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Set clear, fairly enforced rules on behavior to trump ‘my disability made me do it’


Some employees with genuine disabilities think they can use their health conditions as excuses to break workplace rules regulating behavior. They can’t, if managers genuinely believe the employee violated the rules, and those rules are clear and equitably enforced.

Soda machine attacker wins workers’ comp


Employees typically earn workers’ compensation for injuries incurred “in the course of work.” In Illinois, it seems, attacking the company vending machine is all in a day’s work. Vending-machine vigilantes are also covered in Oregon …

DOL pays $500 million to uranium plant victims


The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Ky., processed more than one million tons of uranium during the Cold War, often without adequate safeguards for employees. Now the U.S. Department of Labor has paid out more than $500 million in benefits to plant employees and their survivors.

OSHA clears Choate in Jacksonville garage collapse


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has concluded its investigation into the December 2007 collapse of the Berkman Plaza II parking garage and found Atlanta-based Choate Construction not to have been at fault.

New law: Safe haven when hiring people with criminal histories


The Minnesota Legislature recently enacted a law designed to protect employers from some of the legal risks that may accompany hiring people with criminal backgrounds. The law is designed to help those who have served their sentences re-enter society as productive citizens.

12 tips to help employees handle the stress of tough times


Layoffs, pay cuts and an uncertain economy have left many organizations with fewer employees to do the work—often for the same or less money. Not all of those employees are handling it well. Here are a dozen ways you can deal with economy-induced employee stress and help your employees focus on their work:

Measure productivity loss when tallying up health costs


Pull out your attendance records and a calculator to determine just how much productivity is suffering because of employee illness and poor health. Then find out what kinds of medical conditions are keeping employees from working at full capacity.

Send tailored e-mails to deliver actionable health info


When employees hunch over keyboards all day, all the motivational posters in all the break rooms of the world won’t improve their health. Health care giant Kaiser Permanente—a leader in designing wellness programs for other organizations—wondered what it could do to get its own staff to eat better and exercise more. Thus was born an innovative e-mail campaign that delivered big results.

OSHA cites Wal-Mart for Black Friday death


Black Friday had a double meaning at Wal-Mart’s Valley Stream, N.Y., store last year when temporary employee Jdimytai Damour, 34, was trampled to death by stampeding shoppers. OSHA investigated and levied the maximum permissible fine against the store, $7,000.

How can we help prevent co-worker harassment from escalating into violence?


Q. One of our employees is being harassed by a co-worker, and we are concerned it may get violent. What can we do about this?