ESPN's Pardon the Interruption sounds off on the Cleveland Browns drafting Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State Buckeyes. Draft Troy.com.
Internship, “What is it?” “What does it accomplish?” “What benefits will it bring me in future?” These are a few questions that a graduate student, or a recent university graduate, might be contemplating when considering internships.
An internship is defined as: Work in a company or agency related to a student’s degree program and career plans, usually for academic credit and often also for payment. This sounds like a fantastic idea when reading its definition, especially to an individual contemplating an internship, this promise of experience and compensation seems fantastic.
The primary goal of an internship is to give the individual real world application to circumstances they have only experienced in theory. For example, if someone has a degree in Information Technology, but has never actually worked in the Information Technologies field, upon the conception of their career the adjustment to the industries demands and its particular idiosyncrasies, could be particularly overwhelming to someone with little or no experience.
However, an internship will provide an individual the ability to experience the in’s and out’s of their particular industry. Along with experience, is the ability to observe the requirements placed upon other individuals that are already on a similar career path. With the assistance of an internship an individual can effectively judge which part of the industry they will be best suited for.
Internships can be a vital stepping stone for an individual’s career when on the job search. However, doing some research before applying to any prospective recruiting companies would be an intelligent process to follow. There are a myriad of different resources that can be implemented in order to find the facts out about a particular company. A major resource would be the university that an individual is affiliated with.
Most universities have relationships set up with particular companies, with the soul purpose of giving their students the ability to have real world experience before leaving the world of academia. This usually manifest itself as a “gap year” or a “year out”, whereby the individuals’ goal is to gain real world experience with the full support of the university.
Another method of attaining information about a perspective internship is via the internet; Usually this occurs through job postings, message boards and human resources websites. An individual can see on line if the companies they are interested in offer internships. More often than not, the qualifications for the internship, the length of the internship, and if it is accompanied by a salary, are posted along with the contact details.
When considering an internship, length of time is a mitigating factor, it could be “gap year” or three months in the summer. Weather the internship is voluntary or if you are issued a salary, the most important factor is if an individual is able to afford a three to six month voluntary internship, in order to add real world experience to their Resume’ or CV.
If the answer is no, an individual’s better option is a salaried “gap year” in order to gain real world experience, and earn a living simultaneously. The best solution for weather or not being an intern is the right career move for someone is less about wanting and more about if it is feasible to do so.
The I-9 compliance program is designed to bring greater responsibility in hiring. It is required of all new hires no matter their country of origin. In respect to foreign nationals, it is neither discriminatory, nor prohibitive, provided the worker has been granted permission to reside and work in the United States. It acts as a security measure against those who have came here illegally and arrived with intent to do harm to citizens and property in this country. It imposes sanctions for those who willfully fail to comply with economic and criminal measures.
The purpose of filling out I-9 forms of compliance is to ensure national security. For this reason, the Department of Homeland Security is charged with enforcing the laws regarding employers and the hiring of any individual after November 7, 1986. Beginning with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), an employer is now required by federal law to confirm employability status of every new hire. This applies to all persons whether citizens of the United States or those born of foreign origins. The Form I-9 requirement stems from Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act and implementing regulations, which require all U.S. employers (including agricultural associations or employers who recruit or refer persons for employment for a fee) to verify an individual is employable in the United States.
An I-9 compliance form must be completed by the end of the third day of employment. The employer should supply a copy of the official list of acceptable documents to an employee and allow that individual to decide which to document to use. An employer can neither dictate nor make the determination of which type is presented. List A documents can establish both identity and work eligibility. An employer who receives a document that appears not to be genuine may request assistance from the nearest Immigration field office or contact the Office of Business Liaison.
Further, these forms are not filed with the government, as are income tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service, instead they must be retained by the company which handles the hiring process and produced upon demands for inspection. U.S. immigration law does not prescribe or proscribe storage of a private employer’s I-9 records in employee personnel files. However, employers must comply with a notice of inspection within 3 days by law. Finally, regarding safekeeping of I-9 forms, companies and the various hiring agencies are required to retain records for three years after the hire date or one year after an employees termination which ever is longer.
A special stipulation of this same law applies to temp agencies and recruiters or referrers for a fee. These groups are required to retain the Form I-9 records for three years after the date of hire. Failure to properly complete and retain the Form I-9 subjects the employer to civil penalties ranging from $110 to $1,100.
An interesting by-product of I-9 was announced in November 2005. In a stunning new initiative made public by DHS. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began strengthening interior enforcement. This includes efforts to combat document fraud and is intent on monitoring worksites. Unlike, the controversial I-9 issues, which primarily regard American citizens and Mexican nationals, The new initiative is focused on “Other than Mexican” (OTM) illegal in the workplace and set out to reduce the processing time involved in returning OTMs to their country of origin. It has succeeded by shortening the process from 30 to 15 days.
In certain aspects, the controversy can be summed up, as I-9 is an economic condition of living in the United States. In others, it is a tightening of control to prevent the further influx of undocumented persons into the United States. While it does bring safeguards against discrimination in the hiring process, it primarily imposes additional duties and responsibility on the hiring party and employer.
Realistically, it shifts the burden from government to private citizens insisting employers take additional responsibility that might be best undertaken by government. It carries out its goal by placing special restrictions in the hiring process. Yet, I-9 is a program of incredible design and one that places deepening problems for undocumented aliens at the most basic economic levels. All the while insisting its goal is to ensure the safety of American citizens and preserve National Security.
Whether it's alcohol or drugs, it is generally agreed that over-indulgence can influence a worker’s attendance, attentiveness and capacity to do the job safely. However, it is up to the employers to balance the need to protect against substance abuse (which can significantly affect the business adversely) with the rights of employees.
In many cases, employment drug screening is only restricted to job applicants. Frequently, this is due to the fact that the company is afraid of souring employer/employee relations if they continue to test throughout the employee’s employment.
However, often the need to protect against substance abuse is essential for the health and safety of the workplace. According to recent studies, 50 percent of all fatal work-related incidents are drug and alcohol connected.
This fact combined with the ‘applicant testing only’ approach can cause problems in the workplace. This throw-up between the company’s needs and the employee’s rights has created a situation where no one wins.
In order to solve this dilemma, it strongly suggested that an alcohol and drug testing policy is introduced. According to Ana Bailie, an associate in Employment, Pensions and Incentives at Allen & Overy it should include and explain:
* The purpose of the policy should be clearly stated - to achieve a drug and alcohol free, and therefore safer, working environment.
* The policy should be clearly drafted and state how any breach will be dealt with.
* The policy should be clearly communicated to all employees in staff handbooks and via the intranet.
* The policy should make it clear how any refusal to take a test will be viewed, particularly if it allows the company to dismiss the employee.
* The policy should confirm that the testing process will be confidential and procedurally fair, and should explain what will be done with the results.
* A term should be included in the employment contract of all new recruits allowing the employer to test for drink and drugs.
* The policy should make it clear what kind of testing is intended, either:
o For cause: only used following an incident where an employee was suspected of being impaired through the use of drink or drugs
o Routine: involves the entire workforce, who are advised in advance that the testing will take place; and/or
o Random: generally only used as a deterrent for employees in safety sensitive jobs
Cause and routine testing can usually be justified if sensitively handled. Random testing, however, is much more difficult to justify, and can give rise to discrimination claims.
This system can remove the majority of discrimination claims, as well as allowing for any health and safety concerns of the company.
Women and other minorities continue to bump their heads on the glass ceiling and corporate America relocates to foreign destinations in hopes of lowering costs of human capital. It seems safe to suggest that there is a greater workplace diversity. Cultural diversity being a new issue and challenge such movements create. The globalization brings with it new frontiers, new cultural obligations and especially new market shares if handled properly by humans in influential positions.
Yet, just as Karl Marx suggested, in his economic writings many years ago, conflict arises from human interaction in the "process of production"(when humans work together). In essence, humans can't always get along nor appreciate differences one to another. Sad but true. It's clear, then, this is not a new problem but instead one that has lingered since humans began working together. What's new is the way or ways which companies are now dealing with the humans.
Historically speaking sexual harassment was the challenge when women began working alongside men. Racial bias when African Americans joined white workers in similar roles. In respect to women, no one noticed a problem had developed until mounting legal fees turned into courtroom drama and aggressive background checks as women forced change in the customary practices of the workplace. Following closely behind the litigation was governmental legislation and mandated hiring and recruiting practices. These new laws quickly began being enforced and companies were forced to implement new policy in respect to the standards with which women could and would be treated by male counterparts in the work place. We've come a long way baby! Yet, if the war in Iraq is an indicator of things to come in the future, women still have not reached full potential or equality on a global scale.
The same can be said to be true of affirmative action and the African American workers. Martin Luther King, Jr. may have had a dream but in reality there is still a long road to march until all people are treated equal. Of course, racial divide has given way to greater diversity and affirmative action has improved the numbers of African Americans in the workforce just as sexual harassment complaints gave way to gender sensitivity training and better working conditions for females in all types of jobs. All issues have improved corporate awareness and an interest in the plight of workers have brought forth improvements in training applications thereby addressing problems before they escalate into global concerns.
Yet, regardless of where a company is situated around the globe what matters most is the bottom line. Whether it is the yen, euro or dollar; a multi-national corporation will always base its actions, policies and practices on profits. It's easy to suggest then that concern for the worker is just another way of improving profit margins. If this be true, then, cultural diversity is not simply a promoting of human awareness, appreciation and cooperation in the workplace but instead just another way in which companies can exploit human capital and translate this exploitation into profits.