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Site Map - The Workplace

Seminar Speaker Spotlight: Chris Falkenberg and Chris Voss--Corporate Kidnapping

- Christopher Falkenberg and Christopher Voss discuss the threat of an executive or employee kidnapping and why the Southwest could see an increase in such crimes.

Age Discrimination

- An employee who was not rehired after a layoff because he was “troublesome” may not sue his former employer for age discrimination. A federal appeals court ruled that the employee’s history of disputes with coworkers and his poor reputation in the workplace served as a nondiscriminatory reason for refusing to rehire him.

Investigations

- An employee may not sue her employer for retaliation after the company failed to investigate her original discrimination claim, a federal appeals court has ruled. Failure to investigate in such instances does not constitute an adverse employment action, according to the court.

Forced Labor Threats

- Outsourcing by multinational companies can unwittingly lead to child labor and human rights abuses, harming the company’s reputation and bottom line.

Massachusetts: New Law Limits When Employers Can Ask Job Applicants About Convictions

- Come November 4, Massachusetts will no longer allow employers to ask applicants to check the box that asks whether they have a criminal record when filling out a job application.

U.S. Congressional Legislation: Background Screening

- The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing to consider H.R. 3149 (.pdf), which would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to prohibit a current or prospective employer from using credit reports to make employment decisions such as hiring, firing, or promotion. Witnesses who spoke in support of the rights of employers to use such reports argued that the information is not used in a vacuum but is among the many tools companies use to make good hiring decisions. Opponents contended that credit scores are often inaccurate and have not been conclusively linked to inappropriate workplace behaviors, such as theft.

Helping Employees Cope

- Managers can use assistance programs to help victimized employees avoid trouble and stay focused on their jobs.

Security Manager's Guide to Disasters: Managing Through Emergencies, Violence, and Other Workplace Threats

- A costly overview of security-manager best practices in a book that doesn't bother to give the author's biography or professional credentials.

Harassment

- A woman has been awarded more than $1 million in damages after she was repeatedly harassed by a coworker who made disparaging racial and sexual remarks (.pdf). The woman’s managers refused to take action until the harasser physically assaulted the woman. (Freeman v. Whirlpool Corporation, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, No. 3:06-0593, 2009)

Elsewhere in the Courts: Racial Discrimination

- A federal appeals court has ruled that an employee, Dennis Ford, may not sue his employer for racial discrimination because the discrimination was not severe enough and Ford failed to pursue his complaint adequately. Ford claimed that one of his coworkers called him a “black African American,” and “black man,” on a regular basis. However, Ford reported the incident only once and during the complaint was more concerned about other issues, such as an impending raise. In addition, the name-calling stopped after the offending employee was reprimanded. (Ford v. Minteq Shapes and Services, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, No. 09-2140, 2009)

State Legislation: Utah: Hiring

- A new Utah law (formerly H.B. 206) would restrict how employers could request personal information from prospective employees. Under the law, employers may not request an applicant’s Social Security number, date of birth, or driver’s license number until after the applicant has been offered a job. The information may also be requested after the applicant has agreed to a criminal background check, credit check, or driving record check.

State Legislation: Illinoise: Credit Checks

- A bill (H.B. 4658) pending in the Illinois legislature would prohibit companies from conducting credit checks on prospective employees. Under the bill, it would be illegal for companies to use credit checks to make decisions on hiring, recruiting, discharge, or compensation. Exceptions would be made for financial institutions, public safety agencies, or any other government agencies that require credit checks as a matter of law.

Laptops

- Lost laptops can cost companies about $640,000, according to an Aberdeen Group study. Best practices include using endpoint security solutions and implementing formal end-user training and awareness programs.
 




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