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RSS feed iconArticles on workplace-related issues from newspapers and Internet news sources around the country.

May 26, 2020

Sexual Harassment at McDonald’s Is Even Worse Than We Knew

Source: Bryce Covert, The Nation

New polling suggests 75 percent of female employees have experienced sexual harassment on the job.

How women can best navigate re-entering workforce

Source: Boston Herald

Re-entering the workforce after a long period of not working is a challenge, but it’s one that women can overcome with the help of a handful of strategies.

The most pressing workforce management issues of 2020

Source: Andie Burjek, Workforce

Based on information from various reports and expert interviews, these workforce management issues are some of the most immediate for 2020 and what practitioners should be thinking about.

Women are told more lies than men in workplace reviews, new research suggests. And that can prevent gender equality.

Source: Leah Asmelash, CNN

Turns out, gender bias in the workplace is just as detrimental as you may think. New research, published last week in the "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin," suggests that women are lied to more than men in professional settings.

Teen essential workers juggle labor, fear, stress — and remote learning — to help support their families

Source: Hannah Leone, The Chicago Tribune

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and the economic devastation worsens, many Chicago-area high school students have picked up jobs as essential workers to help out parents who have lost jobs or income. Other teenage essential workers have themselves lost other retail jobs or are trying to save for a future that has become much more uncertain.

May 22, 2020

Reopening reality check: Georgia's jobs aren’t flooding back

Source: Megan Cassella, Politico

Georgia’s early move to start easing stay-at-home restrictions nearly a month ago has done little to stem the state’s flood of unemployment claims — illustrating how hard it is to bring jobs back while consumers are still afraid to go outside.

Menard Inc. in Michigan for Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment

Source: EEOC

Menard Inc., which operates over 300 Menards home improvement stores in 14 states, has been sued by federal authorities on charges that it failed to act on multiple complaints of sexual harassment by an assistant manager at its facility in Wixom, Michigan.

Senators release bill to offer $4,000 skills training credit to workers displaced by coronavirus

Source: Jacob Pramuk, CNBC

Four senators introduced a bill Wednesday to create a credit that workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic could apply to a range of skills training programs.

Older Workers Must Be Proactive About Their Future

Source: Rick Terrien, Entrepreneur

There are more than 100 million people in the U.S. between the ages of 40 and 65. All of us need to consider new options to create value and work in the future. If older workers wait for help, we will likely find ourselves waiting a long time.

Most U.S. workers intend to have a job during retirement

Source: Motley Fool, Fox

After a lifetime of effort, you may be more than ready to stop working once you reach a certain age. A lot of people don't work in retirement, but there are benefits to holding down a job in some capacity as a senior. In fact, 74% of workers today say they plan to have a job in retirement, according to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

May 21, 2020

The boss in your bedroom: As workplace surveillance spreads, what are your rights?

Source: Jeff John Roberts, Fortune

When employees go into the office, they give up a degree of personal privacy: Their boss may monitor what they do on their phone and computer, and even scrutinize their appearance and behavior with coworkers. But what happens when their workplace suddenly becomes their home?

As America reopens, prepare for a flood of coronavirus workplace lawsuits

Source: Ellen Sheng, CNBC

Like many small business owners, Edgar Comellas, owner of Aces Wild Entertainment in Florida, has seen business grind to a halt since March. His company, which arranges casino games for corporate, fundraising and private events, has returned deposits and doesn’t have any new bookings on the horizon.

When store workers are forced to turn sheriff

Source: Harmeet Kaur, CNN

Now, more and more states are reopening their economies after weeks of shutdowns, with new safety protocols in place. But just exactly who has the authority to enforce those measures is often unclear -- meaning the onus of ensuring that stores stay safe from defiant customers is increasingly falling on these already vulnerable frontline workers.

Women Have Less Secure Retirement, Following Lives Filled With Discrimination And Risks

Source: Christian Weller, Forbes

Women face a vastly more insecure retirement than men, a new report co-authored by Joelle Saad-Lessler, Tyler Bond and myself shows. They have fewer opportunities to save for retirement during their careers. They earn lower wages in part because of discrimination, structural barriers and more economic risks, especially from divorce and caregiving, during their working lives.

May 20, 2020

New tool to measure gender bias in the workplace may help finally eliminate it

Source: Amber Stephenson,

With our scale, we can now better measure how women experience bias barriers like the glass cliff—when women are put in positions of power when things are going poorly—and when women are held to higher performance standards than men. This should allow organizations to diagnose the level and specific types of bias women experience and to understand how their organizational culture affects women leaders.

Workplace Sexual Harassment Videos Are Bad. This Company Is Trying to Make Them More Realistic.

Source: Jaclyn Skurie, Vice

As businesses have been forced to rethink their workplace culture in the wake of the #MeToo movement, companies like Emtrain that offer workplace education and training courses have seen an opportunity for a newer and more realistic take on a genre that has often been overlooked as nothing more than an office requirement.

How to Form a Mental Health Employee Resource Group

Source: Jen Porter , Bernie Wong and Kelly Greenwood, Harvard Business Review

ERGs are created to build community among people with shared identities or experiences at work. When done thoughtfully, those that focus on mental health promote diversity and inclusion and provide support for employees managing symptoms of mental health conditions.

The Future Of Work: Improving Workforce Training And Employee Experience

Source: Alexander Young, Forbes

As the founder and CEO of an experiential training solution that uses virtual and augmented reality, I’d like to discuss what leaders need to know about current workforce training and where it is heading in the future.

‘I felt violated.’ This man says he was fired for ‘gross insubordination’ for refusing to reveal his mother’s COVID-19 diagnosis

Source: Andrew Keshner, MarketWatch

Christopher Wells believes his employer didn’t have any business seeing his mother’s COVID-19 test results. Now he’s out of a job and suing his prior company, alleging wrongful termination.

May 19, 2020

What the Arkansas meat plant workers I met want you to know

Source: Alice Driver, CNN

The workers I interviewed were proud that they had been able to support their families by working on farms and in meatpacking plants, but they reported that many of their employers weren't following guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Workers who still have their jobs are happier but working harder: CNBC survey

Source: Jen Geller, CNBC

After holding steady at a score of 71 all last year, the Workplace Happiness Index now measures a 73 out of 100, with slight increases in positive sentiment on all component measures, which include compensation, opportunities for advancement, feeling valued by colleagues and meaningfulness of the work.

The auto industry faces challenges worse than in 2008, lawmakers say

Source: Sabrina Rodriguez, Politico

Auto manufacturing plants across the United States are resuming operations Monday, but it’s unclear whether production and consumer demand will ramp up enough for them to survive without federal aid.

Age as an asset: Why there's no room for bias in telework

Source: Sheryl Estrada, HR Dive

However, older employees possess soft skills that will lead to success in telework, Bevins said. "When talking with recruiters, I hear time and time again that they are looking for employees who are critical thinkers, have strong communication skills and are creative problem-solvers," she said. "When mature workers are able to effectively use technology in their work, their well-developed soft skills — I argue they are essential skills — translate to strong work production in online environments."

FedEx Ground to Pay $3.3 Million to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: EEOC

FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. will pay $3.3 million and provide programmatic relief to resolve a companywide disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

May 18, 2020

Fed’s Powell warns unemployment could reach Depression-level 25 percent

Source: Victoria Guida, Politico

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Sunday warned that the nation's unemployment rate could soar to 25 percent during the worst of the coronavirus crisis, though he said the economy should recover more quickly than during the Great Depression, when joblessness last reached those levels.

How To Go Into Business With Your Partner (Without Going Crazy)

Source: Aaron Agius, Forbes

Here are a few of the specific steps we took, in case you’re thinking about going into business with your partner:

Is Covid-19 exposing MLB players as exploited workers or greedy millionaires?

Source: Gabriel Baumgaertner, The Guardian

As the coronavirus lockdown hits baseball revenues, owners want players to take a salary hit. It could end in a nasty standoff as MLB tries to restart.

'Providing care today; face dismissal tomorrow': LGBTQ health workers on the front lines as Supreme Court weighs job protections

Source: Susan Miller, USA Today

But an uneasy reality haunts these LGBTQ health care workers on the front lines in the coronavirus pandemic: They are employed in states where they could be fired for their sexual orientation and gender identity.

How apps could change the workplace after coronavirus crisis

Source: Leighton Schneider and Michael Dobuski, ABC

Sounds pretty normal so far, but as many states begin the process of reopening as the novel coronavirus pandemic loosens its grip, experts say it's time to start thinking about how to keep those workplaces germ-free.

May 15, 2020

Pandemic costs clean energy sector nearly 600,000 jobs

Source: Kelsey Tamborrino, Politico

The clean energy sector has shed nearly 600,000 jobs since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and losses are expected to worsen in the coming months, according to a report released Wednesday by industry groups.

Office reopening takes planning, HR involvement

Source: Emily Van Zandt, Washington Business Journal

With companies moving toward the eventual reopening of physical office spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic, human resources leaders are facing a long list of questions. From sourcing hand sanitizer and masks to determining how to respond to a worker who feels unsafe returning to the office, Society for Human Resource Management Knowledge Center Manager Liz Peterson answers some frequently asked questions.

The Downside of Flex Time

Source: Maura Thomas, Harvard Business Review

Remote work, especially in a world affected by Covid-19, naturally leads to “flex time.” Employees with small children might be getting the majority of their work done at night after the kids are in bed. Others are working early and hoping to quit early. Still others are starting late and working late.

Workers with disabilities are especially hard hit in the coronavirus economy

Source: Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted employees across a host of industries to leave jobs, relocate and uproot their lives in other ways. The turmoil has been especially hard on people with disabilities, many of whom are employed in the retail industry, advocates and employment service providers say. It can be harder for Americans with a disability to find work as opportunities dry up, and they may have more trouble living independently.

Former Google engineer fired over memo drops discrimination lawsuit

Source: Ethan Baron, The Mercury News

James Damore, a former Google engineer fired for writing a memo suggesting women were less suited than men for technology jobs, has dropped his lawsuit against the company.

May 14, 2020

‘All the days are blurring together’: How to battle burnout and find a healthy work-life balance during the pandemic

Source: Meera Jagannathan, MarketWatch

Now, she added, “people are finding it even harder to ‘log off’ from remote work.” “People are worried about layoffs and furloughs, and so feel even more pressure to demonstrate their value to the company, or prove they are an ideal worker,” Bohns said. “And as we shift to doing all of our living and working at home — many of us with partners and children — work-life boundaries are blurred more than ever.”

Labor Department reports 36.5 million unemployment claims over 2 months

Source: Rebecca Rainey, Politico

Thursday's report brought the eight-week total of coronavirus-induced layoffs to 36.5 million.

Your 401(k) match may be in jeopardy. Here’s what you should do

Source: Annie Nova, CNBC

As companies look to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, many of them have or will soon stop matching their employees’ 401(k) contributions.

$200 Billion In Hazard Pay: These Essential Workers Must Get Their Fair Share

Source: Terina Allen, Forbes

The House will vote this week on another coronavirus relief stimulus package that includes $200 billion in hazard pay for essential workers. The question now is will this money get to the essential workers who actually work on the frontlines, or will they be overlooked?

How Does a Furlough Work?

Source: Hallie Crawford, U.S. News

To help you get started making a plan and understanding what this all means, here are some answers to five common questions about furlough.

May 13, 2020

Grocery stores and coffee chains gave workers hazard pay. Now they’re taking it back

Source: Suhuana Hussain, The LA Times

But this rise in wages — the “hero bonuses” and “appreciation pay” — is already subsiding, even with the number of new infections refusing to fall. With Starbucks reopening stores, those $3 raises will terminate at the end of May. So will Target’s $2 hourly raise. Kroger-owned grocery chains such as Ralphs, QFC and Fred Meyer will stop paying an extra $2 per hour Sunday.

Highlights of Democrats’ $3 trillion-plus virus relief bill

Source: The Associated Press

Democrats controlling the House have unveiled a $3 trillion-plus coronavirus relief bill — the fifth coronavirus response legislation so far — and are planning to pass the measure on Friday. The legislation replenishes existing accounts to respond to both the COVID-19 health care crisis and to try to ease the economic impact of the pandemic, which has produced record job losses and fears of a depression.

Sexual Harassment Remains a Workplace Menace Even While Working From Home

Source: Laurie Girand, GritDaily

Women who are still employed are affected by the sharp rise in unemployment. They may be afraid to report misconduct out of fear of retaliation or loss of their own jobs. A significant downturn of the economy also discourages reporting.

Majority of remote workers are more productive and communicative

Source: Vala Afshar, ZDNet

All companies, even those with no remote work culture, have had to mandate and effectively manage their employees working from home. Research shows how the workforce is experiencing the shift, and what employees need to stay productive and engaged. The future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic will not be the same.

Antibody tests could lead to job discrimination and encourage workers to play 'Russian roulette'

Source: Amy Woodyatt, CNN

As the coronavirus pandemic plunges economies around the world into recession, governments and businesses are scrambling to find ways to get people back to work. One tool many are banking on is the antibody test.

May 12, 2020

Job Losses Hit Workers Without College Degrees The Hardest

Source: Preston Cooper, Forbes

Workers without college degrees were hit particularly hard. The unemployment rate for people with only a high school degree reached 17.3%, exceeding its peak during the Great Recession by 6 percentage points.

Improving The Employee Experience For Gig And Contract Workers

Source: Greg Kihlstrom, Forbes

It is a challenging time for employees and employers right now. Although most of the currently large remote workforce will likely return to their offices after the pandemic ends, a significant number of formerly full-time employees may find themselves part of the gig economy, whether by choice or necessity.

Trump deems farmworkers ‘essential’ but doesn’t make safety rules mandatory

Source: Helena Bottemiller Evich and Liz Crampton, Politico

The Trump administration has deemed the millions of people who are cutting lettuce, picking cherries, packing peaches and otherwise getting food from farm to table to be “essential workers” but is doing little to keep them healthy during the pandemic.

How to Keep Remote Employees on Task Without Spying on Them

Source: Suzanne Lucas, Inc.

The best way to ensure remote workers are in fact working is to assess their performance. That's it.

Supreme Court examines discrimination lawsuits against religious schools

Source: Ariane de Vogue, CNN

The Supreme Court struggled Monday with where to draw a line in a dispute concerning when teachers who work in religious schools can file employment discrimination claims.

May 11, 2020

LGBTQ Americans are getting coronavirus, losing jobs. Anti-gay bias is making it worse for them.

Source: Petruce Jean-Charles, USA Today

The coronavirus outbreak is pummeling LGBTQ Americans, especially those of color, leaving a population already vulnerable to health care and employment discrimination suffering from high job losses and a growing rate of positive cases, according to preliminary data collected from multiple LGBTQ advocacy groups.

Is A Blurred Work-Life Balance The New Normal?

Source: Adi Gaskell, Forbes

It's a question that seems increasingly pertinent in our coronavirus age, as so many of us are working from home on a semi-permanent basis. It creates the inevitable dilemma around when exactly work time begins and ends each day. This blurring of boundaries can create considerable challenges for our work-life balance, especially when employees have so much else on their plate at the moment too.

ANALYSIS: Gig Worker Battles Poised to Outlast Pandemic

Source: Katie Sear and Dori Goldstein, Bloomberg

Covid-19 and the economic downturn have forced many gig workers to take on risky, difficult work, and has forced many others out of work altogether. But the crisis also has positioned gig workers—those currently working and those who are not—to win greater employment protections and benefits in the future.

Tracking COVID-19’s Employment Law Impact: The Sheltering-In-Place Factor

Source: Joy P. Waltemath and Pamela Wolf, Above the Law

‘There is the fear of the virus -- and the fear of liability.’

Lawsuit Claims Background Check Policy of Bank Violated Title VII

Source: Thomas Ahearn, ESR

On April 20, 2020, a proposed class action lawsuit was filed in a Delaware federal court “against Bank of America for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a result of discriminatory background check policy and practice,” according to a copy of the complaint available on the Bloomberg Law website.

May 8, 2020

The Rise of the All-Seeing Boss

Source: Nick Martin, The New Republic

This tracks with what many companies are looking to do as American businesses prematurely reopen. The Washington Post reported that companies like the trade publication the High Plains Journal are requiring employees to create avatars for a digital office and to have their webcams on around the clock.

Five workplace trends will shape life after lockdown

Source: Dave Cook,

We are experiencing the biggest remote work experiment in history—but many are beginning to imagine life after lockdown. Amid unprecedented global job losses, concerns about transport infrastructure and the continuing need for workplace social distancing, governments are launching back-to-work plans.

Unemployment soars to 14.7 percent in April amid coronavirus fallout

Source: Rebecca Rainey, Politico

The unemployment rate shot up to 14.7 percent in April, its highest level since the Great Depression, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. U.S. employers shed 20.5 million jobs in April as small businesses struggled to access hundreds of billions that Congress appropriated in an attempt to stem layoffs.

6 Ways COVID-19 Will Change The Workplace Forever

Source: William Arruda, Forbes

Just as with 9/11, many of the major coronavirus changes that we’re experiencing now will evaporate, and things will go back to the way they were without much notice. We’ll adopt the mindsets and postures we had before the crisis. But the coronavirus will permanently alter many elements of how we work.

Medical Conditions Can Bar Workers From Job in Pandemic: EEOC

Source: Paige Smith, Bloomberg

Companies can ask employees about known medical conditions and prevent them from working during the coronavirus pandemic if they reasonably believe those conditions will pose “a direct threat” to the workers’ health, the EEOC said in updated guidance.

May 7, 2020

Essential, and No Longer Disposable

Source: Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic

The greatest irony of the coronavirus pandemic may be that many of the American workers now considered the most essential were among those treated as the most disposable before the outbreak began.

Bringing Emotions Into The Workplace

Source: Yolanda Lau, Forbes

Today, managers and executives must not only master their own emotions, but also craft strategies to support emotions at work. Doing so ultimately creates a more productive, supportive and energizing work environment for all.

As coronavirus kills another Amazon worker, the company’s response is adding to employees’ fears

Source: Annie Palmer, CNBC

Tensions have been growing between Amazon and warehouse workers nationwide, as the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths at its facilities have climbed.

The Post-Covid-19 World: 4 Ways HR Will Look Different in the “New Normal”

Source: Suzanne Lucas, HRAcuity

I talk about when things get back to "normal" all the time, but that's never happening. We will be creating a new normal after all the stay at home orders are lifted. What will HR look like in this new world? Well, here are some guesses.

New bill would give essential workers $25K for tuition, student loans

Source: Jessica Smith, Yahoo News

As Congress eyes the next phase of coronavirus relief, some lawmakers want to help pay frontline workers’ student loans or higher education costs.

May 6, 2020

What we owe undocumented workers during Covid-19

Source: Saket Soni and Marielena Hincapie, CNN

These workers need what they also deserve: the right to stay and keep working. But at the bare minimum, they need more than what they have gotten -- which is close to nothing.

Implementing And Enabling A Virtual Workforce

Source: Michael Brainard, Forbes

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, "telework or virtual work is a work arrangement that allows an employee to perform work during any part of regular, paid hours, at an approved alternative worksite (e.g., home, telework center)."

Some States Let Vulnerable Workers Turn Down Jobs

Source: Sophie Quinton, Stateline

As governors start to allow businesses to reopen, they’re under pressure to clarify whether people can refuse a job offer and stay on unemployment if they’re afraid of catching the coronavirus at work.

United Airlines service workers’ union sues over schedule cuts after carrier got federal aid

Source: Leslie Josephs, CNBC

The labor union that represents more than 25,000 United Airlines aircraft and passenger service workers sought an injunction Tuesday against sharp schedule cuts, alleging the airline violated the terms of billions in federal coronavirus aid by cutting employee work schedules.

New York attorney general’s office questioned NBC News employees on sexual harassment

Source: Stephen Battaglio, LA Times

Former employees at NBC News have been questioned by the New York attorney general’s office about how the company handled sexual harassment allegations in the division.

How some workplaces will prepare to welcome employees back after coronavirus

Source: The Rebound Detriotf, ABC News

If you're completely healthy and you just want to stay home because you want to stay at home – which it can be understandable given the circumstances – but your employer can still compel you to come to the office unfortunately.

May 5, 2020

Stop Zoning Out in Zoom Meetings

Source: Sarah Gershman, Harvard Business Review

Especially in a virtual context, listening needs to be active, participatory, and helpful. Here are five strategies to listen more effectively in your next virtual meeting.

Handling Grief In The Workplace

Source: Melinda Fouts, Forbes

So, what do you do to allow and hold space for grieving a peer or colleague? What are some steps you can take as a leader in the workplace? Below are examples to consider.

Workers 35 Years And Older May Suffer More Job Losses And Chronic Unemployment In The Wake Of COVID-19

Source: Jack Kelly, Forbes

One of the many unfortunate repercussions of COVID-19 is that older workers will have an exceedingly more difficult time getting back on their feet. They’re more likely to be terminated and will certainly experience hardships finding a new job at the same level and compensation as the one they’ve lost.

So What Does Hiring Look Like Now?

Source: Suzanne Lucas, Cornerstone

But how, exactly, are businesses going about hiring when people can’t come in for interviews? Even those who aren’t currently hiring—but hope to a few weeks or months from now—will need to rethink the process. Here are the steps several companies are taking, as well as a few important reminders to consider.

Wayne Farms to Pay $175,000 to Settle EEOC Lawsuit for Disability Discrimination

Source: EEOC

Wayne Farms, LLC, one of the nation’s largest poultry producers, will pay $175,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

May 4, 2020

Forget ageism, older workers now have to survive the coronavirus economy

Source: Mitchell Schnurman, The Dallas Morning News

Now federal and state leaders are publicly saying, “Stay home if you’re 65,” at a time when over 30 million Americans have filed unemployment claims.

Why many employees are hoping to work from home even after the pandemic is over

Source: Courtney Connley, CNBC

In fact, nearly 43% of full-time American employees say they want to work remotely more often even after the economy has reopened, according to a survey released by business publishing company getAbstract.

Workers of Color Are Disproportionately at Risk of Serious Complications From the Coronavirus

Source: Connor Maxwell, Center for American Progress

The Trump administration’s recent “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” ask employers to consider accommodations for seniors and those with underlying health conditions in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. But these workers—who are disproportionately people of color—deserve more than their employers’ considerations; many are actively risking their lives to provide essential goods and services for others.

The Benefits Of Automation In Today's Workforce

Source: Shawn Harris, Forbes

From my perspective, based on my experience in retail technology and crafting innovative solutions, the truth is that modern technology does not present a major threat to today's workers. On the contrary, human workers could benefit from robots in a number of surprising ways.

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Equal Pay Demands Are Dismissed by Judge

Source: Andrew Das, New York Times

The players’ claims about unequal working conditions can continue, but the ruling was a serious blow to a yearslong campaign by the women.

May 1, 2020

Spencer Gifts LLC to Pay $90,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Source: EEOC, EEOC

Spencer Gifts LLC (Spencer), a Delaware corporation that operates novelty gift stores throughout the United States and Canada, will pay $90,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

McDonald’s Faces $500M Lawsuit for “Systemic Sexual Harassment”

Source: Audrey Andrews, Ms. Magazine

McDonald’s is facing a $500 million sexual harassment class-action lawsuit in Florida.

Represented by the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund (a legal charity with origins in #MeToo), the plaintiffs Jamelia Fairley and Ashley Reddick are suing on behalf of an estimated 5,000 women throughout 100 franchise-owned McDonald’s restaurants.

COVID-19 Layoff Or Pretext For Age Discrimination Against Older Employees?

Source: Eric Bachman, Forbes

The recent, unprecedented changes to our country and its workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic have upended the lives of millions. The economic fallout continues and in many instances, employers simply have no choice but to lay off large swaths of their employees due to the lack of business/revenue. And these employers have legitimate reasons for doing so and view this as a heart-wrenching but necessary step.

April 30, 2020

'We can't go back to the way things were before.' Pandemic job actions offer hope for renewed labor movement

Source: Nicholas Riccardi and Dee-Ann Durbin, USA Today

Across the country, the unexpected front-line workers of the pandemic – grocery store workers among them – are taking action to protect themselves.

Workplace Culture During Crisis Demands Even More Attention

Source: Shelley Smith, Forbes

Your employees may be working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but paying attention to company culture is even more important than ever

Men: Here's How To Be A Good Workplace Ally To Women During COVID-19

Source: Elissa Sangster, Forbes

Inequality doesn’t just disappear when we move our work online, and gender equity is still elusive, whether you’re meeting via Zoom or in a board room. Let’s use this time to take steps toward gender parity, build more inclusive cultures, and change our workplaces so they’re welcoming to all.

Horizontal Well Drillers to Pay $650,000 to Settle EEOC Age And Disability Discrimination Suit

Source: EEOC, EEOC

Horizontal Well Drillers LLC (HWD), a Purcell, Okla.-based oil and gas drilling contractor, will pay $650,000 to a fired worker and hundreds of unsuccessful job applicants to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

Iowa Gov't.: Refusing to Return to Work During Crisis Voids Benefits

Source: Mike Moen, Public News Service

Iowa officials say furloughed workers who resist calls to return to their jobs during the pandemic run the risk of losing their unemployment benefits. The warning comes amid some workers' fears of becoming infected as economic activity picks up again.

As states reopen, many weigh difficult decision to return to work amid pandemic: 'It's a precarious situation'

Source: Korin Miller, Yahoo News

U.S. officials have released guidelines for reopening, called Opening Up America Again, which encourages states to open again only after they’ve had two weeks of declining numbers of positive tests for the coronavirus. None of these states that have begun to reopen meet the criteria.

April 29, 2020

Yes, You Can Still Claim Unemployment While Working Part-Time. Here's What You Need to Know

Source: Kaitlin Mulhere, Money

More than 26 million people have filed unemployment claims in the past month, a number that shatters previous records tenfold.

Versant Supply Chain and AT&T to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit

Source: EEOC, EEOC

Versant Supply Chain, Inc. and AT&T Services, Inc. have agreed to pay $150,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

Enlivant / Assisted Living Concepts to Pay $66,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Accommodation Suit

Source: EEOC, EEOC

Assisted Living Concepts, LLC, doing business as Enlivant, a national owner and operator of senior living facilities, has agreed to pay a former chef $66,000 and is making significant changes to its human resources programs to enhance compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These terms are part of a settlement of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Com­mission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Coronavirus relief often pays workers more than work

Source: Eric Morath, Fox Business

When combined with state benefits, weekly government payouts create incentives that employers say complicate efforts to reopen businesses

Amazon Warehouses Are Safer, But Returning Workers Remain Spooked

Source: Matt Day, Bloomberg

Starting May 1, the company will stop offering no-questions-asked unpaid leave, and employees will have to formally apply for time off.

Whataburger pays $180,000 after EEOC suit says manager told her to hire only white folks

Source: David Neal, Bradenton Herald

Whataburger will settle an EEOC lawsuit by paying lost wages, damages and legal fees to a former manager who said she refused to hire only white applicants at a Tallahassee store.

Should I Ask an Employee to Dress Better for Video Calls?

Source: Alison Green, The Cut

Focusing on what people are wearing during this risks coming across as out of touch and like your priorities are in the wrong place. Let people be as comfortable as they can be while they’re stuck at home.

32 percent of Americans have seen coronavirus bias against Asians: poll

Source: Joshua Rhett Miller, New York Post

Roughly one in three Americans have witnessed someone blaming Asian people for the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll released Tuesday found.

April 28, 2020

Being asked to return to work? Know your rights

Source: Scripps National, TMJ4

As America rebounds from the coronavirus crisis, there could be new challenges as companies ask employees to return to workplaces.

HM Solutions to Pay $315,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Source: EEOC, EEOC

HM Solutions, Inc., a Greenville, S.C.-based company that provides commercial and industrial janitorial services, will pay $315,000 and provide other relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commis­sion (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. The EEOC charged that HM Solutions violated federal law when it subjected four female employees to a sexually hostile work environment, then later fired the women in retaliation for objecting to the harassment.

5 changes to expect in the workplace after COVID-19

Source: Diana Vienne, Fast Company

A senior partner of a leadership consultancy says, “Rather than waiting for reentry and being reactive, leaders need to prepare, setting expectations for the ways of working that will benefit the organization down the road.”

How to Succeed in Our 'New Normal' as a Remote Workforce

Source: Entrepreneur

Millions of Americans are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. For some, that may wind up being a permanent change as the fallout from the pandemic causes businesses to transition their operations to be fully remote. Others who have been forced out of work may decide to finally launch the independent businesses they've been dreaming about. Plainly speaking, working remotely may become a far more common thing than before.

Judge Blocks New Illinois Workers’ Compensation Rule for Essential Employees

Source: NBC Chicago

A judge has blocked a new Illinois workers' compensation rule granting benefits to any employee deemed essential who contracts COVID-19, even if working from home.

New York City to hire 1,000 health workers in May to trace coronavirus cases, Mayor de Blasio says

Source: William Feuer and Jasmine Kim, CNBC

New York City plans to hire 1,000 health workers to track coronavirus cases as well as anyone who has come into contact with someone who’s tested positive for Covid-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

April 27, 2020

In Memory of Joe Kaplan (1953 - 2020)

Source: Key Executive Leadership Programs, LinkedIn

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our friend and colleague, Joe Kaplan, who died Wednesday, April 22, as a victim of the coronavirus pandemic at the age of 66.

Joseph V. Kaplan, employment attorney, dies at 66 of COVID-19

Source: Hope Keller, The Daily Record

Joseph V. Kaplan, an attorney who represented federal employees and moonlighted as a songwriter and actor, died April 22 from COVID-19. He was 66.

Decisions on thousands of unemployment claims fast-tracked by labor department

Source: Glenn Jordan, Press Herald

Rather than keeping people wondering until July about pending unemployment claims, the Department of Labor makes some assumptions and decides on 12,000 cases.

NYC launches team to combat coronavirus discrimination

Source: Madeline Holcombe and Sonia Moghe, CNN

With a spike in anti-Asian discrimination related to the coronavirus pandemic, New York City has formed a team to respond to the incidents.

Ex-cop gets $90,000 settlement in HIV employment discrimination suit

Source: Nico Lang, NBC News

This case, along with a lawsuit involving HIV-positive military service members, is shining a spotlight on workplace discrimination based on HIV status.

April 26, 2020

Baltimore County Will Pay $5.4 Million to Settle Long-Running EEOC Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: EEOC, EEOC

Baltimore County will pay approximately $5.4 million to over 2,000 county employees resolve a federal age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

April 24, 2020

Solving The Digital Workplace Gap With Flexible Work

Source: Ed Rogers, Forbes

Implementing a flexible work environment might feel daunting to employers who worry about how their staff will react to an autonomous workday. The solution is more familiar than many realize.

Three Hours Longer, the Pandemic Workday Has Obliterated Work-Life Balance

Source: Michelle F Davis and Jeff Green, Bloomberg

Six weeks into a nationwide work-from-home experiment with no end in sight, whatever boundaries remained between work and life have almost entirely disappeared.

Labor Costs Will Explode After the Pandemic. Here's How

Source: Geoffrey James, Inc.

With unemployment rising apace, many business owners are probably thinking that if they let go of workers now, they'll be able to hire on the cheap after the quarantines are lifted. While that might turn out to be true short-term, it ignores the lesson of history, which is that pandemics have always resulted in labor unrest--often to the point of armed insurrection

Tracking COVID-19’s Impact On Employment Law: Difficult At Best, Contradictory At Worst

Source: Lisa Milam and Joy P. Waltemath, Above the Law

Because of the push to get information out to affected employers quickly, it’s often difficult at best, and confusing and contradictory at worst, to track the newest guidance from the agencies.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, colleagues introduce senate bill to protect workers from COVID-19

Source: Sarah Wynn, ABC 6

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing legislation to protect U.S. workers from COVID-19 in response to widespread reports of unsafe workplaces leading to preventable illnesses and deaths.

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