Referral bonuses, diversity, and disparate impact liability

July 19, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Andy Rodman

Q My company is having difficulty attracting qualified candidates for high-tech positions. We’re considering implementing a referral bonus policy, under which a current employee would be paid $500 for referring a candidate who is hired. Is this type of policy legal?  Many People Hands Holding Red Word Bonus Blue Sky

A There is nothing inherently illegal about a referral bonus policy. In fact, many companies have successfully implemented such policies to attract and retain qualified employees. Some studies have shown that employees hired through word of mouth are less likely (perhaps up to 15 percent less likely) to quit.

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The tragedy at Emanuel AME

June 18, 2015 6 COMMENTS

by Rick Morgan

Today’s current events are rife with bad news. The despicable and senseless murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, do not end at the doors of this historical house of worship. The event, however, does bring into focus an issue that our country and workplaces continue to wrestle with on a daily basis—that of race.  Stop Hate

I will digress for a moment to talk about two points. In 1968, as a college freshman, I was fortunate to be able to earn a spot on our college’s basketball team. I was one of the 12 who got to travel and dress for away games. When we traveled, our coach would pair up players to share rooms for the night. One time, he came to me and told me he needed me to share a room with one of my teammates, which I was happy to do. The coach explained he was pairing us together because I was the only one who he felt would have no objections to the room assignment, which I did not. My teammate was black, and I am white. It really shouldn’t have mattered, but that was the unfortunate state of race relations in the 1960s.

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The business case for diversity

March 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Kimberly Williams

Recently, my employer, Baystate Health, organized a regional Diversity and Inclusion Conference. While promoting the event on social media, I shared a video clip of one of the conference presenters who was making the “business case” for diversity. One of my Facebook friends asked, “Why are we still making a business case for diversity in 2014? Why is there a need?”  Light Bulb - Switched On

I was prepared for the question—as a diversity and inclusion practitioner, I hear it quite often. The question isn’t always framed exactly the same way. Variations I’ve heard along the way include, “Why are we still focused on the negative; things that make us different. Shouldn’t we be talking about our similarities?” To be honest, those are fair questions.

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Study shows need to address unintended consequences of diversity efforts

September 14, 2014 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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