Solid job descriptions can ease ADA worries

February 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Good job descriptions are vital in keeping employers and employees on the same page, but they take on added importance when an employee with a disability needs help being productive. And for employers facing disability discrimination claims, job descriptions that clearly outline the essential and nonessential functions of the job can be crucial.  Job Description

Although the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t require employers to have written job descriptions, they are practical, according to Mary Topliff, a San Francisco attorney specializing in employment law, counseling, training, and compliance. She gave employers tips on job descriptions during a recent Business & Legal Resources webinar and emphasized the importance of carefully considering how the ADA affects job descriptions.

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Tech giants exploring gender gap within their ranks

January 18, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

What gives? The number of women graduating from college each year passed the number of men marking the same achievement years ago, but women remain underrepresented in the college majors sought by technology employers. That surely accounts for part of the gender gap afflicting tech employers, but corporate culture also is often seen as a culprit.

While it’s still largely a man’s world at the big tech companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, those employers are at least becoming self-conscious about the gender gap in their ranks. Last summer, tech leaders including Yahoo, Facebook, and Google joined the list of tech companies releasing figures showing how they lack diversity.  Gender gap

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Guidance for HR when racial tension spreads from streets to workplace

December 14, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As protests rage around the country following recent grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York not to indict police officers involved in the deaths of two unarmed black men, employers may find tension spilling into the workplace.

In November, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a St. Louis suburb. Witnesses claim the 18-year-old unarmed Brown was trying to surrender when the officer shot him, but the officer claimed Brown was the aggressor.Workplace Argument

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Putting tests to the test: Exploring personality assessments and discrimination

November 16, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A quest to find and hire the best applicants prompts many employers to look for ways to quickly eliminate all but the most promising candidates. When online job postings unleash a flood of applications, many employers turn to software that includes personality testing as a way to reduce the amount of valuable time needed to pore over resumes.  Personlaity Tests

A recent report in The Wall Street Journal exploring whether personality tests discriminate against applicants with disabilities is garnering a lot of attention. And in the face of lawsuits and an investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), some employers are changing their tests or rejecting them altogether.

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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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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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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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Military spouses and their employment challenges: What employers can do

July 20, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

What employer doesn’t crave a pool of applicants with a strong work ethic, a reputation for being skilled, diverse, motivated, tech-savvy, mobile, and well-educated? Those qualities typically top the list of desired characteristics, but when candidates with those assets are military spouses, employers often pass them up.  MilitarySpouse

Department of Defense statistics claim that 85 percent of military spouses want or need work, but one in every four is unemployed and looking for work. Eighty-four percent of military spouses have some college, 25 percent have a bachelor’s degree, and 10 percent have an advanced degree, according to the statistics, but military spouses earn 25 percent less than their civilian counterparts.

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Win-win: Eldercare support helps employees, employers alike

June 15, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

No matter how devoted to the job employees may be, their lives extend beyond the workplace. And an increasing number of employees are finding that their non-work responsibilities include eldercare.  Eldercare

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in September 2013 that 39.6 million people were providing unpaid eldercare in 2011-2012. Many of those caregivers were part of what’s been termed the “sandwich generation” because they find themselves sandwiched between two generations requiring care: their children as well as their parents.

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Are microaggressions a new legal threat in the workplace?

May 18, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

An April gathering that brought together President Barack Obama, three former presidents, and civil rights leaders marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a game-changing law that still guards against discrimination in the workplace and other aspects of life. The impetus for the Act was the kind of blatant bigotry responsible for mistreatment of racial and religious minorities as well as women. The Civil Rights Act has made strides against flagrant abuse, but concern over a more subtle kind of bias is now coming to light: damage caused by “microaggressions.”  Microaggression

Microaggressions aren’t like old-style, overt racism and other forms of bigotry. Instead, more understated insultssuch as praising an African-American employee for being articulate or admiring a Latino’s lack of an accentare raising questions. These comments and actions are what a recent college graduate quoted in a March New York Times article called “racism 2.0.”

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