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Schwan’s must hand over demographic data in EEOC case

Schwan’s, the Marshall-based frozen food company, must turn over data requested by the EEOC in a long-running sex discrimination case. Judge Janie Myeron ruled in favor of the EEOC’s subpoena requesting demographic data on employees who have entered the company’s management trainee program.

To pay or not to pay interns? The feds are cracking down

With fewer real, paying jobs available to young people, the number of unpaid internships is on the rise. Now the U.S. Department of Labor and many state labor departments (including California) are stepping up enforcement against employers who illegally use internships for free labor. Here’s how to stay on the right side of the law.

Another mortgage bailout, this time for Florida workers


The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced it will spend $1.6 million to help retrain 600 mortgage industry workers who lost their jobs at the Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker mortgage company in Northern and Central Florida. The money will provide training assistance to workers so they can qualify for jobs in the health care and IT.

Communication is top benefit at Arizona American Water


At Arizona American Water, HR goes “overboard” with employee communication, says Senior HR Manager Linda Stillman, sending electronic newsletters around the office, paper newsletters to employees’ homes and setting up teleconferences to share information.

When technological change means jobs are changing too, document the training you offer


For years, one of the biggest drivers of improved worker productivity has been better technology in the workplace. But all that technological innovation means that employees who want to keep up must be open to training. How you handle that training can make a big difference when the time comes to lay off employees you no longer need because your company has become more efficient or whose skills have become obsolete.

Reprimand, mandate training to cut bias liability


All employees, regardless of which protected class they belong to, have the right to work in an environment free from hostility. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to fire every co-worker who does something that might be interpreted as hostile. Sometimes the appropriate response is to reprimand the co-worker and educate her so she’ll change her ways.

Training, recognition keep turnover under control


In an industry that suffers from 100% annual turnover, Universal Protection Service in Santa Ana, Calif., boasts a much lower rate: 65%. “Anyone in HR will be aghast at that rate because it sounds horrendous,” admits HR VP Paula Malone, “but compared with the industry average, it’s actually good.” The reasons for the relatively low turnover: continuous training and on-the-spot recognition.

Tamp down lawsuits with good promotion records


In today’s tough economic climate, more and more employees are willing to stay put, applying for promotions instead of looking for jobs in other organizations. That means more competition for promotions—and more opportunities for disgruntled employee to sue when they’re passed over.

Of course you have an anti-harassment policy; now make sure all your employees can use it


Your organization probably has policies prohibiting sexual harassment, and you probably offer training for supervisors and employees alike on how the policy works. But that simply isn’t enough. You should have multiple ways for employees to report sexual harassment. The more ways you provide, the more likely a court will conclude that an employee who failed to report the harassment was acting unreasonably.

Ohio employers may get $6K per new hire under stimulus plan


Using money from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding law, a statewide initiative called Project HIRE (Hometown Investment in Regional Economies) could pay Ohio employers $6,000 to train each qualified new worker they hire.