Workforce Wednesday: Right of First Refusal
By Nick Shekeryk
When someone helps to build a company from the ground up, they can’t help but have a sense of pride in seeing it become successful. In fact, some businesses become so successful and profitable (or potentially so) that they get bought out by other companies. This might be enticing to the pockets of the company owners, but for the employees, it can mean unfavorable policy changes or even being replaced by new workers. For these reasons, it’s vital to allow employees to act on right of first refusal policies.
The right of first refusal is a contract that gives workers the chance to buy ownership in a company before it gets sold or shut down. The policy was set in place to prevent both the monopolization of industries and mass layoffs that could potentially destroy entire communities.
In a recent research survey conducted by progressive research firm, Democracy Collaborative, 69 percent of participants said they would be in favor of being offered the first right of refusal contract. The contract offer was also shown to be important to people across all ethnic backgrounds and age groups— especially those 65 and older, who showed an 81 percent interest in supporting the contract.
Though our capitalist society urges people to desire power and often places profit over civility, it appears as if the majority of people just want to be able to make an honest living and support their families. For these reasons, the first right of refusal contracts for employees is key to keeping the hard-working and opportunistic spirit of America intact.
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