Monthly Archives: December 2009

FORM OF THE MONTH

OSHA’S GUIDE ON HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF IN THE WORKPLACE DURING A PANDEMIC (PDF) It’s hard to ignore the potential exposure of the H1N1 flu. What would you do if it struck the employees at your workplace? HR That Works Members should also look at the Disaster Planning materials on the site.

RECENT FEDERAL ACTIVITY REGARDING HIRING REQUIREMENTS

The federal government has taken three actions recently that affect all employers regarding their hiring processes. Employers must be aware of these requirements as the failure to take appropriate action could result in civil and/or criminal penalties. First, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revised the Form I-9 used to verify employment eligibility effective… Read more »

ADA DISABILITY DEFINITION REMINDERS

Last month the EEOC issued regulations to help enforce the ADAA. You can anticipate that most of these regs will become final. They remind us of these important ADAA distinctions, including the fact that the definition of “disability” shall be interpreted broadly: A limitation need not “significantly” or “severely” restrict a major life activity in… Read more »

EEOC WINS RECORD $6.2 MILLION ADA SETTLEMENT

On September 29, 2009 the EEOC entered a $6.2 million consent decree with Sears Roebuck and Company covering ADA violations that involved more than 400 employees. The decree requires Sears to notify each employee who is on leave for job-related injuries 45 days before their leave ends that they may request reasonable accommodation to return… Read more »

EEOC SUES EMPLOYER OVER BACKGROUND CHECKS

The June 2009 Employment Law Bulletin alerted readers to the EEOC’s focus on criminal background checks. On September 30, 2009, the EEOC sued an employer for using criminal background checks. In EEOC v. Freeman (D. MD), the commission alleged that the Freeman Companies disqualified applicants based on either their credit history or arrest or conviction… Read more »

MAKE YOUR EMPLOYEES MORE PRODUCTIVE NOW

Here are five powerful, proven ways to increase employee productivity today. Set a goal for productivity improvement. When business leaders and managers are asked about their specific goals for improving employee performance, they usually have none! Most companies don’t have a goal or a plan for improving employee performance. They remain in a reactive mode,… Read more »

EMPLOYEE COMPETITION THAT WORKS

In his excellent book, The Case Against Competition, Alfred Cohen discusses how internal competitions generally are more destructive than beneficial to company performance. In contrast, an October 2009 Inc. Magazine article showed how “College Hunks Hauling Junk” created friendly competition that helped grow their company. Because most of their employees are college students and college… Read more »

EMPLOYER’S SUSPICIONS ABOUT EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT DON’T HAVE TO BE RIGHT, JUST REASONABLE

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that if an employer terminates an employee based on a good faith, reasonable belief that an employee engaged in misconduct, which might later prove to be a mistaken belief, this mistake does not demonstrate that the employer’s reason for disciplining the employee was pretextual…. Read more »

EDITOR’S COLUMN: SPIRITUALITY AT WORK

This is the “spiritual” season. What does it mean to be spiritual at work? To begin with, there’s a distinction between being religious and being spiritual. Religion is, of course, a way that we interpret our spirituality. It’s OK to communicate your religious beliefs, but only if you do so in a way that does… Read more »