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Procedural Slip-Up Sinks Mammoth EEOC Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to prove systemic, nationwide claims of discriminatory pay and promotion policies because it didn’t really conduct a nationwide investigation of the claims, even though it told a court it had, according to Gerald Maatman Jr., an attorney in Seyfarth Shaw’s Chicago and New York City offices.
The case involved the pay and promotion claims of 44,000 women employed by Sterling Jewelers, the largest specialty retail jeweler in the nation, with more than 1,300 stores, including Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.
Sterling allegedly paid its female employees less than...

The Best Way to Maintain Human Resources Files

Compliance is a big part of human resources. When HR does compliance right, it can give us time to do the other, more strategic parts of our job. Today’s reader question deals with one of the big compliance issues companies face: employee files.

"Hello. We are a small business of around 50 employees. I would like a suggestion or opinion on the best way to organize employee folders. We do not use a virtual system, everything is still on paper and in a file folder. I think the best solution would be a series of several tabbed folders...


#Nextchat: Marijuana and the Workplace

With 20 states now allowing medical marijuana use (and two allowing recreational use), there is a new and urgent need for organizations to understand the associated liability issues in the workplace.  

Although the laws allow the drug’s use for medical purposes, they may not address the impact that legal medical marijuana has on the workplace.  Beyond the increase in potential safety issues, there is also the concern about productivity—in our organizations and as a nation.

In a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” California Gov. Jerry...


Do Your Employees Talk To Each Other or About Each Other?

I am attending and speaking at one of my favorite diversity conferences this week, and on the trip here I overheard a conversation in the airport among 3 co-workers who were taking one of their peers to task, I mean they are letting her have it! Unfortunately for her, and for the organization that these 4 people work for, she was not present and is not likely going to get any of this feedback. Intelligent, competent, educated adults who are talking about each other rather than to each other.
I get to do some hands on work...

HR Philosophy from the Trenches

I have two HR philosophies; “Keep It Simple” and “Deal With the Problem”. My that I mean that people always seem so scared of dealing with something going wrong because they see it as conflict and that they will upset the person involved. The way I approach it is, something has happened, and that is what we need to address. I’m not going to belittle them, or attack them, we just need to address the issue as soon as possible. ~Leeanne, a dedicated upstartHR reader

Recently I asked some questions of a few of...

Boldness Should Never Stand Alone

A couple of years ago I read a book about RAF fighter pilots in World War II. One particular passage stood out. It was this: There are old fighter pilots and bold fighter pilots, but there are no old, bold fighter pilots. The author was making the point that the very best dogfight pilots were young, because of superb eyesight and lightening reflexes. What do fighter pilots have to do with the world of business? Not much, although their courage could surely come in handy in several C-suites.
Here’s my point. Bold should never stand on its own,...

Five Mobile Tools to Enhance Productivity

The last few years have seen the creation of an enormous amount of mobile applications designed to transform the way work is done. As more people ditch their laptops for the greater convenience of tablets, demand for mobile apps that can facilitate tasks and communications has never been higher. With developers racing to create the next great app, it can be challenging to determine which solutions will bring the most positive results.

For the HR professional, there are a number of apps that can help in all aspects of their job, from recruiting and onboarding to performance management and...


#Nextchat: Ban Bossy?

What does the word “bossy” mean to you?  

Sheryl Sandberg's new "Ban Bossy" campaign seeks to eliminate the use of the word “bossy” when describing successful and powerful women, and replace it with positive words that highlight character, resilience and leadership ability.  

Many believe that society often discourages girls from developing and displaying leadership qualities, and that this has produced generations of women who are afraid to take on leadership positions for fear of being disliked.   

While many women, like Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham and Condoleezza...


Giver or Taker ??

Have you ever been unemployed?  I have.  It’s happened a few times in my life.  I’m not talking about transitioning from one job to a new one.  I’m talking about not working in your profession.  It’s hard.
The reality of the financial implications hit first and you’re kind of taken over by fear.  You think that EVERYONE would want to hire you immediately, and that you’re sure to land your next job quickly.  That rarely happens. These items aren’t “new” and there are countless blogs and pieces of advice for jobseekers.
However, I think there’s a HUGE...