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A comprehensive study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and McGill University shows the United States trailing other economically competitive nations in terms of benefits guaranteed to workers. These benefits have implications in terms of productivity, leave, and the cost of doing business.


  1. From the standpoint of general recruiting, what advantages do paid sick leave and other benefits offer employers?
  2. Consider the argument advocates use for paid family leave. Are there potential legal risks from not guaranteeing maternal leave or leave for family care?
  3. Work-life balance is an important dimension of maintaining a quality workforce. Discuss the implications of providing or not providing benefits in terms of worker productivity.
  4. Re-read the short section on fringe benefits in your text. Discuss some of the reasons employers, particularly small companies, might be reluctant to provide the benefits mentioned in the article.
  5. In terms of strategic human resource management, why might companies want to consider providing these benefits even if not legally required to do so?

SOURCE: Anonymous, “U.S. Lags in Paid Sick Days, Work Benefits, Study Says,” USA Today (Retrievable online at

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