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

September 17, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 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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Firestorm over Google memo putting ‘diversity of thought’ in spotlight

August 20, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

What was meant to be an internal memo written by a male engineer at Google hit the internet in a big way in early August, igniting controversy that led to the employee’s firing and much discussion about the effectiveness of corporate diversity efforts.  Business people looking for ideas

The now-infamous memo raises questions on many fronts. Among them: Does it make the company vulnerable to claims from women that they endure a hostile work environment? Does it expose the company to legal action from the engineer who was fired? Andin a different veindoes it raise questions about corporate culture that go beyond legal concerns and focus on a type of diversity that’s beginning to gain more attentiondiversity of thought?

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Program allows employers to support servicemembers

by Jennifer S. Frank and Danielle M. Kerr

This article focuses on the National Guard’s Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Program (ESGRP), explaining how employers can support the employment of National Guard and reserve members and how they can manage laws governing the employment of military personnel. young man with split careers businessman and soldier

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Food bank works toward goals of diversity and inclusion

July 16, 2017 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

Editor’s note: Many organizations want to improve diversity and inclusion, but they don’t know where to start.  The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is one such organization, and members of the organization’s in-house committee have provided this report on the first year of their program in the hope that other organizations can learn from their experience.  The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

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Action needed to enforce workplace respect for others

by Dinita L. James

Defiant public displays of racism and bigotry have been reported around Arizona. I haven’t witnessed such brazenness since my youth in rural North Carolina in the 1960s and early 1970s. I’m not saying that hearts and minds were changed, but the racists learned to whisper among themselves to avoid overwhelming public condemnation. The coarse culture at large makes it imperative that you communicate with and train your employees on the behavior you demand of them when they’re dealing with others on your behalf.  Businessman and businesswoman handshaking in conference room

Slurs in the stands

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Increase diversity by recruiting, retaining people with disabilities

by Stephanie Holstein

Having a diverse workforce includes hiring people with disabilities, which can create a positive and inclusive work environment, be good for the bottom line, and help bring down the high unemployment rates of people with disabilities. There are a number of best practices and helpful resources to make recruiting and retaining people with disabilities an effective and manageable process for employers looking to successfully implement an initiative to employ more people with disabilities.  Businessman discussing with colleagues in office

Recruiting candidates with disabilities

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Responding to restroom accommodation requests from transgender employees

by Brian Bouchard

Fifty-two years ago, Bob Dylan penned the now-famous lyrics “The times they are a-changin’.” True enough, Mr. Dylan, but for many, changes come slowly, and as the late David Bowie sang: “The days still seem the same.” This can be true in regard to laws, which sometimes struggle to keep pace with changes in society. Would it surprise you to learn that only last May, Congress removed archaic racial terminology like “Oriental” and “Negro” from the federal lexicon?   Bathroom sign

For employers dealing with transgender-related issues, the changing times have exposed a legal void of uncertainty. Time magazine recently called transgender issues the “New Civil Rights Frontier.” Yet despite a shifting and dynamic public perspective on transgender issues, Congress and federal agencies have provided little guidance to employers. As a result, many employers have been left in the dark, trying to divine the best way to deal with various related issues. None is as vexing as restroom accommodations.

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