Friday, February 14, 2020

WIRTW #587 (the “joy” edition)


On Valentine’s Day, we tend to focus (because marketing and advertising tell us that we should) on our significant other. Not to sound too cheesy, but I focus on my wife every day. I don’t need a special heart-shaped day on the calendar to remind me. Thus, I instead like to focus on the general ideals of love and that which brings joy into our lives. 

So for today, let’s focus less on the Hallmark world of Valentine’s Day and more on all of the things in our lives that bring us love and joy. 

And, in that vein, I bring you something that recently brought me tremendous joy—this video of my daughter learning that her band advanced to the finals of the 2020 Tri-C High School Rock Off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for the opportunities that this will bring them, but I’m more excited because you can see from the look on her face when she hears the emcee announce, “Fake ID,” just how happy this makes her. We all need something in our lives that makes us this happy and joyful.


Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.

Here’s what I read this week:

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The 3rd nominee for the “worst employer of 2020” is … the arresting retaliator


An African-American employee claims he suffered rampant discrimination at the towing company at which he worked, including being called racial slurs. But that’s not what qualifies A&B Towing for its nomination as the Worst Employer of 2020. It’s what happened to Michael Fesser after he complained to his boss about the discrimination and harassment that is truly eye-opening and offensive.

NBC News has the details:

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Even though this employer won its ex-employee’s retaliation lawsuit, PLEASE don’t do what it did


Family businesses are difficult to manage. They become even more difficult when the owners are spouses, and an employee accuses one of sexual harassment.

For example, consider Allen v. Ambu-Stat.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Dos and Don’ts of firing an employee


Firing people SUCKS. And anyone who tells you that they take pleasure from it shouldn’t be doing it.

It’s the absolute worst part of any manager’s job. Sure, there are exceptions. An employee sexually harasses, or steals, or assaults someone? I’m not feeling badly about their termination. But otherwise, it’s awful having to communicative to someone that they no longer have a job.

The first person I ever fired broke down in tears and begged for another chance (even though he was at least on his third). He earned his termination, and I still felt completely awful about having to tell him.

Kate Bischoff inspired today’s post with her difference of opinion yesterday, blogging that she likes firing people.

Like or dislike, if you’re in management or HR you will have to fire someone eventually. Thus, today I offer five helpful dos and five helpful don’ts to help ease the pain of the process.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Amazon’s crackdown on employee climate-change protesters is a teachable moment on employee speech rights


Earlier this year, Amazon threatened to fire two employees who spoke out against the company’s stance on climate change. In addition, the company also issued a new employee communications policy.

The protest started last April when a group calling itself Amazon Employees for Climate Justice published a letter signed by more than 8,700 employees. It called on Amazon to adopt a company-wide plan to address climate change. As the protests intensified, Amazon ultimately reacted with the new policy and the job threats.

Friday, February 7, 2020

WIRTW #586 (the “silos” edition)


Yesterday, Suzanne Lucas (aka the Evil HR Lady), asked a question about corporate jargon.

One of my least favorite corporate jargon-isms? “Stay in your lane.” It suggests that we only do that which we do best, and not veer into areas outside of our comfort zone.

Why not? New and different lead to learning and creativity.

Comfort zones are boring. They can lead to staleness and silos.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Labor issues when you acquire a company with a union


Spotify recently announced that it is acquiring The Ringer, one of the most prolific and popular podcasting networks. Spotify also indicated that it intends to hire all of The Ringers’ 90 employees, most of whom work on theringer.com, which covers sports and culture and which Spotify indicates it will keep up and running.

Last summer, 66 of those 90 employees signed union-authorization cards stating their support for the Writers Guild of America East to represent them as their collective bargaining representative. Shortly thereafter, The Ringer management voluntarily recognized the Guild as the union representative for its employees.

What does this mean for Spotify? Is it acquiring a labor union as part of its purchase of The Ringer? Like most legal questions, the answer depends on a number of factors.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

What is the Advancing Support for Working Families Act, and why doesn’t it go far enough?


During last night’s State of the Union Address, President Trump announced his endorsement of the Advancing Support for Working Families Act.
Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God. As we support America’s moms and dads, I was recently proud to sign the law providing new parents in the federal workforce paid family leave, serving as a model for the rest of the country. 
Now I call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Advancing Support for Working Families Act, extending family leave to mothers and fathers all across our nation.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Urine trouble: Ohio Supreme Court to decide whether an employer can require “direct observation” of a workplace urine-sample collection


An employer requires “direct observation” of its employees providing a urine sample pursuant to its reasonable suspicion and random workplace drug-testing policy. The employer sends an individual of the same sex to accompany the tested employee into a restroom designated for the sample collection to visually observe the employee producing the sample. The employer’s substance abuse policy and the consent and release form provide for the testing, neither discloses or provides for the direct observation of the sample production.

These are the facts of Lunsford v. Sterilite of Ohio, in which the Ohio Supreme Court will decide whether a private-sector, at-will employee who agrees to drug testing as a condition of continued employment has a reasonable expectation of privacy during mandatory drug screening.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Poll: how do you handle “Super Bowl Fever”?


Today is Super Bowl Monday, the day after the big game. The game ended after 10 pm last night, and parties went much later. In light of this, consider these stats from Kronos:

  • An estimated 17.5 million U.S. employees say they may skip work today. 
  • Of those employees, 11.1 million say they will likely use preapproved time-off.
  • Another 4.7 million plan to call in sick even though they’re really not ill.
  • 1.5 million say they will not tell anyone they’re not coming in and just won’t show up.
  • 11.1 million employees plan to go to work, but will show up late.

So here’s my question for everyone. How will your business handle the “Super Bowl Fever”?

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