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Work / Life Issues

Be careful! Caregiver discrimination claims are on the rise

03/11/2010

In recent years, employees have begun filing more and more “caregiver” or “family responsibility” discrimination lawsuits. No federal or Minnesota law specifically addresses discrimination against caregivers. However, treating employees with caregiving responsibilities differently than other employees may violate various employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA, the FMLA and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

Don’t cry! Babies at work easier than you think

02/10/2010

Even as the economy forces some organizations to cut benefits, it’s prompting others to add one: allowing parents to bring their babies to work. In just two years, the number of organizations with a babies-at-work benefit has more than doubled to 130, says Carla Moquin, founder and president of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute. She advises managers to start small and to create a formal policy full of “safety valves.” Here are 10 keys to success:

Flex, time off for charity create ‘family culture’

01/06/2010

As a mother of three kids herself, Juli Spottiswood says “work and home balance is a core part of who we are” at employee incentive provider Parago. She should know—she’s president and co-founder of the firm. Parents with sick children are encouraged to stay home with them; the Lewisville, Texas, organization provides employees with the technology to access company files from home. Flexible schedules are a given.

Use incentives to combat workplace stress

12/28/2009

The latest “Stress in America Survey” confirms that work is stressing out people. One stress solution that works, according to the American Psychological Association: wellness programs that offer incentives to employees who trade overeating, smoking and other harmful habits for healthier behaviors.

Beverage maker retains moms with range of flex benefits

11/28/2009

Three-quarters of the women employees who got promoted last year at alcoholic beverage maker Diageo had flexible work schedules, including job sharing, flextime, compressed hours and telework. Among all female workers at the company, half reduced their hours at some point during the year, and 60% used flextime.

How losing 100 pounds sent one employee over the edge (and other wellness best practices)

11/17/2009

An Arizona technician lost 100 pounds in a weight-loss competition to snag the grand prize: his first skydive. Read about that and other employee wellness initiatives from across the country. They’re keeping employees healthy, and helping employers keep health benefits costs down.

8 ways to cut costs with strategic work/life & flex benefits

11/12/2009

Although businesses typically view flextime, compressed workweeks and part-time schedules as recruitment and retention strategies, just 6% of employers have ditched those practices, even as they cut staffs. Here are eight ways your organization can make strategic use of work/life benefits to cut costs, save jobs and pump up employee morale during the recession.

Cincinnati, Columbus shine on working mothers list

11/09/2009

Ohio fared well in a recent Forbes magazine ranking of how hospitable the nation’s 50 largest cities are to working moms. Cincinnati ranked the nation’s sixth-best metro area for working mothers, while Columbus came in 13th.

8 lessons you can learn from the fed’s top agencies

10/13/2009

Set aside any notions you might have that the federal bureaucracy is inherently dysfunctional. In fact, Uncle Sam’s best agencies have a thing or two to teach private-sector employers. Here are eight lessons employers can learn from the biennial agency-by-agency ranking of federal employers by the Partnership for Public Service and American University’s Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation.

Include family caregivers in anti-discrimination policies

10/09/2009

Family responsibility discrimination (FRD)—discrimination against employees because of their family caregiving duties—has become a hotbed for litigation against employers, and every indication is that this trend will continue. So it’s critical for employers to recognize the potential for liability and take necessary steps to avoid being the next defendant.