Asking the right questions is key to finding the right answers

The Oswald Letter - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 20:00

by Dan Oswald Many leaders believe they must have all the answers—that it’s their responsibility to have the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. In my estimation, it’s more important to ask the right questions than it is to always have the answer. You see, it’s the questions that allow people to assess a situation....

Categories: Blogs

New OFCCP rule on sexual orientation, gender identity takes effect April 8

Human Resources News - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:57

by Emily L. Bristol A new rule that adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of prohibited bases of discrimination under Executive Order 11246 goes into effect on April 8. The rule, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), will apply to federal contractors that...

Categories: Blogs

Business lessons from WrestleMania 31

EntertainHR - Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:27

The biggest sports entertainment event of the year is in the books. Did you miss it? Nope, I’m not talking about the NCAA Tournament or even the Cricket World Cup—by the way, you can rest easy since Australia beat New Zealand by 7 wickets to capture its 5th Championship—I’m talking about WrestleMania 31. Yes, the penultimate event for the...

Categories: Blogs

Texas judge puts FMLA rule’s new definition of spouse on hold

Human Resources News - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 15:10

For the time being, employers in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage don’t have to comply with a new rule changing the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The rule was to take effect on March 27, but a federal district judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction on March 26 in response to a challenge...

Categories: Blogs

Supreme Court clarifies employer obligations related to pregnant workers

Human Resources News - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 13:42

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Young v. United Parcel Service means employers need to think twice before treating pregnant employees under job restrictions differently than they treat nonpregnant employees who are similarly unable to perform their jobs temporarily. In a 6-3 ruling handed down March 25, the Court reached for middle ground between...

Categories: Blogs

Parks Madness

EntertainHR - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:39

In February, one of my favorite televisions shows, Parks and Recreation, concluded its magnificent seven-season run. While it had typical struggles in the early going, it soon hit its stride and gave us a cast of interesting characters whom we got to see evolve from their first interaction with the Pawnee, Indiana, Parks Department all the way into...

Categories: Blogs

Despite what I put on my bracket, I’m rooting for the underdog

The Oswald Letter - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:48

by Dan Oswald The NCAA men’s basketball tournament kicked off last week. It’s known as March Madness. Even if you’re not a college basketball fan, you may have filled out a bracket at home or for your office pool. More than 10 million people filled one out this year. Every year, my wife, our kids, and I fill out our brackets in the spirit of...

Categories: Blogs

Password security: Your pet’s name, birth date, and “password” are out

Technology for HR - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 06:00

by Saul C. Glazer The recent hack involving the release of Sony’s film The Interview is another reminder that when it comes to protecting your company’s data, you can’t be too careful. This article discusses the Sony incident and provides tips to help you avoid catastrophic security breaches.  The Sony hack Although the source...

Categories: Blogs, Technology for HR


EntertainHR - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:07

One of my colleagues did an evil thing last month: He encouraged me to give NBC’s The Blacklist a try. Ever since, I’ve been hooked on James Spader’s character, Raymond “Red” Reddington. Without spoiling anything for the uninitiated, Red is a fixture on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, a supremely enterprising international underworld...

Categories: Blogs

Women in business—we have seen progress, but challenges remain

The Oswald Letter - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 20:00

by Dan Oswald March is Women’s History Month. Let’s face it, the business world has been dominated by men for too long. Episodes of Mad Men come to mind, where just 50 years ago the majority of women served as assistants or secretaries. Sure, we’ve made progress, but has it been fast enough? There are no more excuses for leaving women out of...

Categories: Blogs

Acceptable-use policy may render employer liable for ignoring e-mail threats

Technology for HR - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 10:29

by Steven L. Brenneman Why should the employer of a man who murdered his wife and two sons potentially be liable for wrongful death? According to an Illinois Appellate Court decision, the company’s electronic communications policy could constitute a voluntary undertaking to protect the decedents. That means the employer must defend against...

Categories: Blogs, Technology for HR

Staying on solid legal ground when seeking brain diversity in the workforce

Diversity Insight - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 17:59

The benefits of diversity in the workplace are nearly universally touted. Human resources professionals are eager to assemble teams representing a variety of races, ethnicities, genders, and ages. But now another kind of diversity is gaining recruiters’ attention: brain diversity.  A December 2014 article on the Fortune website reports that...

Categories: Blogs

The business case for diversity

Diversity Insight - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 17:56

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...

Categories: Blogs

Interrupting gender bias: Fire away!

Diversity Insight - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 17:55

by Michael P. Maslanka I am honored to be a Bedford mentor at the University of North Texas School of Law in Dallas. Mentors divide into numerous small groups with students, and each group reads a different book on a matter of public interest. Our book is Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski. So I...

Categories: Blogs

Are you obligated to notify employees of coworker out on leave with contagious illness?

Diversity Insight - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 17:53

by H. Mark Adams Q An employee recently came to HR and said she has meningitis. She is now out on leave. What is our obligation—if any—to notify other employees?  A As someone who has survived meningitis during my professional career, I have more than passing knowledge about this subject. It’s highly unlikely that any employee...

Categories: Blogs

‘Microaggression’: a new form of discrimination?

Diversity Insight - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 17:50

by Ryann E. Ricchio Discussions about “microaggression” have become more common in the mainstream media. A simple Google search reveals college websites documenting students’ recently experienced microaggressions and articles analyzing microaggression from major media sources, including National Public Radio and the New York Times. This...

Categories: Blogs

Utah passes historic legislation against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination

Human Resources News - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 09:55

by Ryan B. Frazier On March 12, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law newly enacted legislation aimed at preventing employment and housing discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals. The monumental legislation amends the state’s antidiscrimination law to prohibit employers statewide from making employment decisions...

Categories: Blogs

Going on vacation? Try your best to disconnect from work

The Oswald Letter - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 20:00

by Dan Oswald Remember the old Eveready battery commercial with Robert Conrad in a muscle shirt playing the tough guy? He had an Eveready battery sitting on his shoulder while he muttered the line, “I dare you to knock this off.” I’m not sure why he was daring anyone to knock the battery off his shoulder or what that really had to do with...

Categories: Blogs

It’s never easy, but Oprah delivers layoff news in person

EntertainHR - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 18:34

Last week, entertainment powerhouse and former talk-show host Oprah Winfrey announced that Harpo Studios in Chicago will be closing its doors by the end of the year, resulting in the loss of nearly 200 jobs. In typical Oprah fashion, she delivered the bad news to her employees in person, probably ambling around the room, microphone-in-hand, and...

Categories: Blogs

Supreme Court decision gives agencies more leeway on rule interpretations

Human Resources News - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 16:09

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling handing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) a victory on how it can issue interpretations of its rules has major implications for employers, according to Judith E. Kramer, an attorney with Fortney & Scott, LLC, in Washington, D.C., and an editor of Federal Employment Law Insider. The Court’s March 9 decision in...

Categories: Blogs
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