Monthly Archives: April 2010

FORM OF THE MONTH:

Powerful Presentation Techniques (PDF) Use these guidelines to get your message across to managers, employees, clients, and the public. HR That Works Members can also access this document in Word format by logging on to the site

EXECUTIVES CAN BE THE GREATEST RISK

Having the wrong executive in the wrong spot might create a legal problem, as well as a business headache. In the California appellate case Align Technology v. Bao Tran, Align sued a former employee, attorney Bao Tran, for stealing their patents and starting a competing law firm. The suit alleged that Tran used confidential information… Read more »

MIXED MOTIVES

In an appeal from a Los Angeles County case, Wynona Harris alleged that the city of Santa Monica terminated her job as a bus driver because she was pregnant. The city submitted a wealth of evidence regarding the plaintiff’s poor performance on the job, including excessive absenteeism and tardiness. The legal issue involved is the… Read more »

KEEPING COMPLAINTS CONFIDENTIAL

In a Second Circuit case, Karen Duch sued the State of New York for sexual harassment. Duch, a court officer at the Manhattan Midtown Community Court, spoke with a manager who was also an EEO liaison about ongoing harassment. Duch told the manager, “I’m telling you as a friend;” when asked if she wanted the… Read more »

SEX STEREOTYPING

Brenna Louis v. Harlan Inns, a Federal District court case in Iowa, involved a unique set of facts. To make a long story short: An admittedly “masculine looking,”� yet productive woman was not considered “front desk material”� for the Harlan Inn, according to one (female) manager who insisted on front desk clerks coming as close… Read more »

RUDE BOYS

The Alabama Federal District Court case, Reeves v. CH Robinson Worldwide, offers a significant guide to sexual harassment workplace issues. Plaintiff Ingrid Reeves began working as a transportation sales rep in the company’s office. She was the only woman. Reeves alleged that sexually offensive language permeated her work environment every day (To read a complete… Read more »

WORKPLACE VIOLATIONS IN LOW-WAGE LABOR MARKETS

An extensive survey of more than 4,000 low-wage workers in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) reached these conclusions: More than one in four workers surveyed (26%) were paid less than minimum wage. Among these workers, 16% were underpaid by more than one dollar per hour. More… Read more »

PRESENTING FOR RESULTS

Effective human resource or other executives must be able to communicate to an executive group, a prospective employee, or business partner. To make sure that you’re communicating effectively, follow these guidelines: Tell a story. People love stories. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t engage in death by PowerPoint. Too many presenters overwhelm their… Read more »

AVOID HIRING DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS

To help protect yourself against discrimination claims in the hiring process, we recommend that employers answer these questions developed by the California Case Analysis Manual: Discrimination Did the respondent fail to select the complainant because of the complainant’s protected status (race, sex, etc.)? Relevant Questions: Did the adverse action (failure to select) actually happen? Is… Read more »

EDITOR’S COLUMN: POSITIVE DISCIPLINE

I recently finished the Positive Discipline for Parents course by Jane Nelsen. I would recommend this program to any parent. I’ve already raised two sons who are great young men at 29 and 31. Now I’m blessed with an eight year-old and I remain motivated to be a great parent. Having “been there and done… Read more »