|Thursday, July 26
Employers must be creative in
making ADA accommodations
Employers are legally required to think "creatively" to comply with the
Americans with Disabilities Act and cannot simply say that a disabled worker's proposal
for a reasonable accommodation would have been "inconvenient," a federal appeals
court has ruled.
understanding the other person's perspective
Audios, visuals, feelers and holistics: These different ways of dealing with information
and interaction often are the root of personality conflicts and stress among co-workers,
said Carol Welsh, a Florida author and workshop facilitator.
often a combination of fear, shock for workers
Veterans of the the Philadelphia-area banking wars say the stress can hurt job
performance. "For any employee, it's not fun," says one.
employers chafe at employers' new monitoring systems
BellSouth knows when Johnny Cupid starts the engine of his service truck. Idles at a
stoplight. It knows where he is at any given time during his daily rounds and how long
he's been there. "I feel like they got their eye on me all the time," said
cable repairman. "I can't slow down anywhere anymore."
For some employees, the
doctor is always in
Valuable employees are hard to find and keep. Some employers reward them with annual
appreciation picnics, casual-dress Fridays and stock options. But others -- Continental
Airlines, PolyOne Corp. and NASA's Glenn Research Center among them -- offer their
employees immediate access to free health care at work.
When violence at
home comes to work
For millions of women -- and some men -- who suffer from domestic violence, the abusive
relationship is not confined to home. Realizing this, more and more employers are
responding to increased threats on the job, as well as the low productivity and increased
absenteeism that occur due to injuries or other reasons related to domestic violence.
Leading financial institutions offer Visa
Soon, several banks will offer a payroll option that gives companies the ability to use
prepaid card technology to replace the paper paycheck process. This new payroll option
allows an employer to deposit an employee's pay directly onto a prepaid Visa card issued
in the name of the employee.
problems at work can help team bond
No matter how busy they are or how much they're paid, employees are still betrayed lovers,
grieving children and overwhelmed parents, even during work hours. The idea that people
can leave their anxieties and fears, heartbreak and rage at home is naive.
Ready, set, go home
Getting your employer's OK to telecommute is only half the battle. Here's what you need to
know before you head out the door.
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bias plaintiff need not wait for right-to-sue letter
In an age discrimination case, the plaintiff does not need a "right-to-sue
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but instead can proceed directly to court 60
days after filing an EEOC charge, a federal judge has ruled.
hits Capitol Hill
The House Education and the Workforce Committee's Subcommittee on Employer-Employee
Relations July 24 held the first hearing on genetic
non-discrimination and its implications for employers and employees.
New study profiles
retirement plan advisers
A new study from Brightwork Partners reveals a remarkable diversity of experience and work
styles among advisers specializing in group retirement products.
Unions join drive to ban
smoking in workplace
Now, for the first time, some labor unions are joining forces with public-health groups to
try to cut down on blue-collar and union smoking.
it real on the resume
What's the harm in massaging your resume, juggling a month or two between positions, or
throwing in an extra skill or two? Lots, apparently.
how to work with the good stress, live without the bad
Good stress is the kind that motivates and excites, the kind most likely to yield good
results on the job. Bad stress is the kind that fouls performance. Amid layoffs and other
upheavals, it's a distinction worth drawing.
Firms feel exodus of key
With increased layoffs and a sliding economy, it's hard to believe any employer would be
worried about losing people. But they should be. That's because it isn't the losers in an
organization who are walking out the door. Instead, it's the star performers -- the people
employers want to keep around.
Learning Spanish becoming a
key job skill in North Carolina's Triad
Throughout the Triad, residents are flocking to community colleges to learn Spanish in
response to a Latino immigration wave that has led to a nearly 400-percent increase in the
state's Spanish-speaking population.
Poll: U.S. workers say Bush
A poll by the largest U.S. labor organization released Wednesday found about half of the
workers it surveyed believe President Bush's administration favored business interests
over workers' interests.
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satisfied with current jobs in financial industry, but barriers still exist
Three-quarters of women and men in financial services are satisfied with
their current positions and employers, according to a new Catalyst study, Women in
Financial Services: The Word on the Street. Despite these high satisfaction rates,
women report the existence of subtle discriminatory behaviors and practices.
meat-packing workers questioned
Investigative reporter Eric Schlosser's controversial best-seller "Fast Food Nation''
has focused new attention on how the nation's meat packers treat their employees.
working for state and local governments
There were more than 15.1 million state and local government employees in 2000, up 2.2
percent from the previous year, according to the Census Bureau report released Wednesday
for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
says many Americans are spoiled
Walk through any U.S. city and you're liable to see an immigrant operating a store's cash
register, making business deals or buying supplies for his or her company.
Walk through these same cities, and you may see Americans who aren't recent arrivals
driving expensive cars, charging fancy technical equipment on overloaded credit cards and
pampering their children with the latest video game.
Lean times for recruiting industry
After an average annual growth rate of 22 percent over the past five years, worldwide
revenues for the retained executive search industry will fall flat in 2001, a Connecticut
together workers of different generations crucial
A typical workplace today can consist of four generations: elders nearing retirement or
returning to work; baby boomers; and members of generations X and Y. To keep this diverse
group committed to the job and company while respecting individual differences, one expert
suggests the following.
corporate shareholder can be employee, making disability
purchased by company an ERISA plan
While the result and legal conclusions in this case are relatively unremarkable, the
opinion is a helpful overview of numerous basic principles relevant to identifying
Survey: Finance officers' salaries
Total average compensation for individuals who practice treasury and financial management
was 8.1 percent higher in 2001 than it was in 2000, according to a recent survey conducted
by the Association for Financial Professionals.
schools struggle to add more female students to bottom line
The University of Chicago is just one of many business schools -- including Harvard,
Michigan and Columbia -- scrambling to break the glass ceiling on female
enrollment, which typically hovers around 30 percent.
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Tuesday, July 24
women seize opportunities
As more women pierce the glass ceiling, they are forming support networks for
upcoming women -- the same informal networks that have benefited men for years. These
networks offer invaluable support and advice, guiding womens choices about strategic
assignments and encouraging them to take risks.
Criticism of drug testing
As drug testing spreads and labs develop new methods of detection, growing ranks of
critics are challenging the science and fairness behind the workplace practice.
Employers maintain that testing is accurate and increasingly necessary to lower injury
rates and absenteeism costs. But critics say the increase in testing has too many
employees losing careers because they've been wrongly accused.
Temporary work is
sidestepping a slowdown
The law of gravity has worked on stocks, dot-coms and economic growth rates. But it is
having a harder time pulling down the industry that supplies temporary employees to
American businesses. (Free registration required.)
Study: Availability of skilled
workforce is No. 1 factor when deciding where to
The availability of a skilled, experienced, tech-savvy talent pool, quality of life and
of living are the three most important attributes considered when senior executives decide
where to locate technology-related businesses, according to a new study released today by
Lawyers see upside to future job market
Despite recent uncertainty in the U.S. economy, most attorneys view the long-term hiring
outlook in the legal field with optimism.
Does the death of the dot-coms mean no one will ever have fun at work again?
Sell yourself into the job
When you read a job posting or employment advertisement that is not a perfect match for
your credentials but you want to be considered for the position, don't be overly concerned
about the match because organizations often change candidate requirements if the right
individual comes along.
Rethink rehiring plan after
It's best to treat your old employer as just one of many job sources. Outplacement
consultant John Challenger says that too often he's seen clients slack off on their
outside searches "while waiting for the mother ship to take them back."
401(k) fees may end up back in your employer's pocket
Most employees are unaware that they may be paying hundreds of dollars of fees every year
on their 401(k) plans, and even fewer know that fund companies often rebate part of the
fees to employers.
Learning on sabbatical
Want to gain new skills in a relatively short time? Take a sabbatical from your job.
Though many employers don't offer sabbaticals -- only 19% of 754 companies recently polled
do -- they encourage learning by radically changing a person's environment and sense of
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issues subtle, but still exist for women
Overt discrimination has subsided, but subtle, often unintended discrimination
persists. Child-care responsibilities continue to fall predominantly on women. And
women often remain excluded from core operations positions -- managing money
or staff -- that lead to high-power promotions.
risks of blowing your own horn
Career survival is often about balancing one force against another. For instance, when do
you stay below the radar and when do you surface and show your stuff to the boss?
are traumatic top to bottom
Companies are quicker today than ever to shrink their payrolls. The corporate world can
call it a flexibility strategy or a response to market conditions, but it is still
unsettling to those who lose their jobs in today's rapid-fire downsizings.
"Everyone over the age of 45 in my lab was born in the United States. No one under
the age of 45 in my lab is from the United States.'' With that simple statement,
technology pioneer Stan Williams, chief of Hewlett-Packard's top-secret nanotechnology
laboratory, shocked a group of congressional Democrats into grasping the dimensions of
Silicon Valley's talent crisis.
menopause hurt women in the workplace
Calling attention to yourself as a woman can be career suicide. Professional women who are
entering menopause now fought hard to achieve their status, to have a career at all. That
makes any mention of "female problems'' seem even riskier.
Expanded executive cash packages and
equity participation enhance retention
in wake of dot-com
On Monday, Unifi Network released the findings of its Internet Compensation Survey:
2001. Among the survey's findings is the fact that Internet companies continue to
redefine themselves and their business strategies as the industry faces a record amount of
business failures, mergers and acquisition activity.
for preventing workers' compensation fraud
As employers worry about rising workers' compensation premiums and workers worry about
coverage, one industry leader notes that fraudulent workers' compensation claims are
partly to blame for rate increases, and that some of the fraud can be prevented.
as a second career can be a daunting change
Right approach and preparation, career changers can successfully make the switch to sales.
fine art of the schmooze
Employees who master the art of social engagement, or schmooze, make more money, receive
more stellar evaluations and are apt to scale the corporate ladder faster than those who
speak their minds or adhere to a particular set of values no matter what the situation,
Which day is most productive for execs?
A survey conducted by Getzler & Co. has found that Tuesday is the most productive day
of the week for top- and mid-level executives.
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Noncompetes often not
High-tech workers caught in job cuts can usually count on their former employers to not
pursue noncompete agreements they may have signed, experts say, but companies almost
always expect former employees to respect confidentiality and
Snooze you lose?
Many top executives defy the rules on sleep deprivation, much to the chagrin of health
can be a chore to get back to work
Almost everyone who spends years away from their career has at least one Rip
Van Winkle story to tell of their return. The fear of surprises and adjustments is why
many people who stay home with family obligations never return to the occupation they
check your faith at the door
Reconciling personal beliefs with bottom-line demands is especially tough now
as layoffs and profit squeezing take center stage in corporate America. Management
consultant Larry Julian knows the struggle and imparts some wisdom in his book "God
Is My CEO: Following God's Principles in a Bottom-Line World."
Want to be
CEO? Here are some surprising rules to get there
The race goes not just to the swift, but to the polite and happily married.
welfare to work
The path from welfare to work has taken Edwina Ayers through a dozen jobs, four junker
cars, several lousy child-care arrangements and a short stint in a wheelchair.
a boss is an embarrassment
In corporate America -- and even in the halls of Congress and the White House -- employees
can become unwitting victims of a boss' humiliating missteps. But just because the
reputation of your boss is sinking doesn't mean that yours has to.
When hidden fees
Administrative fees once borne almost universally by employers are chipping away
at the returns of many investors in 401(k) retirement plans. (Free registration
reports employers provide more generous leave benefits than required
In its report Balancing the Needs of Families and Employers: Family and Medical Leave
Surveys, the U.S. Dept. of Labor finds that many employers offer more than the
required 12 weeks of annual leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
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Friday, July 20
seekers, plagued by tight market, look for advice
Now that the fairy-tale job market has collapsed, many start-up refugees are learning what
it takes to find work the Old Economy way. They are studying up on business
etiquette, what to wear on an interview and how to describe their skills.
Promotions lag for
minorities in federal government
When it comes to minorities and women, the face of the federal government looks more and
more like America. When it comes to promotions, it's a different story.
Fortune readers weigh in with the down-and-dirty about employee-referral
wage pressures on the horizon
Back-to-back declines in the Wage Trend Indicator indicate that there will be an easing of
wage pressures by the end of 2001, according to the latest report from the Bureau of
National Affairs Inc.
offer insurance for Fluffy
AT&T isn't usually in front of the corporate culture curve. So when Ma Bell offers
health benefits not only for workers' families but also for their pets, something must be
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, dropping by
35,000, the government said Thursday, while the number of people still on benefit rolls
rose to its highest since 1992.
Take time to evaluate
your spending habits before retiring
While many workers do an admirable job of saving for retirement, they fail to estimate how
much they'll spend when they stop working, financial planners say.
Noncompete contracts can
Employment attorneys say they have dealt with more and more noncompete contracts in recent
years as workers change jobs more often. The issue is a seesaw that pits the right of
businesses to protect their interests against the right of workers to further their
careers and work where they wish.
12 questions can improve workplace health
Gallup did a five-year study to find out what makes a successful organization. Its
personnel interviewed a million employees and 80,000 managers at 400 companies. They then
did a statistical analysis that allowed them to narrow down their assessment to 12 basic
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Summer jobs are hard to
Summertime and the living is supposed to be easy. But for many teenagers looking for work,
this summer is shaping up as a disappointment. As Ira Gershwin might have put it: the fish
are not jumping and the cotton is not quite so high. (Free registration required.)
employee wins Sabbath lawsuit
Don Reed believes in God, and on Tuesday he said he believes in justice, too. A federal
jury awarded the former air traffic controller $2.25 million after finding that he was the
victim of intentional religious discrimination by his employer.
Survey: Recruiting Solutions ranks No. 1
among middle-market service
Recruiting Solutions International, a
provider of Web-based recruiting and workforce management software, was rated No. 1 in its
market space according to research conducted by the Electronic Recruiting Exchange.
indicates decline in workplace manners
A few more "pleases" and "thank yous" in the office would definitely
be welcome, a new survey suggests. Nearly half (44 percent) of workers polled recently
said the level of professional courtesy at work has decreased over the past five years.
Ouch...my aching back!
Tips for relieving back pain caused by hours of desk
In today's competitive workplace, complaining of a backache is tantamount to bellyaching.
A tension headache is only phantom pain. But sitting for long periods may in fact lead to
recurring pain everyone should take heed of.
Minimum wage can be bumped
The living-wage movement has its critics, who warn it could lead to job losses for
unskilled workers, saddle businesses with higher costs and worsen inflation. In the
workplace trenches, however, a pay increase that might be small change for most
white-collar workers is bringing hope to impoverished Americans. (Free registration
corporations losing millions through poor e-mail control
Many U.S. organizations could be losing more than $20 million annually through poor
management of e-mail, according to a survey by Rogen International and Goldhaber Research
Want loyal workers?
Then help them grow
Thirty years ago, U.S. companies demonstrated their loyalty by paying decent wages and
benefits and offering job security. Today, more and more employees equate corporate
loyalty and job satisfaction with opportunities for professional growth as well as
competitive pay and benefits, reports Wirthlin Worldwide.
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Workers' comp: Double-digit
A study of worker-compensation claims in eight large states shows that claim costs grew by
11 percent in 1997 and 1998, the most recent years available for review.
employee about to be axed asks for advice
Let's say you're a manager of a division targeted for layoffs. You've seen the list of
employees to be cut, but you've been asked to keep the information secret for two weeks.
Now imagine that an employee on the list asks you whether he should be putting a down
payment on his first home. What should you say?
overdo staying in touch
Connective technologies supposedly provide employees with greater flexibility and
efficiencies on their jobs. The reality is that each new technology also adds complexity
and shown the door
Many companies, concerned about angry reactions to layoffs, have a policy of escorting out
anyone they fire. Some workplace experts say escorting should be done only when there is
reason to believe the individual could become hostile or destructive.
Testing to find 'right'
worker: Growing use of psychological tests praised,
Many employers are turning to psychological testing and personality assessments to help
try to reduce the number of hiring errors. Such tests help identify people who are
"good fits" for available jobs. But, critics say, they also weed out innovative
nonconformists who can provide fresh perspectives, and they put companies at risk for
privacy and discrimination lawsuits.
new round of inspections that focus on most-hazardous
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is launching in July 2001 the next round
of wall-to-wall inspections of thousands of high-hazard worksites under its
site-specific targeting program, the agency announced July 13.
Many middle-aged women no longer see the need to dress for work.
U.S. 'skills gap'
called a problem for industries
Despite a slowing economy, some industries are still having difficulty filling positions
because many American workers don't have the skills to compete in an increasingly
high-tech market, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said Wednesday.
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Tuesday, July 17
discrimination attorneys reveal disturbing double standard in U.S.
A new report reveals that employment discrimination plaintiffs (employees) who win at
trial fare "miserably on appeal" and that appellate courts seldom reverse a case
in which the defendant (employer) won at trial. This gap raises the specter that appellate
courts have a double standard for employment discrimination cases.
Forum addresses workplace
Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive-motion injuries often aren't work-related and
can be triggered by psychological factors, doctors for opponents of government regulation
said at a hearing Monday. Supporters countered with hurt workers and details of employer
programs they said have reduced such injuries.
slowdown hits minorities hardest after gains of 1990s
Now with last-hired, first-fired logic, blacks and Hispanics are seeing their unemployment
rates hit hard in the downturn. And that's churning fears that other gains could be
workers can earn more at next job
Just because you've lost your job, don't assume you have to settle for less money at your
Rethink your 401(k) -- now
Your stock-bubble money is gone. Time to look at your retirement strategy from scratch.
More workers claim age bias in
The economic slowdown is taking a toll on older workers, who are reporting a surge in age
discrimination in layoffs and hiring.
Law gives boost to the disabled
Despite the economic boom of the 1990s, joblessness has remained high among people with
disabilities. But DiversityInc.com reports that the picture may improve soon, thanks to
legislation signed in 1999 by then-President Clinton.
rules ADEA does not apply to foreign nationals
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not prohibit U.S. corporations from
discriminating against foreign nationals on the basis of age, ruled the 4th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals.
is about how workers are treated (and not salary)
With the demise of the dot-coms and the downturn in many businesses associated with them,
employee morale has become a pressing problem for many business owners.
health care, prescription drug costs driven by consumer demand
Efforts to control health care costs have taken a "back seat" to demand for more
"freedom and choice," health policy analysts said at a July 12 roundtable
discussion hosted by the Center for Studying Health System Change.
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Survey shows continued concern
about stress in workplace
Workplace stress continues to be a major concern, according to ComPsych's StressPulse for
May 2001, which reports the following: 56 percent of employees are stressed by their
workload and their increasing amount of responsibility.
Difficult worker may
require new approach
Forget trying to change the behavior of a difficult employee. You probably can't.
Instead, "change the way you deal with them," advises Patricia H. White, senior
consultant at the Center for Organizational Effectiveness at J. Sargeant Reynolds
delay in application of new claims procedure regulations -- but only
group health claims
The deadline to comply with the DOL regulations on claim procedures has been extended, but
only for ERISA group health claims.
Hispanic workers die at
In recent years the rate of on-the-job deaths for all Hispanics has been 20 percent
higher than for whites or blacks, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found. (Free
educated and jobless after U.S. tech bust
Unemployed, broke and living for free at a friend's house 2-1/2 hours from the city,
Jennifer Bussell has joined the ranks of highly educated, experienced and once- highly
paid young professionals adrift without jobs in the wake of an investment bust in U.S.
accounting clerk with neck, arm pain can sue under FMLA, not ADA
A former accounting clerk fired after repeatedly requesting leave due to pain in her arms
and neck failed to demonstrate that her employer violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled July
ground for differences
As offices become more diverse, employers are seeking new approaches to cultural and
Lounge: Where job seekers connect
Instead of commiserating over drinks all night or handing out business cards, Layoff
Lounge participants share leads and tips that could help a fellow job seeker find work. In
return, the Lounge provides a form of one-stop shopping for professionals that includes
career counseling and resume-writing tips.
begin second careers in 'golden years'
A significant change in attitude toward retirement has occurred in this country over the
past few years. Those who saw "the golden years" as a time to leave the
workforce and make room for the younger generation is decreasing.
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strategies to overcome your age disadvantage in interviewing
The older we get the greater the likelihood that those interviewing us and making a hiring
decision will be younger. Such an interview can be intimidating to both the job seeker and
the interviewer. It is critical for the job seeker to make the interviewer feel
comfortable and not threatened by age or experience.
overworked and stressed out
Stress already costs U.S. businesses $300 billion a year, according to the American
Institute of Stress. This year, as corporations are tightening their belts and trimming
jobs, expect even more employees to complain about migraine headaches, stomachaches,
fatigue and other ailments that are linked to pressure on the job.
corporate culture perpetuates glass ceiling, EEOC nominee says
Many hard-to-quantify, invisible barriers still preclude women from reaching the highest
ranks in much of corporate America, Cari Dominguez, President Bush's
choice to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said July 12.
programs looking at workers' effectiveness
Employers are painfully aware of the toll chronic illness takes in lost workdays. Now, as
they fight alarming increases in health care costs, many want to know how these conditions
affect so-called presenteeism, or the reduced performance of employees when they're on the
Been fired? Here's how to walk away with your self-confidence intact.
people, not resources
Medrad's job-retention success follows goal of creating an "enjoyable,
rewarding" place to work.
still jobs out there
It may seem as though opportunities are shrinking with each major layoff announcement and
the upward tick of unemployment to 4.5 percent, but demand remains great in certain
fields, including technology and health care.
Retail workers looking more
at benefits picture
It's not just about the dollars anymore for retail job applicants, experts say, as medical
benefits and 401(k) plans become increasingly important to workers looking for more than
just an extra 25 cents an hour.
It's common for
emotions to cycle as job loss sinks in
Laid-off employees often experience a stomach-turning gamut of emotions after their
dismissals, and most must progress through a full range of emotions before they're ready
to find a new job.