Monthly Archives: January 2011

ACCOMMODATION IDEAS: COMMON SENSE, LOW COST

Here’s a list of inexpensive accommodation examples published by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN): Situation: A production worker with mental retardation, who has limited fine motor dexterity, must use tweezers and a magnifying glass to perform the job. The worker had difficulty holding the tweezers. Solution: Purchase giant tweezers. Cost: $5. Situation: A teacher with… Read more »

CAREER LADDERS

According to a nationwide Gallup survey on the reasons for turnover, the second-leading reason for losing employees was lack of a career path (i.e., I’m OK today, but where’s my future in this job?). The DOL has done an excellent job of creating a tool that can create competency models for different careers, as well… Read more »

TIPS ON COMMUNICATING WITH COWORKERS ABOUT DISABILITY AND ACCOMMODATIONS

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from telling coworkers anything about an employee’s disability, including the fact that an employee is receiving an accommodation. However, in some cases, the employee might want to educate coworkers voluntarily about the disability and accommodation, especially if their coworkers are going to notice the accommodation anyway. For… Read more »

DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS KEEP COMING

An EEOC a press release has announced an increase in discrimination claims in FY 2010. This comes as no surprise, given record unemployment rates, and the fact the commission invites more claims than ever and has expanded its jurisdiction. Here’s the point: Be prepared! Have the right policies and procedures, basic training for managers and… Read more »

WOULD YOU BE PREPARED FOR AN EEO AUDIT?

Click here to see a typical request from an EEOC office when investigating a claim of discrimination. To what degree would you be able to comply with, or fear such a request? Just looking at the amount of information requested can make your head spin. P.S. If you ever get such a request, contact your… Read more »

THE BROAD SCOPE OF RETALIATION

In Smith v. Hy-Vee, Inc., Drew Smith brought sexual harassment and retaliation claims due to conduct caused by Sheri Lynch, a tech cake decorator, who engaged in rude, vulgar, and sexually charged behavior toward Smith, and apparently all the other employees. The court stated that since Lynch did not seem to be “sexually motivated” toward… Read more »

GETTING THE ACCOMMODATION RIGHT

Dept. Fair Empl. & Hous. v. Avis Budget Group (Reed) Complainant Eleanor Reed was a customer service representative for Avis Budget Group (Avis) at its San Francisco Airport location. In June 2006, she requested a reasonable accommodation of a six-hour shift for her mental disability (post-traumatic stress disorder). She previously had been granted the accommodation… Read more »

OSHA TARGETS “TEXTING WHILE DRIVING” ON COMPANY BUSINESS

A recent OSHA press release advised companies that an employer who requires employees to text while driving or organizes work so that “texting is a practical necessity” are violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In its news release, OSHA further states that it will investigate complaints about these practices promptly and if it concludes… Read more »

WORK IS HELL

I’ve noticed a rash of victimization hitting center stage. Business Week recently ran a long article about workplace bullying. The Obama administration has become adept at finding workplace victims like never before. How is a business owner or manager supposed to deal with all of this? Don’t let employees play victim on you! Challenge them… Read more »

DESIGNING YOUR OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

An article in the September/October 2010 Scientific American Mind discussed why some office spaces alienate office workers, while others make them happier and more efficient. The bottom line: Let your employees have input in “decorating” their environment. According to survey responses, giving workers a say in the physical aspects of their workspace reduced the negative… Read more »