Rooting out bullying a necessary step in promoting diversity

October 15, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Employers looking to advance diversity in the workplace often focus on recruiting diverse groups of potential employees, but recruiting is just one part of the process. Those recruiting efforts won’t be effective if management is blind to a culture that condones workplace bullying.  Big boss yelling to her employee with megaphone on fire

October is a time when attention turns to bullying in a variety of settings, schools in particular. But bullying at work takes a toll too, and the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) has designated October 15-21 as Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week.

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Office politics: preventing disruptive discourse

by David L. Johnson

Recently, a Pennsylvania YMCA stopped showing cable news shows on the TVs in its gym because they were prompting political squabbles among its members. When filtered into the diverse workplace, passionate opposing political viewpoints can harm productivity and morale and even create liability issues for employers. Sometimes political discussions can morph into something that creates a hostile work environment for a member of a protected class.  Politcs at Work

Keep in mind that the First Amendment right to “free speech” under the U.S. Constitution doesn’t prevent private-sector employers from restricting employees’ speech. Let’s take a look at what private-sector employers can and should do to regulate political communications.

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5 tips for accommodating depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses

by Mark Wiletsky

An estimated 16.1 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2015, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). That number represents 6.7 percent of all American adults who are 18 or older. Seven or eight out of every 100 people will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives, says the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for PTSD. That number increases to somewhere between 11 and 20 out of every 100 veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  Head with gears

As the numbers show, depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses are relatively prevalent in our society. At some point, you will be faced with an employee who suffers from a mental condition. You need to know your obligations with regard to potential accommodations for employees with mental disabilities.

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How non-Hispanic supervisors can lead Hispanic employees

October 15, 2017 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Jim Davis

Between potential language barriers, cultural differences, and a political and social landscape rife with discrimination, it’s important that any employee be able to navigate whatever challenges may arise while leading a diverse workforce. Glenn Llopis, a best-selling author, columnist, and senior advisor to Fortune 500 seeks to show how non-Hispanic employers and supervisors can better connect with their Hispanic workers.    Arrows Leadership Concept on Chalkboard

At SHRM’s 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, Llopis presented a session entitled “Leading Hispanic Employees (for Non-Hispanic Supervisors).” He began with some wisdom from his father, who told him “you cannot sacrifice your identity.” Identity is at the heart of Llopis’s talk. He himself admits that the topic at hand can be an uncomfortable one. It requires facing some difficult issues about bias, belief structures, and cultural differences.

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Employers, beware: Facility issues may result in violations of Title VII

by Jacob M. Monty

Many employers are aware of the serious problems that can arise if workers and supervisors engage in racially or sexually motivated taunts and speech. However, few employers realize that they may need to worry about the design and condition of their facilities. The facilities of a now-closed Sara Lee factory in Paris, Texas, reportedly cost the company $4 million in a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)Bathroom sign

Don’t do it like Sara Lee

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Employers look to ‘culture of inclusiveness’ in era of expanding LGBT rights

September 17, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 1 COMMENTS

Inclusiveness, civility, respectful treatment: Those are all concepts getting a lot of attention as employers struggle to cope with what seems like an increasingly divisive culture often threatening to bleed over into the workplace.  Diversity Team Community Group of People Concept

A changing legal landscape also must be considered as employers strive for productive and nondiscriminatory working environments. For example, a landmark ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that sexual orientation is a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also sees Title VII as encompassing sexual orientation and gender identity. Also, many state legislatures have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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With HR’s help, employee network groups can improve retention

September 17, 2017 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

From the employer’s perspective, employee network groups can boost engagement and retention—or they can create divisiveness. To ensure the former, employers need to be involved from the start.

By adopting a policy and welcoming network groups, businesses can encourage members to have positive effects in the workplace, according to Ray Friedman, a professor of management at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Friedman offered the following tips on policies and best practices during a recent presentation at the 2017 Employers Counsel Network (ECN) Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  Abstract Business People

One or many groups?

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When words used in a disciplinary report suggest implicit bias

by Barbara J. Koenig

Implicit bias is an unconscious preference for or an aversion to a person or a group of people. In other words, we may have an attitude toward others or stereotype them without conscious knowledge of what we’re doing. If we act in accordance with our implicit bias, we may be discriminating against a person or a group of people without even being aware of our bias. Two recent cases illustrate the fact that HR managers need to educate supervisors on implicit bias and how a seemingly straightforward description of an employee or a workplace incident can suggest racial animus and unconscious discrimination.  Bias

Seemingly innocent words suggest bias

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Top 10 employer mistakes in accommodating disabled employees

by Matthew A. Goodin

Even experienced HR professionals have a difficult time with requests for reasonable accommodation from disabled employees. This process is even trickier if the employee needs a leave of absence as an accommodation because of the intersection of different laws that govern leaves of absence. Below are some of the most common mistakes employers make when accommodating employees with disabilities. Recognizing and avoiding these mistakes will go a long way toward preventing unwanted litigation.    TOP 10. Rainbow splash paint

1. Not having adequate job descriptions

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Stage is set for SCOTUS to rule on Title VII and sexual orientation

September 17, 2017 - by: Utah Employment Law Letter 0 COMMENTS

by Ryan B. Frazier

Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, state and federal laws have been enacted to prohibit employment discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, and gender. Until recently, virtually none of those antidiscrimination laws covered employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Over the last decade, as issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity have moved to the forefront of social consciousness, several states and certain federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), have started to recognize and address employment discrimination in that context.  Supreme Court

Recognition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has not been universal. Federal law is not resolved on the issue, and recent federal circuit court rulings have further complicated things. This article focuses on the recent appellate court rulings and how they are changing the employment discrimination landscape under federal law.

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