#Nextchat: Smoke of a Different Kind


Back in March, we chatted with employment attorney Christine Walters about Marijuana in the Workplace. This week we’ll be chatting about smoke of a different kind.

Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes or e-cigs, are an alternative to traditional tobacco smoking. E-cigarettes produce a vaporized liquid that’s inhaled and provide a similar sensation to smoking. The liquids used to produce the vapor come in various flavors and may contain nicotine.

Recently, e-cigarettes and regular tobacco smokers are getting more attention as states pass laws and organizations pass policies regarding their presence...


Executive Book Club: September 2014

This book has been Approved for Recertification Credit. After reading this approved book, you must complete a quiz on SHRM’s E-Learning platform. When you purchase this book from the SHRMStore, you will receive a code that you can use to cover the cost of the quiz. Receive a 70% or better score on the quiz and you will then receive a certificate of completion with the program ID that entitles you to 2.5 GENERAL credit hours. Use this Program ID to log your credits. For a complete list of the books approved for credit, visit the Approved Books List. Learn...


Post-Pregnancy Discrimination?


Q: When is an employee who is not pregnant and not trying to become pregnant still covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)?

A: When she recently gave birth.

The PDA amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, covers employers with 15 or more employees and prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

Now here's the case. An employee returns


Here's the wrong way to deliver FMLA notices to employees

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

But, if you send FMLA paperwork to an employee by first class mail, then you're asking for trouble.

I'll show you why after the jump...

* * *

Did you read the lede and think to yourself, "FMLA notice? You mean there's a notice? You mean, like in our handbook right?"

Ah newbie. There's still hope for you. I have an FMLA PowerPoint. Just email me and I'll get you started on the right track.

(Also, if you missed...


Talent Management Solutions Can Put Federal Hirers in the “Major League”

Recent findings from the Partnership for Public Service are raising cautionary flags when it comes to the government employment picture:

  •          Hiring for federal jobs has reached its lowest level in nearly a decade, as about 76,700 new employees entered the workforce in fiscal 2013 – a dip of more than 14.5 percent compared to 2012.
  •          At the same time, about 110,000 workers left – resulting in a 33,000-staffer gap with respect to incoming versus exiting personnel.
  • ...

Executive Book Club: August 2014

To have any hope of succeeding as a manager, you need to get your people all in.

Whether you manage the smallest of teams or a multi-continent organization, you are the owner of a work culture—congratulations—and few things will have a bigger impact on your performance than getting your people to buy into your ideas and your cause and to believe what they do matters.

Bestselling authors of The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton return to answer the most overlooked leadership questions of our day: Why are some managers able to get their employees to commit wholeheartedly...


#SHRMYP Chat – Dress Codes in the Workplace

Dress codes in the workplace are written (or more often unwritten) rules that dictate what we should and should not wear to work.  With summer coming to a close, many organizations will start to worry less about their dress code policies. 

Dress codes may be put in place to maintain professionalism, identify employees, and/or for safety purposes.  But do cooler temps ALWAYS mean there should be no enforcement of policy or cause for concern?

Please join the SHRM Young Professional Advisory Council and host @CallieZipple at 12 noon...


Employers Adopting More Permanent Uses for Contingent Staffing

For quite some time, contingent staffing was primarily a gap-filler for many employers: Earn a new contract, hire “x” amount of people to do the job and cut the cord when the work was finished.

Now there is growing evidence that the contingent workforce—a category that includes freelancers, contractors, consultants and temporary workers—is becoming a more permanent part of employers’ hiring strategies. There were nearly 2.9 million workers classified under “temporary help services” in June 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics June Employment Situation report, an increase of more than 10,000 from May 2014, and up...


HR Cinema: Ocean’s 11

In my mind, Ocean’s 11 is one of the coolest movies ever, with great lines, and an amazing cast. It also breaks my rule that remakes aren’t as good as the original, because this one blows the Rat Pack’s version out of the water.  Here’s what IMDB has to say:

Danny Ocean wants to score the biggest heist in history. He combines an eleven member team, including Frank Catton, Rusty Ryan and Linus Caldwell. Their target? The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. All casinos owned by Terry Benedict. It's not going to be easy, as they plan...


Analytics Driven by Business Accountability

Analytics in the business world serve many purposes, and a survey by the American Management Association uncovered the top five reasons business leaders say analytical skills are necessary today.

Which of the following create the greatest need for analytical skills in your organization?

  1.       Accountability for results 67.0%
  2.       Competitive environment 61.6%
  3.       Complexity of business environment 52.6%
  4.       Increase in customer data 51.3%
  5.       Risk management 50.7%

I found the results intriguing, because while we say we need accountability first and foremost...