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Human Resources/Husband and Wife Working in same Organisation.

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Question
Dear Mark

Some Organisations (Government and Private Jobs) in any industry or sector do not allow Husband and Wife to work in the same organisation.

1. What are the reasons for the same ?.

2. On a personal opinion are you for or against this HR rule ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Thanks for your question Prashant!  I’m thinking this is a homework question and I usually do not answer those.  However, I make an exception in this case as I have not looked at this topic recently.

My personal opinion is it is not a problem if the two work on the same level in the organization, in different departments.  It is a problem if one of the two works at a high level in the corporation and the other a lower level.  Some corporations refer to this as a “scope of influence” issue as the spouse or partner who works at the lower level could, either real or perceived, be subject to favoritism (compensation, promotions, rewards, recognition, etc.) due to the influence, either real or perceived, of the spouse at a higher level.  This can be true even if the two work at different locations in the same corporation.

Other factors that bear on policy decisions could include:
•   discrimination based on marital status
•   constitutional rights findings by the courts
•   liability and productivity concerns that businesses express

If a business intends to create a no-spouse policy it is best to seek the advice of an attorney familiar with related law.  As important, the business should make sure that all employees are aware of the no-spouse policy, understand its basis, and have an opportunity to field questions or concerns and receive timely answers.  Equally important in implementation and practice, the business needs to remain consistent in the policy's application and administration. No small task in a diverse business.  The business also needs to be sensitive to varying laws within states, provinces and other countries.

I hope this helps Prashant, best of luck going forward.

Mark

Human Resources

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Mark Eichinger

Expertise

Any type of question related to domestic and international Human Resources work. My H.R. passions include Compensation design and systems in competitive markets, Health and Safety in Industrial Environments, Performance Management, Talent Management (Hiring, Selection, Employee Development, Compensation, Creating Space, etc.), Communications, Coaching, Counseling, Leadership, and Management. Questions I cannot answer: I am sure there are questions within these categories that I may not be able to answer but my experience below would suggest those would be few.

Experience

I own International Human Resources Coaching and Consulting, LLC. www.IHRCConline.com. Previously, I successfully held corporate executive and management leadership positions from 1979 to 2007 in two $9B+ multi-national corporations. Positions included: Vice President, Human Resources for the Asia Pacific Region, Eaton Corporation; I was based in Shanghai, China. Prior to that assignment, Vice President, Human Resources International and Operations, Eaton World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio with global responsibility for Eaton’s Human Resources practices, international assignee management, and Regional Human Resources Directors in Asia Pacific, Europe, and Central and South America. Specifically, my experience spans work at domestic and international locations at the operating plant, division, business unit, and corporate levels and most business scenarios to include startups, closedowns, restructurings, integrations, and ongoing operations. I am an Eaton Business Excellence Assessment Examiner (Malcolm Baldrige based system). I introduced processes and process mapping into the Human Resources environment. I have extensive experience with and working in domestic and international organization matrix structures. In the Asia Pacific region, my responsibilities included, leading the regions H.R. team and processes, managing the H.R. relationship with the corporation, creating and leading the professional and general manager development programs, China’s university relations program and managing the Asia Pacific key leader’s process. I have coached managers and leaders. I am a professional listener, my style open, direct, and focused on leader accountability and employee engagement. In Summary, my career responsibility included more than 60,000 employees, 60 union and union free operations, and 45 countries. I also lived in Korea for two years while in service with the USA’s armed forces.

Organizations
SCORE – Counselors to Americas Small Business; at various locations I have also belonged to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and the Chamber of Commerce. I have served on Boards of medical, community and institutional organizations.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Youngstown State University. MBA work Youngstown State University, and University of Bridgeport. University of Tennessee, Lean Manufacturing Certified. Thunderbird School of Global Management, Management Certified.

Awards and Honors
Corporate level awards for compensation systems, communications campaigns.

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