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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Strategic CSR - Welcome back!

Welcome back to the Strategic CSR Newsletter!
The first newsletter of the Spring semester is below.
As always, your comments and ideas are welcome.
The debate between voluntary and mandatory compliance is central to promoting CSR. Whether you think more socially-responsible behavior can be imposed or coerced, as opposed to incentivized, speaks volumes as to where you stand on many CSR issues. With this in mind, the new year brought a raft of new laws in cities and states across the U.S. (and overseas)—all related to topics that are of concern to the CSR community. The article in the first url below chronicles some of these new laws:
"In cities and states across the U.S., the new year brings a flurry of new laws addressing everything from soda consumption and sick leave, to semiautomatic weapons and catfish catching."
A range of new soda taxes is highlighted in the article:
"More than a year after Berkeley, Calif., introduced the nation's first tax on sweetened drinks, other cities are jumping on the bandwagon. Philadelphia's 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and artificially sweetened drinks has taken effect. Bay Area voters in San Francisco and Oakland also approved a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages, the same rate as Berkeley's. And Boulder, Colo., residents, approved the nation's steepest soda levy, at two pennies an ounce—or a $1.35 extra—for a two-liter bottle."
In contrast to these laws, which are all designed to curb anti-social behavior, the article in the second url below introduces a new French law that is designed to promote socially-beneficial behavior:
"If the world does not envy the French enough already for their generous vacations, universal health care and fine food and wine, the arrival of 2017 brings this: a newly created 'right to disconnect.' Though ridiculed in some quarters as a ban on work-related email after hours, it is not quite that. But it is born of the enlightened view that it is actually beneficial for people not to work all the time, and that workers have the right to occasionally draw the line when their employer's demands intrude on evenings at home, treasured vacations or Sundays with friends and family."
While the issue of banning after-hours email has caught all the media attention, there is evidence to suggest that not being constantly on-call benefits both employees and employers. As noted in an earlier Newsletter (Strategic CSR – Productivity), past experience suggests that employees that work less intensively are more productive:
"The new provision in the labor law does not ban work-related emails, but does require that companies with more than 50 employees negotiate a new protocol to ensure that work does not spill into days off or after-work hours."
There are a number of other French laws mentioned in the article that will be of interest to the CSR community.
Take care
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Taxes, Guns, Beer Included in New Laws
By Jacob Gershman
January 5, 2017
The Wall Street Journal
Late Edition – Final
'Right to Disconnect' From Work Email and Other Laws Go Into Effect in France
By Alissa J. Rubin
January 3, 2017
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final