Does this sound like your workplace?

Germans are a lot more sensitive about their working conditions unlike most other countries including the United States. However, German work laws are quite restrictive, allowing employees many perks that people could only dream of in other nations.

For example, every German worker is entitled to 30 days of paid vacation a year. The German workweek is a maximum of 40 hours, and most of the time it is between 35 and 37.5 hours. Every hour of overtime could be taken as extra vacation or compensation later.

German employees cannot get fired from a job, unless they commit mistakes or the company goes bankrupt. Even when a company decides to fire someone, they usually get a three-month notice so that they could have time to look for a new job.

In Germany, it is illegal to work two full-time jobs at the same time, and if a full-time employee wants to have a part-time job, he needs to get permission from his workers’ council and manager. It is common that managers in German companies are often confronted and sued by workers’ council if they make their employees work overtime.

In Germany, when a female employee gets pregnant, she is not allowed to work the eight weeks before the expected birth and during this time she will get her full salary. Up until one year after the birth, a woman will receive 66 percent of her salary, if she decides to stay at home. If a woman has a permanent job contract and decides to stay home for three years after the birth of her child, the company is required to keep her job place secure. However, after the first year, she will no longer receive 66 percent of her salary, but will only get 184 euros in Kindergeld (child allowance) per month until the child is 18 years old.

To make matters more equal in Germany and to encourage fathers to take care of children, the same rules apply to fathers. Many couples interchange their roles, as women take the first six months off, and then as a baby gets older, the father will take the remaining six months off and stay at home.

If, after pregnancy a woman decides to work part time, a company cannot deny her request and by law will provide her convenient working time ranging anywhere from 5 hours to 40 hours per week.

Are these economy killing regulations?

Although it seems that Germans wouldn’t produce much with such restrictive working laws, the opposite seems to be true. Germans take pride in delivering high-quality goods.

Even though Germans work fewer hours and have more vacations than most other countries worldwide, the German economy is the most stable in the European Union, and it is considered a powerhouse capable of carrying the whole EU with its massive productiveness.

In a moment of utter honesty, Republican House Majority Leader Mickey Hammon spoke his mind about state employees and officials. In responding to criticism of the unintended consequences of Alabama Anti-Immigration Law, the Times Daily reports:

A provision in the law that takes effect Sept. 1 requires proof of citizenship as a prerequisite to issuance of automobile tags, a requirement that some revenue officials say could end the option of online renewals. . .

House Majority Leader Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, said complaints from county revenue officials are a sign of laziness.

“There’s a lot of people that just want to complain,” Hammon said, a problem he claims he also encountered when writing the law.

He wants to make sure state agencies with responsibilities for enforcement of its provisions were willing to take on the task.

“When we were drafting this legislation, we found there were so many offices in the state — so many bureaucrats — that just didn’t want to do any work. They just don’t want to do anything,” Hammon said.

“So, we constantly looked to find agencies we thought were willing to do the job. A lot of people just do not want to have to do the work.”

. . .

He said those saying it cannot be done are simply unmotivated.

“Some counties are already preparing to do this via the Internet and mail,” Hammon said. “They are working through their problems and finding solutions. Other people are just complaining because they have to do a little work. We don’t want people complaining; we want them finding solutions.”

That list of “lazy” and “unmotivated” officials is pretty long and includes Republican Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier, the Alabama County Commissions, Sheriffs, DHR social workers, Republican License Commissioners  and Republican Probate Judges.

I guess the GOP leader’s opinion of state employees further explains why the GOP budget will cause the state to lay-off 1100 employees beginning next week and why they cut their pay and sought even to slash reimbursements to them.

Do we have recall elections like they have in Wisconsin?