McClatchy Adds "Diversity Day" as an Annual Holiday
McClatchy Adds "Diversity Day" as an Annual Holiday
Date: October 7, 2003
Source: PR Newswire, The McClatchy Company
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Founded by James McClatchy in 1857, The McClatchy Company is a leading newspaper and Internet publisher based in Sacramento, California. It owns twelve daily newspapers and sixteen community newspapers—with a total circulation of about 1.4 million daily subscribers and, on average, 1.9 million subscribers for its Sunday papers. Its largest newspaper is the Star Tribune, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, while its oldest paper (which was founded in 1857) and its second largest, is The Sacramento Bee, based in Sacramento, California. The company employs about 9,300 people. The newspaper was awarded thirteen Pulitzer Prizes throughout its history, with five gold medals for public service.
Chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer Gary B. Pruitt has been chairman of the board since 2001 (he became a board director in 1995), president since 1995, and CEO since 1996. Before that time, Pruitt was chief operating officer from 1995 to 1996 and vice-president of operations and technology from 1994 to 1995. From 1991 to 1994, he was the publisher of The Fresno Bee. Earlier, Pruitt was its corporate secretary and general counsel from 1991 to 1987, and its counsel from 1987 to 1984.
According to the agreement between Northern California Media Workers, Guild/Typographical Union-CWA, Local 39521 and McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., who is the publisher of The Sacramento Bee, the Diversity Day agreement states: "Diversity Day will be celebrated to coincide with Martin Luther King Day. If an employee wishes to select an alternate day, they must do so in writing during open enrollment. Selection of an alternate day is subject to supervisor approval." and "Diversity Day is not a floating holiday and it may not be used as an extension of vacation, sick leave, another holiday or any other form of paid time off. The Company reserves the right to deny a paid day off for a requested Diversity Day if business needs necessitate or if the selected day does not coincide with a religious, ethnic or diversity event."
Sacramento, California., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/— Gary Pruitt, chairman and chief executive officer of The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), today announced the recognition of a new holiday called Diversity Day, which will be added to the company's holiday calendar beginning in 2004.
"Giving our employees paid time off to honor the various cultures, heritages and faiths represented by our work force is an important addition to McClatchy's benefits package," Pruitt said. "It also strengthens our continuing efforts to diversify our work force so that it better reflects the communities we serve."
The additional holiday will allow employees to designate a specific date to use as their Diversity Day. The day must be taken off for diversity-related events such as Cesar Chavez Day, Chinese New Year or Yom Kippur, and cannot be used simply as a floating holiday.
Employees who don't select a specific date will automatically receive the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which is the third Monday of January.
"We believe Diversity Day is an important addition to our benefits package and a powerful reminder to our employees of the company's commitment to diversity," Peter CaJacob, vice president, human resources, said.
"We've made this commitment not just because it is good business, but because it is the right thing to do," Pruitt added.
Diversity is defined within a society such as the United States, as the presence of a wide variety of demographic and philosophical differences within its citizens. Such differences include abilities/disabilities, ethnicities and nationalities, experiences, interests and aspirations, languages, levels of education, opinions and philosophies, physical features, politics, religious beliefs and faith, sexuality and gender identity, socioeconomic backgrounds, and skills and professions. In cultures outside the United States, diversity is sometimes called multiculturalism, or tolerance.
Diversity Day is sometimes celebrated by companies in the United States, such as The McClatchy Company, to recognize the value of the company's widely varied work force. Many companies contend that they can prosper and grow better when a wide diversity of people is employed within their organizations. Schools often celebrate diversity day in order to educate students on the subject of diversity in society and within their own classrooms.
People are sometimes treated differently based upon such characteristics as color, ethnic origins, gender, marital status, nationality, or race. U.S. law is designed to encourage diversity and prevent discrimination in the workplace. For example, companies must hire employees without regard to such factors as age, gender, and race. The government, by enacting such laws, hopes to eliminate discrimination within the workplace and promote equal opportunities. Such laws, for example, assure that disabled people—whose particular disability does not affect the performance of their job—receive equal treatment at work over colleagues who are not disabled. Equal opportunity laws also assure that employees are paid the same rate of pay for performing the same job without regard to age or gender.
Practices that promote diversity places value on individuals and groups. For Diversity Day celebrations, the promotion of open communication between people of different lifestyles and backgrounds helps increase knowledge and understanding about others. Such individuals are then likely to be less prejudicial of others. Consequently, work environments where equality and mutual respect are important more likely result in successful, supportive, and caring individuals and groups.
After September 11, 2001, 185 nations adopted the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO's) Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, which states that cultural differences should not divide people but rather bring them together. The Declaration maintains that mutual communications and understanding between societies can produce a more peaceful world. Leaders of UNESCO also proclaimed May 21 as Diversity Day (officially called World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.). On October 2005, the General Counsel of UNESCO adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The Adoption, which was created to safeguard cultural diversity around the world, states the legal rights and obligations of countries and their citizens with respect to international cooperation.
Bucher, Richard D. and Patricia L. Bucher. Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and Opportunities. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill, 2004.
Cox, Taylor. Creating the Multicultural Organization: A Strategy for Capturing the Power of Diversity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001.
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Northern California Media Workers Guild/Typographical Union. "Agreement 2004–2006, Northern California Media Workers Guild/Typographical Union-CWA, Local 39521 and McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., Publisher of the Sacramento Bee." 〈http://www.mediaworkers.org/sacbee/sacbeecontract.html〉 (accessed June 26, 2006).
United Nations. "World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: May 21." 〈http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/cultural_diversity/〉 (accessed June 26, 2006).
United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). "UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity—2001." 〈http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/〉 (accessed June 26, 2006).