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State and federal law in the United States - Essay Example

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In the paper “State and federal law in the United States” the author analyzes withstanding variations between state and federal law in the US or national laws between one country and another. The fact remains that labor laws are inherently founded upon human rights considerations…
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State and federal law in the United States
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Download file to see previous pages Starbucks’ public image as a company committed to fair trade and labor practice is unequivocally false.  As Zielinski (1995) explains, Starbucks directly purchased approximately 40% of its coffee beans from Guatemalan coffee plantation.  This is especially significant because the labor conditions on these plantations borders on slavery.  Workers are paid 2 cents per pound of coffee while Starbucks sells it for $9.  In addition, these plantations do not abide by the minimum health or safety requirements and use child laborers.  At a time when large corporations are refusing to deal with these plantations, Starbucks not only relies on them for a significant percentage of its coffee but denies any responsibility for the continued exploitation of Guatemalan coffee laborers (Zielinski, 1995).
Following the extremely negative press Starbucks received in the wake of the media’s exposition of its participation in exploitative labor, its company invested millions of dollars in improving its public image.  As Irving (2006) points out, the Starbucks publicity machine presents an image of the company as one which is fundamentally committed to fair labor practices.  This is nothing but a myth, an empty slogan. The facts indicate that not only has Starbucks maintained its relationship with Guatemalan plantations whose workers are underpaid, denied health coverage and  a safe work environment but it further relies on off-shore prison labor for the packaging of its coffee. ...
As Irving (2006) points out, the Starbucks publicity machine presents an image of the company as one which is fundamentally committed to fair labor practices. This is nothing but a myth, an empty slogan. The facts indicate that not only has Starbucks maintained its relationship with Guatemalan plantations whose workers are underpaid, denied health coverage and a safe work environment but it further relies on off-shore prison labor for the packaging of its coffee and other products. Indeed, available facts and figures indicate that a minimum of 24.5% of the company's coffee is purchased from sources which practice exploitative labor and which often use child and prison labor as well (Irving, 2006). As far as Starbucks is concerned, the bottom line is not fair labor or ethical business practices but profit margins.
Starbucks' relations with its on-site employees further evidence its failure to adhere to fair labor practices. Hayes (2004) explains that according to federal law, overtime is defined as anything which exceeds 40 hours, while several states define overtime as anything in excess of 9 hours per working day. The receipt of overtime pay, however, is conditioned where managers are concerned. Quite simply stated, managers are not paid overtime for work which falls within their immediate job description and constitutes part of their managerial responsibilities because the law assumes that they should complete their work on time (Hayes, 2004). In direct relation to Starbucks, the evidence shows that it is overworking its employees and that its managers do work overtime on tasks which do not constitute part of their job description. Yet, in direct violation of state and federal laws, Starbucks refuses to pay its employees ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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