what's said in the text you're analyzing

3. A conclusion that
•summarizes and restates your main ideas about the text you've analyzed – but does not repeat them verbatim from other parts of your essay

•adds some additional information or commentary, based on your overall discussion and the evidence you've presented

4. State the following in your essay:
• What is the author's subject, audience, and purpose
• What's the main idea that unifies all details
• Who is the text is written for
• What is its aim Is it expository (to inform, explain, illustrate, entertain,) or persuasive (to convince) organization
• How are the details of the text organized (could be > one method) spatial; temporal; order of importance / priority; from general to specific; from problem to solution; building to a climax method of development / appeals & evidence.
• How does the author develop the ideas in the text (could be > one method) example, comparison, narration, description, process, definition, cause and effect; logical, emotional, ethical appeal tone / voice
• What is the author's attitude towards his/her subject e.g., earnest, angry, ironic, objective, playful, approving, impatient style
• How would you describe the author's style e.g., formal, standard, informal; simple, ornate •what techniques does the author use to achieve this style Use of, e.g., metaphor, simile, image, rhetorical questions, dialogue, different types of sentences, paragraphs, punctuation •Is the style suited to the author's audience and purpose Overall assessment.
• Overall, how effectively do all the elements of the text work together to convey the author's main ideas to the audience Your point of view and your critique thesis: What is the thesis of YOUR critique – That is, what's your point of view about or interpretation of the essay or text you're analyzing Include your thesis in your introductory paragraph.


The provided information is based on employee rights at workplaces that are essentially required to be considered. The information considered within this management assignment is presented by author Barbara Ehrenreich. The text mainly highlights the issues related with the rights like privacy rights, biological rights, and freedom of assembly, etc. Thesis- Essential need of new civil rights for the American workers to ensure the workplace safety and resolve various labour issues prevailing in America.

The personal perspective is related with the essential need of the amendments in the regulations and policies made for the American workers. The organisations are essentially required to bring in major level of changes and respect the privacy and other rights of the workers that can allow the organisations to build trust and generate feeling of belongingness in the employees. It can help the organisations to retain the employees for longer period. The following information provides with the critique based on analysis of the influence the current situation can create on employees and impact on organisation. The information further provides with the pros and cons linked with the changes that are required or demanded to be brought in the regulations to improve the working conditions for American employees or Labours.

Main Body
Influence of working conditions presented in the article on employees

The author mainly highlights the issues related with the privacy rights, the biological rights and other different human rights that the American associations are majorly violating. It has become so obvious for the American employers to fire employees for wearing fancy cloths, checking purse of female employees, restricting employees from urinating, etc. The situation can mainly affect the motivation of the employees and can increase the stress on the employees. The decreased motivation of the employees and lack of attention towards the organisation’s growth. The possibilities are huge that the employees might not push their limits and give their best for the organisations. The increased stress related with lack of job security impacts negatively on the productivity of an employees.

Impact on organisations in long term
The increased burden on the employees related with the strict regulations for instance, continuously being watched at workplace and restrictions to communicate with peers. The employers right to violate the basic fundamental rights of employees are the key issues resulting in the increased employee turnover and cost related to it. It can affect the organisation’s brand image; the unsatisfied employees might not provide with the fruitful returns and also the retention of the employees for the American organisations will get complicated and it might increase the cost of organisation for hiring the employees and retaining them. In long term increase the employee’s turnover and retention will get difficult that can affect the organisation financially as well. Decreased loyalty and commitments of the employees can influence the performance of organisation negatively.

Benefits of brining in the new civil rightsfor workers and labours to resolve the issues highlighted by Author
The benefits are related with the enhanced level of satisfaction of the employees and the increased productivity. The increased motivation of employees and improved level of employee performance can be assured by the organisation. Brining in new civil rights will allow organisations to provide with healthy workplace environment that satisfies the employees. Ensuring employees with job security and respecting their privacy, plus the biological rights, etc. can allow employees to remain satisfied and highly productive. It can ultimately help the organisation to strengthen the employee retention, and satisfaction through which the competitive edge of organisation is supported.

Potential drawbacks accompanying the new civil rights
The potential drawbacks are also required to be considered and thoroughly examined, as the organisations might land up in the problematic situations in which the employees’ rights and safety is provided with more importance and the employees welfare is given more importance than the organisation. It can affect the decision making of the organisation, and unethical use of rights against the organisation’s welfare might restrict the organisations to achieve the goals. The increased freedom to the employees might lead to delegation of authority, and it can affect the customer satisfaction too. The employees benefit over the organisation’s can be treacherous and thus the potential consequences are also required to be considered.

The main ideas presented in the above management assignmentare linked with the performance of employees, and the benefits to employers in long term. The idea presented is linked with the ethical operations of the employers and employees coordinatively. It includes essential need of the employers to respect the privacy and all the rights of the employees, providing the employees with job security and at the same time employees are required to ethically operate and avoid misusing the rights that can directly impact on organisation’s performance.

State the following in your essay
• What is the author's subject, audience, and purpose
The subject of author is workplace safety and civil rights, audience is majorly the people concerned with the workplace issues of America and the author has the purpose of raising the civil rights movement through which employees’ dignity and rights can be protected.

• What's the main idea that unifies all details
The main idea is related with the dignity, and respect to employees by employers that unifies all details.

• Who is the text is written for
The text is mainly written for the American labours, workers and employees.

• What is its aim Is it expository (to inform, explain, illustrate, entertain,) or persuasive (to convince)
The aim of the information presented is persuasive, as it aims to convince the readers and employees of America to seek for rights, and dignity.

The article is organised from problem to solution
Methods of development / appeals & evidence
Methods of Development- Ethical appeal
Attitude- Objective
•How would you describe the author's style e.g., formal, standard, informal; simple, ornate
•What techniques does the author use to achieve this style use of, e.g., metaphor, simile, image, rhetorical questions, dialogue, different types of sentences, paragraphs, punctuation
•Is the style suited to the author's audience and purpose

Overall assessment
•Overall, how effectively do all the elements of the text work together to convey the author's main ideas to the audience


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