Apps, attitudes pushing employers to walk the walk on social responsibility

September 20, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

More and more employers tout diversity and inclusion efforts in their recruiting strategies, but just putting on a socially responsible face may not be enough to entice today’s high-potential jobseekers. Not only are prospective employees interested in working for employers that are good corporate citizens, they have a plethora of tools available to make sure an employer is truly walking the walk and not just talking the talk on its social justice efforts. Man with Note Pad and Give Concept

For example, websites and phone apps such as GoodGuide and B Corp let consumers and jobseekers alike check out products and organizations on social justice issues. In addition to apps and websites, jobseekers use social media to scrutinize potential employers. With the expanded networking capacity social media provides, jobseekers are empowered to investigate potential employers by interacting with people they know and trust.

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Religious accommodations: Be careful after same-sex marriage ruling

by Brent Siler

Unless you have been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, you know that the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states when it issued its Obergefell decision on June 26. Much of the discussion about the ruling has revolved around its effect on people with sincere religious objections to gay marriage and balancing their right to religious freedom and expression with the newly approved constitutional protection of gay marriage.  Dictionary definition of word ideology

The tension between same-sex marriage and the right to religious expression has inspired much debate and controversy. Although you may hope otherwise, you can expect this issue to find its way into private employment settings sooner or later when employees’ sincere religious beliefs come into conflict with different beliefs or workplace policies.

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An EEOC update: Where are we now?

by Christopher J. Pyles

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been celebrating its own birthday this year, marking its 50th anniversary. In August, the EEOC published “American Experiences Versus American Expectations,” a report documenting changes in employee demographics since 1965 and using data through 2013 as an update to a 1977 report titled “Black Experiences Versus Black Expectations.”

The full report, available on the EEOC website, details a number of changes over nine job categories for women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives. Drawing on decades of data from mandatory EEO-1 filings, “American Experiences Versus American Expectations” reports that participation of women in the “professionals” category, which was 14 percent in 1966, had increased to more than 53 percent by 2013. Moreover, there have been significant percentage increases for African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans in senior-level positions. However, the report also shows that there are still heavy concentrations of minorities in lower-paying positions. The full report may be accessed at

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Managing an injured employee

by Al Vreeland

Few things create more headaches in the HR suite than an employee who is injured on the job and then resists returning to work. HR’s headaches are usually centered at the intersection of state workers’ compensation laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A federal judge in Birmingham dispensed a little relief for one employer’s headache, finding it had done all it could to help an injured employee return to workor at least all it was required to do.  Help! I Fell at Work

The basics

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Millennial women and work: Tackling the recruit and retain challenge

August 16, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Employers can turn up reams of research on millennial employees. They’re generally considered well-educated, tech-savvy workers who crave flexibility and collaboration. But the research rarely focuses on millennial women in the workplace, so employers are left wondering just how they can most effectively recruit, motivate, retain, and get the most out of their female millennial employees.  Happy african student

New research from a consortium of employers and business schools aims to shed light on key factors employers should understand about millennial women. The study from the International Consortium for Executive Development Research (ICEDR) released earlier this year says its conversations with high potential young women show what they want to tell employers. While pointing out that much of the research applies to men as well as women, the report hones in on women and identifies five main themes. read more…

Preventing workplace bullying: Start with training and a good policy

by Sue Woods

Generally, workplace bullying can be defined as repeated unreasonable actions directed toward an employee or a group of employees that are intended to intimidate, degrade, or humiliate. In some cases, workplace bullying may involve misuse or abuse of power by supervisors or managers. In other cases, it may involve a group of coworkers targeting another worker, which is frequently referred to as “mobbing.” Bullying on the job meeting

Legislative bills that propose to address workplace bullying often contain a more detailed definition of unacceptable conduct. For example, in California’s antibullying training law, “abusive conduct” is defined as the conduct of an employer or an employee, with malice, that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the employer’s legitimate business interests. It could include verbal abuse, verbal or physical conduct that is intimidating, threatening, or humiliating, or the gratuitous sabotage or undermining of a person’s work performance. Proposed bills in other states have differing definitions of abusive workplace conduct.

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Training too weird even for Austin

by Mark R. Flora

Perhaps you have already heard about the recent firestorm created during a diversity training session for city employees in, of all places, Austin, the capital of political correctness. The training was actually held in March, but the uproar followed an article in the Statesman in May. The hue and cry was loud enough to be heard in Washington, D.C., after the Washington Post weighed in. How can diversity training, which is good, go so bad? Business training

By way of background, I should explain that the Austin City Council now has a female majority for the first time, which may well have been the impetus for the training session. City spokesman David Green said the intent of the training session was to celebrate the female commissioners’ success stories and provide an opportunity to learn from the women themselves. As we all know, however, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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Long wait for Dodd-Frank standards turns out to be much ado about nothing

by H. Mark Adams

“Much ado about nothing” is just one literary turn of phrase that comes to mind when considering the initial uproar over Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the long wait for its implementing regulations. Here’s some background to add some perspective to that observation.  Compliance Headlines Newspaper Torn New Business Regulations Com

Section 342 of Dodd-Frank, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama at the end of 2010, directed each of 12 affected federal financial industry regulators to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) and to publish, no later than January 21, 2011, proposed regulations designed to increase diversity in the financial industry, in both employment and contracting. Now, nearly five years later, six of the agencies have finally met their “deadline” with the joint release on June 9, 2015, of their final diversity and inclusion standards.

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Interactions with Asperger’s: Discrimination, wrongful discharge claims go to trial

Soon after an employee provided his employer with information about his Asperger’s syndrome, it informed him that his contract wouldn’t be renewed because “Your Asperger’s got in the way of your ability to interact with your boss, and we are tired of it.” Afterward, the employee brought claims of wrongful termination and discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The employer attempted to persuade the court that even if all the evidence he presented was true, the employee would still be unable to prevail at trial. Let’s see how things turned out.  You Are Fired


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Gender identity in the workplace: Employers face emerging discrimination issue

July 19, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

When the Olympian and reality TV star the world knew as Bruce Jenner announced this spring that he identifies as female rather than male, the resulting publicity put a new employment issue into focus: Controversy surrounding gender identity is more than fodder for reality TV. It also poses workplace discrimination questions as well as practical dilemmas such as restroom access. Transgender Bathroom

Although Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 doesn’t specifically address gender identity, more and more that granddaddy of discrimination laws is being interpreted as prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity. In December 2014, a memorandum from then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated: “I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.” He went on to say that the U.S. Department of Justice “will no longer assert that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex does not encompass gender identity per se, including transgender discrimination.”

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