The H-1B loophole: replacing American workers with foreigners to cut costs

by Cristopher Willis

Each year, the United States grants 85,000 H-1B employment visas, and every single one is highly sought after by American companies. These temporary work visas allow companies to hire international applicants with college degrees—often advanced—in a variety of fields, such as medicine and health care, engineering, architecture, accounting, and the arts.P52 - Week 3 Circles - Mickey Power

H-1B visas broaden the pool of highly skilled workers from which an employer can draw, and federal guidelines allow their use only when American workers cannot be found. What’s not to love? Just ask the hundreds of Disney employees who were recently laid off.

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Categories: Seeking Talent


Looking to hire former service members? Veterans offer advice, encouragement

October 18, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As Veterans Day approaches, the nation looks at ways to honor those who have served in the military. But honors alone don’t get former service members employed once they re-enter the civilian world. So employers need not just an understanding of the legal requirements related to employing or reemploying veterans; they also need to understand the attributes veterans bring and the challenges they face when searching for civilian employment.  Military Veteran Goes to Work

Paul J. Sweeney, an attorney with Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP in Binghamton, New York, logged 29 years of active and reserve service in the Marine Corps, including a deployment to Iraq. He points to important benefits employers enjoy when hiring veterans. “As a general rule, the armed forces sets high standards when recruiting service members,” Sweeney says. “Unlike the general population, more than nine out of 10 of those who enlist in the armed forces have a high school degree. Also, the armed forces screens out those with criminal convictions and drug issues.”

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Friend or foe: illegal or inappropriate interview questions

by Michelle Dougherty

Asking illegal or inappropriate interview questions is one of the easiest ways for an employer to create a risk for discrimination claims. It isn’t unusual for polite, friendly, personal, non-job-specific conversation to be part of the interview process. However, when conducting an interview, you must always be aware that even indirect or inadvertent questions about a protected characteristic can give rise to a discrimination claim.  Job Interview Questions

Friendly may mean illegal

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Solid job descriptions can ease ADA worries

February 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 1 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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Resources available for employers trying to recruit people with disabilities

September 15, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

As October nears, employers may be hearing a lot about how people with disabilities can benefit the workplace. Every year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) designates October as a time to raise awareness about the value of employing people with disabilities.

This year’s theme–“Because We Are EQUAL to the Task”–was chosen to show employers “the reality that people with disabilities have the education, training, experience, and desire to be successful in the workplace,” according to an announcement from ODEP.

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Finding a way to drive gender diversity in STEM fields

August 18, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Most employers would agree that STEM careers—jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—are on the upswing in both numbers and importance. Most also would agree that there are far more men than women in STEM jobs.

A 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” signals a promising future for women in STEM careers since statistics show they earn an average of 33 percent more than their non-STEM colleagues. The problem, though, is a lack of women in those lucrative jobs. The report shows that the percentage of STEM jobs held by women stood at just 24 percent in 2009. An October 2011 report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce in puts the figure at 23 percent.

So the fact that women seem to have some catching up to do is a wake-up call for employers interested in cultivating and retaining women for STEM jobs. read more…

Resources help employers bring veterans to workplace

June 16, 2013 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

It’ll soon be July 4th, a day many employers mark by declaring a holiday so employees can have time for patriotic celebrations. But many of those people so fervently celebrated – the nation’s veterans – would be happier to be earning a paycheck than to be feted with a parade.

Recent statistics show improvement in the employment rate for veterans over the last year, but officials note more progress is needed. Figures compiled by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University show that the unemployment rate for all veterans in May 2013 was 6.6 percent. That’s down from 7.8 percent in May 2012 but up from 6.2 percent in April 2013. The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans isn’t quite so favorable. It was 7.3 percent in May 2013, compared to 12.7 percent in May 2012.

Despite relatively low unemployment numbers, the picture isn’t all positive. The unemployment rate for the youngest post-9/11 veterans is still well into double digits. The rate for those ages 20-24 was 17.7 percent in May 2013, down from 22.1 percent in May 2012. The rate for nonveterans ages 20-24 was 13.4 percent in May 2013 and 13.2 percent in May 2012. read more…

Categories: Feature / Seeking Talent

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Can I ask that question on a job application?

by Toni Everton

An increasing number of unsuccessful job applicants are filing discrimination charges, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state enforcement agencies are taking a close look at job applications for evidence of unlawful bias. So the question is, what can you ask on a job application? This article doesn’t contain an all-inclusive list of what to ask on a job application; rather, it provides guidance on a couple of issues the EEOC and state enforcement agencies have recently questioned.  read more…

Getting a handle on emotional intelligence can smooth the way for a diverse workplace

January 20, 2013 - by: Diversity Insight 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

Proponents of a diverse workforce understand that an employee group made up of all ages, races, and cultural backgrounds has a lot to offer. In spite of the advantages of diversity, though, employees’ differences can lead to a lack of understanding that holds everybody back. But is there a secret to capitalizing on the strengths diversity brings to the workplace?

An understanding of “emotional intelligence” may be that key to getting past the downsides and realizing the rewards of diversity. Emotional intelligence–how well a person is able to control emotions and understand the emotions of others–is a concept that’s been around for decades. Notably, it’s the subject of a handful of best-selling books by psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, whose books include Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (published in 2006) and Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence (published in 2011). read more…

When is it OK to stereotype?

by Mark Schickman

We are a country that is properly committed to judging people based on their individual qualifications and not stereotypes about their groups―race, gender, age, or ethnicity. One seldom sees articles suggesting that any one category makes a better executive than another. The one exception is the never-ending stream of articles that say women make better executives than do men―the most recent major survey out just last month.

Surely, there is a need to tout the skills of female executives because statistics show that women remain underrepresented in high executive positions. Another study this month shows that the Fortune 500 companies have workforces that are about half female, but only 21 of those companies have female CEOs. Women comprise 14.3% of executive positions and hold only 16.6% of the board seats in the Fortune 500. Women executives also earn 16% less than their male counterparts, tracking the national statistic that women generally earn 84% of what men do. For women of color, the statistics are far worse in every single category.

So it’s important to look past our biases and make our decisions based on individual merit. But should we create a remedy by suggesting another form of stereotypical analysis? Should we mitigate against the extra quarter-million dollars of income that taller, slimmer, good-looking employees receive during their lifetime by suggesting that unattractive people make better employees because they aren’t distracted by an active social life? No, whatever the motive, there is something fundamentally troubling about the broad argument that one class is better than another, something that tends to foster discrimination rather than halt it. read more…

Categories: Seeking Talent


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