Term Paper: Comcast Human Resources Inside

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Comcast Human Resources

INSIDE AND OUT

Comcast and Its People

Diversified Global Leadership

Comcast Corporation is a public company, which was incorporated in 1969 (Funding Universe, 2014). It is a leading cable, telecommunications, and entertainment company, which started as a producer of cable television. As the fourth largest cable company in the U.S., it has 4.4 million subscribers in 21 states. Its cable, cellular and wireless telephone products bring in the greatest revenues. Its professed company perspective is that it is a diversified global leadership in entertainment and telecommunications (Funding Universe).

Manpower is 26% of the Industry

Of the total reported workforce in the diversified entertainment industry is estimated at 493,419 of which 129,000 are Comcast employees worldwide or 26% in this industry (Comcast, 2014). The company is driven and inspired by a rich heritage as well as the solid experience, creativity and its leadership. It sees these assets as shaping the very future of media and technology. Its executive vice president for human resources for cable, Bill Strahan, reported that they receive a large number of job applicants. He said that, in 2012 alone, more than 1.2 million applied at their cable company, at the NBC Universal, Spectator and Comcast Ventures. This figure translates to 4,650 applicants every single working day. Strahan expresses pride at the company's capability to participate in numerous innovative and exciting businesses and offer jobs in many locations. Its employees design and invent new technologies and applications, develop innovative products, create new television programs and shows and movies, report news stories and theme part events and experiences. Comcast, therefore, makes available solid jobs in several communities throughout the country where its employees bring company products and experiences to the homes of their millions of customers (Comcast).

Choice Employees

Comcast (2014) puts much time and effort in the search and selection of the best talents for its manpower pool to perform these tasks. Straham continues to say that the Comcast group has, at any given time, roughly 2,000 vacancies and 170 recruiters who effectively screen candidates. Their choices are the smart, passionate and imaginative applicants with the typical entrepreneurial and collaborative bent that the company has been known for. That entrepreneurial instinct has been the very foundation of the company for 50 years. These and the diverse opportunities and ideas the company group hatches lead him to believe and assert that the mix of the right technology and the right people create unlimited possibilities for them (Comcast).

Health Coverage, Retirement and Other Benefits

Comcast (2014) provides comprehensive medical, prescription, dental, and vision coverage to all its employees. They also receive short-term and long-term disability benefits, other forms of health assistance and on-site medical clinics and fitness centers in coordination with NBD Universal. Moreover, they are entitled to a flu shot program, preventative screenings and a lactation program for new mothers. The company launched a smoking cessation program in 2012 for tobacco smokers. It consisted in free nicotine replacement therapy and telephone coaching. More than 9,000 employees or a third of those who smoked joined this program .Non-smokers were also rewarded through discounted health insurance premiums. In the same year, transgender employees were allowed access to enhanced health plans for their transition treatment, like gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy and mental health counseling (Comcast).

Family, Financial and Mental Health Assistance, Discounts

Comcast (2014) also reports that it provides employees with aid parental leave, childcare programs, a Maternity Management Program for pregnant mothers, and an Adoption Assistance Program. Also in 2012, the company invested over $216 million to provide for employees' retirement. It made available shares of stocks to them at a 15% discount through the Employee stock Purchase Plan. They could also use pre-tax funds for their commuting expenses and take advantage of large voluntary insurance benefits, such as homeowners, auto, legal and pet coverage. It also provided them more than $13 million for tuition reimbursement for their children's approved undergraduate and graduate courses (Comcast).

The company also developed and makes available programs and benefits for employee mental and emotional health problems (Comcast, 2014). Its Employee Assistance Program is one such program. And Comcast employees may avail of digital, cable, high-speed internet, telephone and other company products at large discounted rates if not free of charge. It spent more than $250 million in courtesy services to employees also in 2012 (Comcast).

HR Policy and Social Conscience

Comcast also formed a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Comcast, 2014). One initiative of the partnership is the hiring of veterans to honor their heroism. "Hiring our Heroes" was launched in March 2011 to assist these veterans in the form of employment. Comcast is committed to the Chamber and Capital One to hire 500,000 veterans. This kind is the largest private sector commitment of its kind known. Comcast and NBC Universal emphasize the value of this kind of assistance to the veterans and their spouses. The emphasis has inspired other employers to duplicate the generosity. Furthermore, Comcast and NBC Universal embarked on this initiative ahead of its schedule (Comcast).

Freedom of Choice Questioned

With Comcast serving 70% of cable and broadband subscribers in the 20 leading markets, it is a near monopoly. This reality leaves subscribers little choice, a situation that is reported to be duplicated by its employees (CAP, 2004). While Comcast professes to be pro-employee and not anti-union, its employees themselves see and profess the wide gap between that claim and actual company practices. Employees who exercise their legal right and freedom to form a union can only do so with high personal and professional risk at retaliation. The irony is that the U.S. labor law and the system, which are supposed to enforce that right, have been neglectful. Complaints of unfair labor practice have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board. But it typically takes the Board months or years to render a verdict (CAP).

Employees who were found to have been illegally terminated by Comcast were compensated only with back pay minus what they earned since the termination (CAP, 2004). Employers found illegally deterring union organizing campaigns and collective bargaining initiatives were simply required to post announcements that they would no longer commit the violation. Employees reported that they were required to perform more routine work without additional compensation. In the performance of more work, they were also subjected to unsafe working environments, and unfair evaluation processes. When they resorted to forming unions and collective bargaining to remedy their situation, they were terminated. Free choice cannot be exercised in the face of intimidation, harassment or termination. Protecting this freedom in Comcast employees and other employees in America in the form of unions and contract negotiation is essential in keeping good jobs, in the very concept of democracy and the values of fairness and justice. These freedoms must be preserved so that democracy may function. Unionizing is the right step in remedying labor dead-ends. Most of all, it is an intrinsically American and democratic (CAP).

No Bargain: the Future of Labor Rights in Telecommunications

American Rights at Work recently published "No Bargain: Comcast and the Future of Workers' Rights in Telecommunications (Civil Rights, 2014). The report documented grievances of unfair labor practice at the Comcast group of companies, taken from reviews and records of the National Labor Relations and interviews with some Comcast employees. These documents give account of the mistreatment of workers nationwide by their employers, such as those earlier mentioned. Termination or freezing of the wages of those forming unions was reported to be routine occurrences at Comcast. The report commented that the giant company was heaping up profits at the expense of its employees and hampering unions, which could uncover the practices. Managers in the Chicago area were said to have transferred 195 jobs from an area with unions to others without unions. Comcast at Salt Lake City gave pay increases to employees who were not union members. Comcast in Washington DC were charged with unfair labor practice for terminating five of its employees and for discrimination for being union members. Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell of American Rights at Work called on Comcast to respect the rights of its employees to form unions and to bargain fairly with them. Employees have that right and this fair dealing is not only economically feasible for Comcast in its prosperous status. It is also and more importantly fundamentally American and democratic (Civil Rights).

Ethical Responsibility at the Core of Comcast

The group of companies developed an elaborate structure of corporate ethics, policies and practices, which clearly define its commitment and internal processes in fulfilling this commitment (Ryan, 2014). Comcast's Corporate Responsibility report states that high ethical standards are among its core values. Its employee code of conduct contains a statement of integrity, information resources for employees, the corporation's purpose and governing principles, guidelines for employees' ethical decision-making and the use and interpretation of ethics in problem cases. It also contains technical information on legal issues, penalties and measures to take when ethical questions… [END OF PREVIEW]

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