Want That Promotion? Watch What You Wear

Posted on Tue, May 28, 2013

What you wear to work may affect your chances for promotion, according to a recent survey by Office Team, an employment agency that specializes in administrative staffing. Eighty percent of executives interviewed admitted that clothing choices affect who they choose to promote. 

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Tags: dress code, dress code at work, promotion, employees, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant

$240 Million Disability Discrimination - Largest EEOC Verdict Ever!

Posted on Mon, May 13, 2013

On May 1, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that an Iowa jury awarded damages totaling $240 million — the largest verdict in the federal agency’s history — in a lawsuit related to disability discrimination and severe abuse.

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Tags: employees, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant, EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, disability discrimination, disability-based wage discrimination

Colorado Marijuana Users Can Be Fired, Says Court

Posted on Tue, Apr 30, 2013

A Colorado court ruled that an employer can still fire an employee for a positive marijuana drug test, even though state law permits the medical and recreational use of marijuana.

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Tags: employees, California, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant, termination, Colorado, Inc., medical marijuana, medical marijuana use, Ross v. RagingWire

Bosses Have Crazy Requests For Employees

Posted on Fri, Apr 19, 2013

Almost one in four workers (23 percent) who took part in a recent survey by CareerBuilder.com reported being asked to perform tasks that fell well outside the “job related” category.

The survey turned up many interesting and unusual requests made by bosses, including:

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Tags: bosses, other duties as assigned, strange requests, employees, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant

New I-9 Form Effective Date

Posted on Wed, Apr 17, 2013

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the revised Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9, and published a notice in the Federal Register.

In the initial announcement, USCIS described when employers can no longer use prior versions of Form I-9. USCIS incorrectly described the effective date as being after May 7, 2013.

USCIS published a correction notice in the Federal Register. This notice corrects the error and clarifies that beginning May 7, 2013, employers may no longer use prior versions of the Form I-9.

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Tags: Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I9, employees, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant, USCIS, : Form I-9

Employee Complains About Sexual Jokes On Twitter, Then Fired

Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013

A tech company, SendGrid, recently fired a female employee, Adria Richards, who used Twitter to complain about sexual jokes made by male employees from a different company.

During a conference in San Francisco, Richards tweeted that it was “Not cool” that the men were making inappropriate sexual jokes. She used her phone to take a picture of the men sitting behind her and then used Twitter to post the picture.

One of the men in the photo was terminated by his employer, San-Francisco based PlayHaven.

But Richards also found herself in the middle of a social media storm and was ultimately fired by her employer. SendGrid CEO Jim Franklin blogged that Richards was not fired because she reported offensive conduct, but because of how she reported it – using Twitter to post photographs and “publicly shaming” the offenders.

Franklin also went on to say that Richard’s actions caused division amongst the developer community that Richards serves as part of her job and that she can no longer be effective. 

But this is what often happens when an employee complains of inappropriate conduct: A complaint is made, which may create division at work and with customers; people may take sides. Regardless of such division and the ultimate outcome of any investigation, the employee is supposed to be protected from retaliation for complaining of harassment or discrimination.

This situation poses difficult questions: Can an employee complain in any manner he/she sees fit? Airing information across social media platforms and posting pictures of co-workers, customers or collaborators? 

The law provides strong protections for those who complain about harassment or discrimination. As demonstrated by recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board, the law also protects employees who engage in concerted activity with other employees to improve their working conditions — which may include employees complaining to each other over social media.

The San Jose Mercury News 
explored the legal ramifications of the situation. Discussing the incident, Rob Pattinson, a Jackson Lewis attorney who represents employers, remarked, “It’s a tough one … The law is strong in protecting people who make complaints of harassment, or who participate in an investigation about complaints of harassment.”
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Tags: Retaliation, sexual harassment, protected activity, employees, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant, NLRB, social media

NFL Warned About Discrimination by New York Attorney General

Posted on Mon, Mar 18, 2013

New York State’s Attorney General called on the National Football League (NFL) to be mindful of the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter last week to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reminding him that the NFL and its franchises must not discriminate against players and draft prospects on the basis of sexual orientation.

In addition, Schneiderman noted that at least two dozen of the 32 NFL teams are headquartered in jurisdictions that have similar employment discrimination laws in place.

Schneiderman called on the NFL to issue a formal written policy making clear that any form of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation is a violation of New York law. The NFL’s headquarters are located in New York City.

The letter was prompted by recent reports that some draft prospects were asked questions about their sexual orientation at a national recruitment event. One draft prospect, Nick Kasa, told an ESPN radio show that “They ask you, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?’”

Similar to New York, California also prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants. 

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Tags: employment discrimination, New York, sexual orientation, California, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant, harassment

Revised I-9 Form

Posted on Fri, Mar 08, 2013

Today, March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Form I-9 for use in verifying employment eligibility. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee.

The USCIS stated that the revisions to the form include: 

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Tags: Form I-9 revised, I-9 revised, USCIS revised I-9, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant

Don't Forget to Spring Forward

Posted on Mon, Mar 04, 2013

Daylight saving time is set to start Sunday, March 10. This will make for many a cranky worker next Monday morning, and lots of grumbling about needing extra coffee.

For most people, the time shift means adjusting various clocks around the house that aren’t smart enough to adjust themselves and losing an hour of beauty rest. 

But people who work the graveyard shift might lose something else. What should employers know about timekeeping practices for workers whose shifts are affected by the time change?

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Tags: nonexempt employees, daylight saving time, timekeeping practices, HR Allen Consulting Services, Employers, HR Informant

Hiring Manager Pick Who They Want to Hangout With?

Posted on Mon, Mar 04, 2013

The Wall Street Journal’s At Work blog recently covered research showing that hiring and dating may not be that far apart.

The study, conducted by the Kellogg School of Management, found that hiring managers approached the candidate evaluation process in a manner that resembles selecting romantic partners.

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Tags: hiring managers, interviewing candidates, HR Allen Consulting Services, discrimination, Employers, HR Informant