Anonymous Secret Santa Thank You Left on Patrol Car

As a former SWAT team member, this police officer approached the small white package left on his police vehicle cautiously. It turned out to be a sweet “survival kit” of candies left by an anonymous Secret Santa thanking law enforcement officers like him for his service. For example, Lifesavers to “remind you of the many times you have been one.” A nice gesture of appreciation to those who keep us and our families safe.

The full article can be found here:

Managers Will Suffer Pay Cuts if a Union Organizes Employees

Menards, a massive home improvement chain store, has an employment agreement for managers which imposes a substantial pay cut if the workers under their supervision organize a union. A section in the employment agreement titled “Union Activity” provides that a manager’s income “shall be automatically reduced by sixty percent (60%)” of what it would have been if any union is recognized in the manager’s operation. The manager’s pay is likewise reduced by sixty percent (60%) if a union files a petition and wins an election.

The clause providing that managers are to be punished if a union succeeds appears in the employment agreement that all managers must sign as a condition of employment. One employee stated that “The mere mention of the word “union” is a workplace taboo.” Menards, funded and headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin has more than 280 stores in fourteen states according to its website. The company’s owner, John Menard Jr. secretly funneled more than 1.5 million to a political advocacy group to support Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Carin Clauss, an emeritus professor of law at University of Wisconsin-Madison believes the company might be vulnerable if a complaint is filed with the NLRB. The National Labor Relations Act prohibits employers from interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights to join a union. In Clauss’ opinion “You interfere with employees by threatening a third party.” Clauss suggested that an agreement that threatens managers with consequences if they don’t do something to interfere with employees organizing rights could be contrary to public policy and thereby void and unenforceable.

Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of Wisconsin AFL-CIO said: “Shame on Menards. How are working people supposed to get ahead in this economy and work for a strong America when billionaires like John Menard are rigging the deck before working people even have a chance?”

Police Officer Pays for Kid’s Birthday Cake Ingredients Mom Had Shoplifted

A Portsmouth, New Hampshire police officer pays for kid’s birthday cake ingredients that mom had stolen. This police officer was dispatched to an Ocean State Job Lot to investigate shoplifting charges. When he found out that it was a mom who had stolen items to bake her child a birthday cake, he decided to pay for the items himself. He did not tell anyone about it, but a store employee, touched by his kindness, called in the story. See full story here:

Strict Enforcement of Work Rules By Cleveland Fire Department

The Cleveland Firefighter’s recently-created Integrity Control unit has investigated dozens of alleged work rule violations since its inception. The unit’s investigations have uncovered numerous instances of misconduct, ranging from minor infractions to possible felonies.

Particularly noteworthy is the case of one firefighter, whom investigations revealed used his city-issued cell phone for personal reasons, namely to arrange and discuss dates. Said firefighter was suspended and ordered to pay back the City of Cleveland over $2,500.

Frank Szabo, President of the Cleveland Firefighters Union, acknowledged that it is inevitable that some individuals on the force will attempt to violate work rules. However, he also criticized the Department’s sometimes ambiguous policies, which the union believes fail to put firefighters on adequate notice regarding what precise behavior constitutes a violation.

The validity of such objections notwithstanding, the Cleveland cell phone case and other cases like it serve to emphasize the importance of complying with reasonable work rules—so far as employees can properly ascertain what those rules are. Both professionally and monetarily, the consequences of rule transgression may be severe, particularly where employers have entire units dedicated to performing internal investigations and uncovering misconduct.