Our friends from the great state of Texas are in the news once again when it comes to employment background checks, and once again, their efforts are worthy of applause for those who support this responsible business practice.
You might recall last month the Lone Star State filed a federal lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for their guidance on employers’ use of criminal background checks. Well last month, according to a report in The Washington Post, they are challenging the Obama administration’s stance that the Navigator’s tasked with helping people sign up for the Affordable Care Act benefits should not be subject to employment background checks. Read more…
Editor’s note: Weekly Wrap is stepping back and celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela today. We’ll be back with our regular format next Friday.
By Howard Mavity
After 30 years of seeing the worst of the workplace, I have few heroes left. This week, I lost my JFK or MLK.
I’ll remember where I was sitting when I learned that the lion who was Nelson Mandela, had roared his last. I choose to believe that’s how he went out. –as a lion of a man.
My 19 year-old son and I were in Soweto last June when everyone expected Nelson Mandela to die. It’s hard to describe our feelings as we sat in his church near his home. We pondered all that we had learned in South Africa in the preceding weeks. Read more…
Unemployment fell to the lowest level in five years in November as employers added 203,000 jobs, demonstrating an economic strength that surprised economists who had been expecting lower numbers.
The U.S. Department of Labor report said the unemployment rate declined to 7.0 percent from October’s 7.3 percent, even as more workers joined the labor force and the total employed population rose, in part reflecting the return to work of furloughed federal employees.
“This is just a clean sweep,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services Group. “It’s a very good report. It’s across the board.”
Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting a much more modest improvement in the numbers to 7.2 percent unemployment and the addition of about 180,000 new jobs. Dow Jones Newswires found economists anticipating similar results. Read more…
By John E. Thompson
Yet another “misclassification” bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would impose new prohibitions, requirements, and penalties relating to categorizing a worker as being either an employee or a non-employee.
The “Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2013” (S. 1687) would among other things make it a freestanding violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act “to wrongly classify an employee … as a non-employee …” Read more…
A recent study by Spherion, The 2013 Emerging Workforce, examines the 2013 workforce and the post-recession resurgence of the “emergent worker mentality,” characterized by the study as one which focuses on a free-agency style employment.
While the study provides data to support this point it is more than likely we have experienced the validity of this resurgence in our daily lives, perhaps witnessing friends or colleagues job-hopping more frequently, or seeing an increased social conscience in employees and new talent.
Whether we’ve confirmed suspicions that our current workforce is driven by a very different set of factors than previous generations or not, insights from this report can help to remind us of the importance of understanding this emergent worker mentality. Read more…
By James J. McDonald Jr.
Earlier this year, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law an expansion of the state’s “paid family leave” benefit.
While the new law does not become effective until July 1, 2014, already media outlets have reported that employees will have expanded rights to paid time off from work next year. This is only partially correct and it continues to spread the confusion over what “paid family leave” really means.
Beginning in 2004, California employees who took time off work to care for an ill parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner, or to bond with a newborn or newly-adopted child, could receive up to six weeks of pay through the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD). Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
An employee-plaintiff who claims that she was discriminated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act due to her pregnancy alone, will lost her ADA claim 10 times out of 10. This is because pregnancy is not a disability under the ADA.
But what if that same employee plaintiff with an ADA claim alleges that the discrimination relates not to her pregnancy, but rather to her morning sickness?
Hmmm…. Read more…
Chris Argyris passed away last month, at the age of 90.
This Harvard Business School professor earned 14 honorary doctorates, produced 30 books, and published over 150 articles. Anyone in the field of Human Resources should know of this man’s contributions to the field of understanding, as the frame a foundation for improving human performance.
Think about this: We make decisions every day. We go through a process to do so.
Argyris defined this process as the “ladder of inference.” He pointed out that we often skip steps in the thinking process, for example starting with assumptions rather than real data. Starting with assumptions, not only eliminates gathering facts, but also looking at the context surrounding the facts, and then interpreting the facts within the context. Read more…
There’s been a lot of talk recently regarding flexible scheduling policies in organizations.
All kinds of people have been writing about whether such policies are actually beneficial or harmful for businesses, as well as questioning if flexible scheduling polices are really essential or non-essential to things like employee engagement, well-being, and productivity.
Actually, I think these discussions miss the point and I don’t think any of these questions can be answered on such a broad scale. The potential for flexible scheduling policies to help or hinder an organization is dependent on a whole series of variables, making such questions decidedly organization specific and not answerable as a larger theme that applies to all organizations.
What we can confirm about flexible scheduling policies however, is that they are a highly regarded benefit and broadly implemented by some organizations. Read more…
Employers who background their job applicants on social media are more likely to discriminate against Muslims, an effect that is even more pronounced in conservative states and localities.
The study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers involved thousands of fictitious resumes and dummied-up Facebook profiles to portray candidates as either Muslim or Christian. A second part of the experiment involved candidates whose profiles indicated they were either straight or gay.
Muslim candidates, the researchers found, received far fewer interview invitations in states and locales considered conservative than did their otherwise identical Christian counterparts. No similar effect was noted in the comparison of gay and straight candidates. Read more…