Recent Posts


  • McDonald's Around the World

    McDonald's - Around the World from PosterBoy Edit on Vimeo . McDonald's has a strong identity around the world, as shown in this commercial. People in almost every country recognize the name. McDonald's legally protects its name or trademark to ensure consistent communications inside and outside the company, around the world. (See the " Global Logo and Trademark Standards Reference Guide " from 1999.) Why would McDonald's create a reference guide for its logo and trademark standards? How does McDonald's define trademark in the 1999 reference guide? What has changed about its trademark since 1999?
  • The 40-Hour Workweek

    Technology is increasing efficiency. As a result, the standard 40-hour workweek should decrease. However, many people still work more than 40 hours a week. How many hours do you want to work in a week?
  • Managers ensure compliance for anti-bribery

    Recent bribery allegations against Wal-Mart in Mexico and Hollywood movie studios in China should remind managers that they are responsible for ensuring that clear anti-bribery policies are in place and that relevant staff at the least receive sufficient training . (See 3M's Anti Bribery Policy for an example.) The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enacted in 1977 makes it illegal for Americans to bribe foreign officials. A bribe is offering anything of value (money or gifts) to gain a competitive advantage. The Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Department of Justice ("DOJ") are jointly responsible for enforcing the FCPA. The SEC brings civil enforcement actions against issuers and their officers, directors, employees, and agents. The DOJ criminally prosecutes issuers and their officers, direc­tors, employees, agents, and domestic concerns, as well as foreign persons and entities (acting within the U.S.). According to the U.S. Department of Justice , The anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person. In this video, Fareed Zakaria reports "How to beat bribery ." India's Chief Economic Adviser, the economist Kaushik Basu, uses a game theory simulation to suggest that "bribery in general will decrease if people who are asked for bribes can pay the money and they can still go and complain without worrying that they will be prosecuted. And the corrupt official who takes the bribe will know that if they take the money they face twice the penalty." Read the attached Investor Bulletin. What is "anything of value"? How is "foreign official" defined? What is an "indirect bribe"? What are the three situations in which payments to foreign officials would not result in liability under the FCPA? What do you think of Basu's way to fight bribery?
  • China isn't the only country with Overtime Abuse

    Apple joined the Fair Labor Association (FLA) in January 2012 and in February, FLA inspected Foxconn , an Apple supplier with factories in China. Three Chines factories, two in Shenzhen and one in Chengdu, were inspected. Two parts to FLA's investigation at the three Foxconn facilities were: (1) An assessment of the treatment of workers and of working conditions in the factories, which seeks to identify root causes of workers' rights violations. This assessment analyzes information from several sources, including document review, physical observation, management interviews, and onsite and off-site interviews with workers. (2)Onsite, anonymous surveys to hear directly from the workers about working conditions and how they are treated in the factories. In its report , FLA found excessive overtime and problems with overtime compensation. Employees were found to work more than 60 hours per week and sometimes 11 or more days in a row. Foxconn, headquartered in Taiwan, has promised to cut hours worked, not salaries paid. By July 2013, no Foxconn worker will labor for more than 49 hours a week. This is the limit dictated by Chinese law. China isn't the only country with unpaid overtime. In the United States, fair wage cases are investigated by the Labor Department , and most cases investigated are for unpaid overtime . The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), passed in 1938, delineated between manager, hourly employee, administrative worker, and the outside salesperson. It established the eight-hour workday, the 40-hour workweek, and time and a half pay for the workweek over 40 hours. Exceptions to the law are exempt employees: executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees. (See attached for overtime pay requirements.) Managers need to know the law. Employees on the employer's premises, under the employer's control, using the employer's tools are working and should be paid for that time. One type of overtime abuse is misclassifying employees as exempt. For example, some companies designate workers as supervisors or managers, but they don't supervise other employees and don't have authority over work schedules. Another type of overtime abuse is having workers perform job duties off the clock, such as working while taking less time for eating lunch or not compensating properly for travel time to run errands before or after work. Employees can work flexible hours, telecommute, and be attached to electronic devices to perform their job duties anywhere, anytime. How can managers keep up with the number of hours that people work and when they work?
  • U.S. Manufacturing Jobs in China

    Companies in the United States (U.S.) such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, and Motorola, have moved many hazardous manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to China. The New York Times reports in this video that, "Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms." In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created NACOSH, NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is in the U.S. Department of Labor and is responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations. The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety ( NACOSH ) is a group that advises the U.S. Department of Labor. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ( NIOSH ) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) in the Department of Health and Human Services . NIOSH is an agency established to help assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health. NIOSH developed the Essential Elements of Effective Workplace Programs and Policies for Improving Worker Health and Wellbeing (attached) as a guide for employers and employer-employee partnerships wishing to establish effective workplace programs that sustain and improve worker health. The document identifies twenty components of a comprehensive work-based health protection and health promotion program and includes both guiding principles and practical direction for organizations seeking to develop effective workplace programs. The NIOSH guidelines can help companies improve factories. In addition, many companies have developed a supplier code of conduct. (Search Google for "supplier code of conduct" and you will find many examples.) What else can managers do to ensure safe working environments outside the U.S.? When will global manufacturing be as safe as American manufacturing?