Measuring the impact of your diversity and inclusion investments

October 19, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Diversity, inclusion, metrics. In the world of human resources, those are buzzwords to be taken seriously. But to truly make a contribution to an organization, HR needs to analyze the meaning of each one. Mary L. Martinez, director of diversity and inclusion practice at APTMetrics, Inc., advises organizations on how to benefit from diversity and inclusion efforts through assessment, engagement, and measurement. On November 18, she will be leading a Business & Legal Resources webinar titled “Maturing Your Diversity & Inclusion Metrics: Measure What Matters.”  Metrics

Employers have found that having a diverse group of employees where various races, cultures, ages, and genders are represented and feel included can lead to a productive, cooperative workplace. And devising the right metrics helps organizations achieve goals.

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What employers need to know about immigration reform

by Christine D. Mehfoud

Turn on the news. Open the paper. Click on cnn.com. For months, if not years, immigration has been one of the top stories. Specifically, immigration reform: Will immigration reform happen? When will it happen? And what will it look like if it does happen?

As the 2014 midterm elections draw closer, the immigration reform debate will certainly intensify. And now the White House is joining the conversation, with President Barack Obama threatening to take matters into his own hands. Regardless of their political affiliation or position on immigration reform, employers need to understand what immigration reform means for their day-to-day operations.  Immigration Reform

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Employee flatulence is no laughing matter

by Mark M. Schorr

Q Have you ever dealt with an extreme case of employee flatulence disrupting the workplace and causing coworkers to get sick and vomit? We have a situation right now in which a disabled employee is on a mix of medications that causes extreme flatulence. There have been numerous employee complaints, and more than one coworker has become very ill. There is no way to restructure the work assignments or job duties, as all of our employees in the area must work in close proximity on a packaging line.  flatulence

We have had some constructive meetings with the employee, but he just doesn’t understand the seriousness of the situation, and his treating physicians indicate there is no other medication mix that can accommodate his medical issues without this unfortunate side effect and no reasonably affordable medication to reduce the extreme flatulence. Just wondering if you have any advice for us in dealing with this issue.

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Policies designed to protect employees may do more harm than good

by Jeremy M. Brenner

The law prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants based on a number of protected statuses. Employers often implement policies that are intended to benefit workers but actually cause illegal systemic discrimination. Unfortunately, no matter how genuine an employer’s good intentions are, they typically do not excuse it from discriminatory conduct. Read on to learn some of the pitfalls employers face when implementing seemingly neutralor even beneficialworkplace policies. Employer Policies and Procedures

Facts

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Study shows need to address unintended consequences of diversity efforts

September 14, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

For years now, employers have focused on the benefits of workplace diversity. They can point to studies showing how work groups in which men and women of all ages, races and ethnicities often outperform less diverse groups.  AA affects perception of women and minorities

Sometimes the quest for diversity stems from a desire to capitalize on the talents of all kinds of employees. Other times it’s a legal compliance issue, since government contractors are required by law to devise affirmative action plans aimed at increasing the representation of women and minorities.

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Clarity amidst confusion: handling mental disability claims

by Allison B. Wannop

One of the most difficult issues employers deal with is how to accommodate an employee with a mental impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Mental impairments can include depression, anxiety disorders, and psychiatric disorders that affect employees’ attendance and performance. Employers may have a difficult time distinguishing mental impairments from other common employee behaviors. For example, an employee may frequently miss work because he suffers from depression. Balancing the needs of the business and the needs of disabled employees while staying within the ADA’s often confusing framework can be challenging.  Disability Signs

Evolving legal standard

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Revisiting gender identity discrimination

by Lauren Moak Russell

We have addressed the issue of gender identity discrimination several times. As transgender individuals enter the mainstream of popular culture and employees become more comfortable disclosing their gender identity, employers can expect to see this issue arise with increasing frequency. The following is some guidance on how to stay out of trouble.  Transgender Bathroom

General employment advice

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Secretary of labor speaks at major federal contractor conference

by Emily L. Bristol

To focus on the importance of the federal contractor community’s role in President Barack Obama’s commitment to enacting change with the “power of the pen,” Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez spoke in early August at the 2014 National Industry Liaison Group’s (NILG) national meeting in Washington, D.C. This was the first time a sitting secretary of labor spoke to the NILG. Secretary Perez emphasized the importance of federal contractors making inclusion and opportunity a part of the “DNA” of companies in the American workforce.  Perez

Highlighting an issue with opportunity gaps in the labor force, Perez told federal contractors that having a culturally competent and linguistically diverse workforce is important and that inclusion is how we can succeed in the economy. Because of their affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations under regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), federal contractors must make inclusion and opportunity a part of their business, and they are at what Perez called the forefront of the “orchestra of opportunity.”

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Active duty military employees are on leave, not inactive

by Jane Pfeifle

An employer’s failure to include a deployed servicemember on a list of employees when it sold its assets may be a violation of the benefit provisions of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)MilitaryLeave

Facts

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How friendly is your workplace to working moms?

August 17, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The story of how parents juggle work and family is a familiar tale. Parents strive to be attentive to their children’s needs while getting to work on time, focusing on productivity, and staying late at least occasionally. They do all that while working out child care and making school and children’s activities mesh with work schedules. Making it all work can be tough, but it’s harder in some states than others, according to a study from personal finance website WalletHub, which recently looked at the best and worst states for working mothers. The study focused on mothers because data shows the existence of gender inequality in the workplace in areas such as pay and upward mobility.  Working Mothers

“While women now comprise roughly half of the American workforce, they make about two-thirds as much as men and have far less upward mobility, as evidenced by the fact that less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies have female chief executives,” WalletHub said in a statement on the study results. The organization looked at a variety of metrics across the country and ranked the states on daycare quality rankings, child-care costs, access to pediatric services, public school quality, gender pay gap, the ratio of female executives to male executives, parental leave policies, the length of the average woman’s workday, and average commute time.

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