labor relations

What is an ‘essential’ employee?

In class on April 8th, we discussed the idea of an ‘essential’ employee. This terminology has taken on additional meaning during the pandemic, as due to stay at home orders, ‘essential’ employees have been permitted to work. Yet, there seems to be an additional meaning concerning work that was not always seen as ‘essential’ (or important) such as grocery store employees. Now, given the context, it seems work that may not have been previously valued, has now become a lynch pin for social order.

In your paper, explore both meanings. Consider, first, essential work specific to an organization. Second, consider work essential to society. The ultimate question you should be looking to answer, is whether you can adequately make an argument that separates essential work from non-essential work. In other words, are only some jobs essential to an economy, or are all jobs essential to an economy? Discussion of compensation, benefits, hours and working conditions must be included.

Your argument must discuss specific examples and provide citations. You must cite newspaper articles (or journal articles), as well as utilize material we have discussed in class and/or the textbook. Finally, you must connect the idea of ‘essential’ with the overall class topic of labor/employment rights.

You can rely on much of the research and work done with the discussion board posts. But, copy and pasting from the discussion boards will not be accepted.