Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Sick Days, Vacation Days … Social Justice Days?

 

There’s a new trend in corporate benefits packages. Not satisfied with vacation days, sick days, and family and medical leave, many employers are now offering days off to protest the injustice of Trump’s America. From CNBC:

Technology start-up Polaroid Swing launched a policy on Tuesday allowing its employees to take paid time off work for political engagements such as protests or running for political office, co-founder Tommy Stadlen told CNBC.

Stadlen is British and started the company in San Francisco. He said that over half of the 12-strong team are immigrants and his decision to introduce the policy was driven in part by the increasingly anti-immigration rhetoric coming from countries such as the U.S. and U.K.

…Such a policy isn’t widespread yet across the tech world, though some companies have enacted similar rules. Jelly, a start-up co-founded by Biz Stone, who is also a co-founder of Twitter, launched paid time off for civic engagement in February. And database start-up Fauna also launched a similar policy in February. Other technology companies offering paid leave for political engagements include Buoyant, Turbine Labs, Atipica and Vicarious.

Stadlen said other companies need to introduce this policy too.

Many businesses are taking Stadlen’s advice. From Fast Company:

When Alexandra Millatmal, a co-instructor at Omaha Code School, wanted time off on March 8 to participate in a Day Without a Woman, she wasn’t sure what to do. “I didn’t know if I should be asking for paid time off, or if I should just not show up for work,” she says.

Even though she feels the leadership at Big Wheel Brigade (parent company to Omaha Code School) values her contributions and those of other women, Millatmal wanted to participate in the larger movement. “I think it’s important for [my students] to see my physical absence during the strike,” she says.

When Millatmal voiced this desire to her employer, they responded by adding two days of social justice paid time off (PTO). Rahul Gupta, president and founder of Big Wheel Brigade, says he considered making March 8 a company-wide day off, but he instead chose a more flexible policy to allow for different uses and causes. “The politics of my business partner and I are reflected by our employees, but that may not always be the case,” he explains. “We want to make sure that we’re inclusive of different viewpoints.”

The article also listed Luxe, Burton Snowboards, and Patagonia as employers with similar benefits, the latter offering to pay bail and time off for employees arrested during protests.

Adam Kleinberg, CEO of a San Francisco creative agency called Traction, launched his own social justice policy in reaction to Trump’s election. However, he makes it clear that all political views will be respected.

We are giving all employees two days of paid leave per year to participate in our democracy—however they see fit. They can march on Washington, volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club (or some other organization that had its funding cut off), or be a poll worker.

…Still, it was a key challenge to design the program to be a meaningful benefit to any employee regardless of political views, while at the same time maintaining a clear distinction from other companies that offer Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policies. It would be hypocritical to introduce a program that was discriminatory against anyone because of their beliefs.

I’m fine with a private company enacting any benefits they see fit, as long as they aren’t discriminatory. But I am troubled by the official endorsement of protest culture which has grown increasingly violent over the past few years.

What are your thoughts, Ricochetti? Is Social Justice Leave a good idea, a horrible idea, or something in between?

There are 37 comments.

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  1. Judge Mental Member

    Any candidate for employment who asks about protest days off should be tossed out the door. Don’t waste your time interviewing them.

    • #1
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:12 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So when I buy from these companies, I am paying for people to engage in SJW activities, sweet!

    • #2
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:15 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Michael Brehm Member

    From a purely Machiavellian perspective, it’s a great idea. To know who is taking off when for what would be invaluable knowledge if you have to make cuts at some later date.

    • #3
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:15 AM PDT
    • 21 likes
  4. MLH Inactive

    Is it not all just lumped together as “Paid Time Off?”

    • #4
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Skyler Coolidge

    I suspect the majority of these companies will be whining about how they went out of business because of unfair competition.

    • #5
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. Kevin Creighton Contributor

    Can I petition my boss for additional paid vacation days to attend the annual meeting of America’s oldest civil rights organization?

    • #6
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:29 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. KC Mulville Inactive

    In Blazing Saddles, the governor William J. Le Petomane handed out paddleball paddles … in lieu of pay.

    Protest days as benefits? I’d rather have the paddleballs.

    • #7
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m self-employed. The entire concept of paid time off is foreign to me.

    • #8
    • April 25, 2017, at 9:57 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra FractusJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MLH (View Comment):
    Is it not all just lumped together as “Paid Time Off?”

    This. The whole thing is virtue signalling on the part of the CEO’s. If you want to protest, nobody’s stopping you from using your vacation time.

    • #9
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:02 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Damocles Inactive

    My company has had this for quite a while.

    It fits in nicely with our flextime policy… if you’re meeting your quarterly goals, you’re free to manage your time as you like.

    Not that I can’t imagine the faces of people if somebody were to take time off for some conservative issue!

    • #10
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White MaleJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Technology start-up Polaroid Swing … Jelly, a start-up co-founded by Biz Stone, who is also a co-founder of Twitter … database start-up Fauna … Other technology companies include Buoyant, Turbine Labs, Atipica and Vicarious…Omaha Code School, the leadership at Big Wheel Brigade (parent company to Omaha Code School)…The article also listed Luxe, Burton Snowboards, and Patagonia… Adam Kleinberg, CEO of a San Francisco creative agency called Traction

    The next dot-com crash can’t come soon enough.

    • #11
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. TeamAmerica Member
    TeamAmericaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Eh, lefties always seem to have time to protest. Perhaps now some conservatives will have the time. We’ll see.

    • #12
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Lily Bart Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: I’m fine with a private company enacting any benefits they see fit, as long as they aren’t discriminatory. But I am troubled by the official endorsement of protest culture which has grown increasingly violent over the past few years.

    Well said.

    • #13
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:41 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Weeping Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    MLH (View Comment):
    Is it not all just lumped together as “Paid Time Off?”

    This. The whole thing is virtue signalling on the part of the CEO’s. If you want to protest, nobody’s stopping you from using your vacation time.

    Or personal leave days. The company my husband works for allows a certain number of vacation days, a certain number of sick days, and a certain number of personal days. Vacation days or personal days could indeed be used for something like this.

    • #14
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:41 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Lily Bart Inactive

    MLH (View Comment):
    Is it not all just lumped together as “Paid Time Off?”

    Yes, we get “personal days“. We’re allowed to use them as we see fit. Most people ‘spend’ them on family things – its so nice to get to be the Field Trip Mom once in a while.

    • #15
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. J.D. Snapp Coolidge

    What if you’re taking the time to protest a protest by staying home to watch Netflix or having fun at the lake? I’d personally just treat it as 2 extra vacation days. It’s not like they’re going to be able to verify where you actually were.

    • #16
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:51 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Anamcara Member

    It’s a horrible idea, a new wrinkle on salaried protesters. Also, I don’t care what non discrimination caveats are written into the policy, there will be unfair pressure put on some employees to conform. In a team of ten coworkers, for example, if seven opt to march for this or that, the dissenting three will feel some discomfort. It’s a misuse of employer power. As for the Omaha Code School instructor, she seems to think it is part of her responsibility to her students to influence their politics. Gee, I wonder where she picked up that idea.

    • #17
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Judge Mental Member

    JS (View Comment):
    What if you’re taking the time to protest a protest by staying home to watch Netflix

    It’s a sit-in.

    • #18
    • April 25, 2017, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  19. Taras Bulbous Inactive

    “Sooo, Mr. Cishetwhiteprogrammer, we in the HR department of Progressive Tech Co, Inc. have noticed that you haven’t taken your allotted Protest Days this fiscal year. You wouldn’t be engaging in wrong-think in your free time, would you?”

    And to the code school “instructor”, it’s not a walk-out or a strike if you get time off pre-approved. Protest sometimes means consequences.

    • #19
    • April 25, 2017, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  20. DavidCLowery Coolidge

    Even if I were the kind of person that thought this was a good idea, I can’t imagine any good attorney approving this from a liability perspective. I am generally required to carry insurance that among other things covers my company in case someone on stage says something that might be seen as inciting violence or destruction of property (It’s not cheap either).

    • #20
    • April 25, 2017, at 11:07 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Joe P Member

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the “Day Without a Woman” that inspired all this nonsense supposed to be a socialist style General Strike? It’s not really much of a strike if people ask for the day off.

    • #21
    • April 25, 2017, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  22. Kozak Member
    KozakJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When does attendance to the 2 Minute Hate become mandatory?

    • #22
    • April 25, 2017, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Lily Bart Inactive

    Anamcara (View Comment):
    …..a new wrinkle on salaried protesters.

    true.

    • #23
    • April 25, 2017, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I loved hearing when companies encouraged their employees to volunteer in the community, Boys Clubs, Girls Clubs, nursing homes and other areas. Many still do. The point is they were doing something for someone else, making a contribution, generously and selflessly. This time off for politics is nonsense and my sense is that it will not have a good ending.

    • #24
    • April 25, 2017, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I wonder how it will go when you take a few protest days to stand out front of the company and protest their business model? Wonder how management will respond to that one. Think you will get that socially aware promotion they have running around the company for having the right politics?

    • #25
    • April 25, 2017, at 2:55 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Since we now live in a culture where you can be fired for saying the politically incorrect thing on social media. How do you think companies will respond to you taking a protest day and showing up in the media beating somebody over the head with a stick while wearing their company logo shirt or jacket? They are after all sponsoring your day of protest and share some responsibility for your actions.

    • #26
    • April 25, 2017, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. GrannyDude Member

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):
    Can I petition my boss for additional paid vacation days to attend the annual meeting of America’s oldest civil rights organization?

    This is what I was thinking… people should take time off for the Right To Life March, the pro-Trump march, the Tea Party tea party… you want social justice? I can give you social justice.

    • #27
    • April 25, 2017, at 3:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. GrannyDude Member

    KC Mulville (View Comment):
    In Blazing Saddles, the governor William J. Le Petomane handed out paddleball paddles … in lieu of pay.

    Protest days as benefits? I’d rather have the paddleballs.

    Incidentally…do you know who Petomane (the original) was? (My kids LOVED this…)

    • #28
    • April 25, 2017, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. profdlp Inactive

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    …How do you think companies will respond to you taking a protest day and showing up in the media beating somebody over the head with a stick while wearing their company logo shirt or jacket?…

    That would be a great idea for a false flag operation. Buy a Microsoft shirt, bash someone’s head in, then tell the media how you are soooo inspired by Bill Gates’ stand on social issues.

    • #29
    • April 25, 2017, at 6:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):
    Can I petition my boss for additional paid vacation days to attend the annual meeting of America’s oldest civil rights organization?

    This is what I was thinking… people should take time off for the Right To Life March, the pro-Trump march, the Tea Party tea party… you want social justice? I can give you social justice.

    Sounds like a way to get fired or pushed out of the company.

    • #30
    • April 25, 2017, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like

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