Sunday, March 20, 2005

Gambling on Luck-Based Benefits

Even if you can't make it to the local craps tables or you've spent your budget for Lotto tickets this week, chances are you're still doing your part for the new Roulette Economy, thanks to an in-cubicle gaming program sweeping the American workplace.

It's called the paid time-off bank, or PTO, and it's symptomatic of a workplace — not to mention society — that increasingly resembles a casino.

Slashed sick leave is part of a broad assault on labor — roundly ignored in the last election — across a downsized workplace as the burden of risk shifts from employers to employees, who, if anyone's listening out there, are livid about it, whether Republican or Democrat or independent. Companies are cutting or eliminating vacation leave (nearly a third of American women don't get any; a quarter of men), pensions, health insurance and ergonomics rules. Meanwhile, the Economist reports that corporate profits in the U.S. are higher than they've been in 75 years as benefits — including sick leave — shrink.

Roulette - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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