Kimley-Horn and Associates and Disney are in top 100 of the Fortune 500 list. Both organizations offer 100% healthcare coverage for employees, as well as their partners. However, the corporations have slightly different benefit requirements.
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At Kimley-Horn, the insurance coverage is provided to both spouses and domestic partners (either same- or opposite-sex). The company purchases CIGNA insurance which is associated with the similar requirements for both married individuals and registered same-sex domestic partners: “both individuals must share a primary residence,” and should not be in legal relationships with other individuals (CIGNA, 2010, p. 1).
At the same time, it is implied that most of the eligible opposite-sex couples are married because the opposite-sex domestic partnerships can be registered only if “one partner is at least 62 years of age” (CIGNA, 2010, p. 1). The insurance benefits for employees and their family members are effective thirty days after the date of recruitment. There is no waiting period after the divorce before a new spouse/partner will become eligible. The only requirement for an employee is to provide the supporting documentation (e.g., partnership registration license, etc.) within thirty days after any qualifying event such as marriage or divorce (Kimley-Horn and Associates, 2016).
At Disney, employees’ spouses and same- or opposite-sex partners are eligible for coverage as well. The married couples are eligible regardless of the length of their relationships − they are only required to provide the supporting documentation. In the case of domestic partners, they should be in relationships for at least one year, share a mutual residence, and be financially interdependent (Disney, n.d.). To prove that the given criteria are followed, employees are asked to show evidence such as bills, mortgage documents, and so on. Similarly to Kimley-Horn, in the event of divorce or other changes in relationships, employees are required to provide documentation within thirty days.
The inclusion of these stipulations is largely influenced by the state and federal laws which require organizations to treat domestic-partner benefits in a similar way as the coverage of married couples (Smith, 2015). The major prerequisite for the increase in the same-sex partner benefits at Fortune 500 enterprises was the demolition of the Defense of Marriage Act by the U.S. Supreme Court. It was one of the government’s attempts to combat discrimination at the nation-wide level.
At the same time, it is noted by Smith (2015) that “with same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, it is likely that more employers will require that same-sex couples be married to be eligible for benefits coverage” (par. 2). The given tendency s provoked by organizations’ efforts to make coverage stipulations more uniform and equal for individuals in different types of relationships and avoid abuse of benefits. Nevertheless, most of the insurers prefer to work with corporations that offer both same-sex and opposite-sex partner coverage. Thus, those employers who are not willing to include opposite-sex partners in the eligible group usually end up eliminating these benefits (Smith, 2015).
It is possible to assume that the identified tendency for the exclusion of domestic partners from the eligible group will likely not affect Kimley-Horn as it adheres to non-discrimination policies, but may influence the managerial decision making at Disney. According to Kimley-Horn and Associates’ Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy, the company ensures equal treatment of all employees regardless of their ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, qualified disability, and so on (Kimley-Horn and Associates, 2014).
The given policies allow the company to avoid such detrimental phenomena as glass walls or the sticky floor that interfere with the professional growth of members of minor ethnic and demographic population groups. Disney corporation adheres to principles of ethical conduct as well. However, recently it was reported that Disney discriminated against the U.S. workers of advanced age by replacing them with expatriate workers, mainly from India, to increase cost-efficiency (Garcia, 2015). Such managerial behavior may be regarded as an example of glass escalator.
Although the term is originally used to describe the “rapid advancement of men working in female-dominated occupations into management” (Bell, 2016, p. 318), the similar discriminatory principle of human resource management can be observed in the conduct of Disney corporation as its management decided to filter the staff members based on their national origin and some demographic features rather than consider their actual abilities and talents. Additionally, it is possible to say that the term “sticky floor” can be applied to the description of the organizational work environment at Disney as well because, although immigrants were provided with the occupation, they are also given with limited opportunities for the career growth and are poorly paid (Garcia, 2015).
Overall, Kimley-Horn’s managerial decision making is more conform to the non-discrimination values. The company does not practice discrimination at any level − there are no glass ceilings as employees are rewarded proportionally to their efforts and provided with equal opportunities to succeed. The given attitude shows that the organization values its employees, and this favorable and respectful treatment extends to their family members as well. Kimley-Horn demonstrates a great level of commitment to federal regulations and ethical standards, and such a behavior contributes to the development and maintenance of positive work climate within the enterprise.
Bell, M. P. (2016). Diversity in organizations. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning.
CIGNA. (2010). Washington domestic partner legislation.
Kimley-Horn and Associates. (2016). 2016 benefits information.
Kimley-Horn and Associates. (2014). Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) And Affirmative Action Policy (AAP) statement of Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.
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Disney. (n.d.). Who you can cover under your Disney benefits.
Smith, A. (2015). Dropping (or keeping) domestic-partner benefits has ramifications. SHRM.
Garcia, A. (2015). Disney discriminated against US workers, complaint states. CNN.