The working world is nothing if not replete with peculiar rules, requirements and riders. In some cases, it’s employers and politicians making bizarre demands of employees; in others, it’s employees winning some pretty dubious professional rights.
A down-filled defence
Take, for example, “duvet day,” an unfortunately named contractual provision that scores workers the right to a pretty extraordinary indulgence. In this phenomenon that’s swept the US and the UK, employees call in sick for a day of regeneration and recuperation—in other words, a day off, no questions asked—and they do so with the official blessing of their employer. The modern American and British employee has “duvet days” written in as a condition of their human resource contracts.
In Virginia, an employer is liable for the defence of anything they write on an employee’s performance evaluation. If their comments are not true and accurate, employers can be held liable for defamation.
While it’s not a legally binding requirement, the extension of so-called “congratulation leave” is a common practice among employers in Japan, offered to employees to mark a landmark event in their personal lives, such as a marriage or the birth of a child. No word on whether divorce ceremonies are eligible holidays.
Employees in Florida are allowed to pack heat to the jobsite—as long as they leave their firearms in their Buicks. This state’s “guns-at-work law” declares that employers can’t prohibit employees from possessing a gun, so long as it’s on the legal up-and-up, on the professional premises. But the weapon needs to be locked inside a private car. Whew!
Religious folks lucky enough to be employed in Belgium can lay claim to a day off every year to celebrate the first Holy Communion of a child.
But for all the envelope-pushing creative HR arrangements might include in the real world, they don’t touch what happens on the celebrity circuits. Among the most interesting rider on his latest tour contract, Kanye demanded a barber chair, shower shoes, and a slushy machine with mixes of Coke and Hennessy and Grey Goose and lemonade.