Sunday, 1 July 2012

Brian Burke marches in Pride Parade; in Kabul last year.

Brian Burke is being blindly obstinate in his insistence that he doesn't need to be in the office on July first, even though as he points out that he's reachable by phone.  Last year he was in Afghanistan visiting Canadian troops.  This year he decided to march in a Gay Pride parade.  

There are other opportunities to honour his son, 364 other days of the year.  If you’re a NHL GM you can miss July 1 to attend the funeral of your son, or the birth of your son. You cannot miss July 1 to go to Afghanistan or march in a parade, however worthwhile the cause, cellphone with full bars or not.

An employer has the right to schedule their staff when they need to as suits the demands of the business.  If they have a large enough complement of staff they are required to make reasonable accommodation for individual members' needs (religious holidays, etc.)  If however these needs conflict too much with the needs of the business and cannot be accommodated the employer can choose to not hire someone, or terminate their employment.

When it comes to a highly paid executive, there is an expectation that they will be available when necessary, whether that be fiscal year end, inventory, etc.  For an NHL executive like Brian Burke, this expectation covers days like the NHL draft and July 1.  If I'm the employer of this executive, and he insists that he's not doing anything wrong by being away on July 1, and especially if the organization does poorly in free agency, and on the ice in general, I have to reconsider whether I want to employ this person.

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