Here's an issue that is going to be argued for a long period of time in Congress and in the States: How long shall a represenative of congress be away from their house or senate seat?
Take the issue of Congresswoman Giffords. She suffered a gun shot wound to the head. Article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2011/01/21/gabrielle-giffords-recovery-her-privacy-vs-the-publics-righ/?ncid=webmail . We all know she has a long recovery process that is going to be tough and expensive for her to go through. Yet, for all intents and purposes is this: her seat in congress is still hers as long as she can hold it, until the next round of elections. Silly isn't? But it's the U.S. Constitution that makes it clear that she can keep her job whatever she is disabled or not disabled.
So let me create a little firestorm here. Employers are not going to like it. Tough beans. I'm going to light that match and watch the blaze happen, at my own job search expense as well. So here it is:
If seats in congress can remain secured and these congressional reps can remain to be paid and doing nothing while they recover from whatever illness they got, up till the day they die (and then after that, they HAVE TO BE replaced), why can't employers do the same thing with us ?
Like private companies and employees, we should be afforded the same rights and promises, much like we give to congress people, that our jobs should be there when we are sick or injured (either on or off the job) and that we are in recovery.
But employers do NOT do that for their employees. Most of them tell employees that if you have sick days then they better use them. When you run out, you either come back to work, well or not, or just don't get paid. Some times, there's a limit to how long an employer will wait for their employee to come back. Some will sack (let go or fired) the employee and hire their replacement.
Let me give an example of one friend of mine. He's worked at a company for 14 years and as done an outstanding job. It was late in 2009 when he became sick and was in the hospital for some time. After a period of recovery, he came back to his employer with a requirement that his job needed to be modified. Kind of like asking for an ADA request to be honored. What happened was this: The employer wasn't willing to change one position for him when they were afraid all the others would jump on that and claim an ADA disability thing. So what did they do? They let my friend go by saying that they couldn't place him in any type of position within the company as per ADA law. In other words, they said this: Thanks for working with us. We're sorry you got sick and have limited abilities now. We need someone healthy than you for our jobs. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
So has the ADA law helped anyone who was sick to gain their jobs back? Unfortunately, no. Except to say that these employers do abscond from the federal law. They will do anything to get rid of a sick or disabled employee and hire someone who's well. In other words: if you are sick, you cost us profit. So if we dump you out (which is our right) we insure our profit and strong work force.
The State voters should demand the same thing: If a Congressperson is sick or in recovery from an illness for more than 3 months, the voters should ask for that person to step down and let someone take over their seat for a while. When they recover, they can always convince voters that they are well, healthy, and ready to be voted back into the same seat they left.
It's a shame that employers are not like congress. If they were, we would have strong economics right now. But, we don't.
So how long will Gifford's seat be vacant while every bill is decided and passed without her vote, discussion, debate, or suggestion? That will be a debate on the minds of every Arizona voter out there.
At the present moment: Ms. Giffords should focus on her recovery and rehabilitation. She shouldn't worry about her job but, I have no doubt that it will be on her mind every now and then. But she should focus on her changed life. She ought to be thankful she's living and still here. She ought to be very thankful her NASA husband gave up his own job to be there with her. I would say in a year's time, she will return to her job in congress. I would cheer for her to see her walk on that congressional floor and give a speech then to the Nation.
But right now, Arizona needs a voice in Congress. Congress must change the U.S. Constitution to match what employers are doing to their employees. It's high time that it becomes this way.
Until next post, clue you in later!