Oklahoma News & Analysis

  • Protecting protective hairstyles: Kansas City's CROWN Act takes effect

    Kansas City, Missouri, is the latest jurisdiction to implement a "CROWN Act" ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on natural hair types and hairstyles commonly associated with race and racial identity.

  • You're out! Bias, harassment, retaliation claims all fail

    Some workplace cases provide multiple lessons about employment discrimination. Recently, the 8th Circuit (which covers Arkansas and Missouri employers) rendered a decision providing guidance on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The female employee in question lost on all three claims.

  • What The Addams Family teaches us about diversity and inclusion

    Because of the COVID-19 crisis, there was no trick-or-treating or family party at my house for Halloween 2020. Instead, we opted for a movie night by the campfire, complete with s'mores. We searched for a spooky (but not scary) movie appropriate for an 8-year-old. We ultimately settled on the animated version of The Addams Family. I knew we were in for laughs and gore but had no idea I'd also be schooled on diversity and inclusion.

  • To wear or not to wear? Compliance with face-covering mandates

    Most managers are committed to the success of their organizations, employees, customers, and communities. They work hard to provide safe and healthful workplaces. They give their best efforts to manage in good-faith compliance with the myriad of federal, state, and local laws applicable to their organizations. They are generally mission critical to protecting their organizations against liability exposure. Even so, some organizations have faced significant manager resistance to the use of COVID-19-related face-coverings in the workplace. Why is that, and what can be done about it?

  • Year's end means key COVID-19 relief measures expiring

    Employers and their employees have had to navigate a number of COVID-19-related relief measures for most of 2020—paid sick and family leave time, enhanced unemployment benefits, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan requirements, and optional temporary deferrals of certain taxes among them. What next year will bring is up in the air, but some measures are ending on December 31. Here's a look at some of the more notable provisions important to employers.

  • Combating isolation just one more priority for employers during COVID era

    Back in March, when a rapidly proliferating pandemic forced workers across the country out of their offices and into their homes, most thought the arrangement would be short-lived—a few weeks, maybe a month or so. As the year winds down, with many people still working from home—and coping with the kind of isolation they never expected—various surveys have shown that most workers miss the office. They may like the flexibility of working from home and hope to continue the arrangement in a limited way postpandemic, but they want the kind of interaction with colleagues they get in the office. This many months into the pandemic, workers are seeing that the isolation of working alone in their homes is taking a toll.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Employers urged to redesign recruiting strategies. Research from workforce advisory and research firm Gartner Inc. urges employers to rethink how they acquire talent. In a September report, Gartner said just 16% of new hires possess the needed skills for both their current role and the future. Therefore, organizations need to shift their focus from replacing the workforce to shaping it through strategies based on the realities of the new recruiting landscape. Shaping the workforce means acquiring new skillsets from a diverse skills market that influences an organizations employment value propositions. Historically, recruiting has focused on acquiring quality talent with critical skills to meet an organizations short- and long-term objectives, but the old methods are unable to compete with the large-scale shifts to the workplace. Therefore, Gartner says recruiting functions need to make three shifts: (1) define talent needs by prioritizing skills instead of hiring profiles, (2) uncover the total skills market instead of targeting known talent pools, and (3) create responsive employment value propositions, not just responsive candidates.

  • Federal Watch

    DOL program trains Americans for typical H-1B jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is investing $150 million in grants to invest in training for middle- to high-skilled H-1B occupations within key sectors of the U.S. economy, including information technology and cyber security, advanced manufacturing, and transportation. The goal is to train Americans for positions often held by foreign workers with H-1B visas. The announcement, released in September, said that public-private partnerships will use grant money to train individuals in their communities with skills necessary to advance career pathways to employment in H-1B occupations within key industry sectors. Eligible participants must be at least 17 years old and not currently enrolled in secondary school within a local educational agency. Those of interest include unemployed and underemployed individuals seeking full-time employment and incumbent workers needing to update their skills to retain employment.

  • HR Technology

    Survey shows lack of satisfaction with HRs tech stack. A recent survey of HR professionals showed that just 3% consider the quality of their tech stackthe entirety of their technology solutionsas top notch. The State of Todays HR Tech Stack 2020 from HR.coms Research Institute shows that current HR tech stacks most commonly include employee access via mobile devices (73%), followed by their ability to facilitate employee self-service (71%). But few HR professionals indicate their tech stack automates many talent management processes (42%) or integrates many talent management solutions (32%). Just 21% say their tech stack nurtures and reinforces the desired corporate culture.

  • DOL revises paid leave requirements under FFCRA

    On September 11, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) revised the regulations implementing the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The revised rule took effect September 16, when it was published in official form.