According to CareerBuilder’s 2012 Candidate Behavior Study, 77% of workers are actively searching for a new job or are open to a new opportunity. If you’re an employer, this insight should raise the alarm that the employment marketplace is shifting, and you probably ought to put renewed focus on the retention of your top talent. Creative leaders know that strong employee retention is often directly correlated to the strength of an organization’s culture, thus the ongoing cultivation of a solid corporate culture is high on their list of priorities. VIDEO: Corporate Culture – Why bother?
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Labor and employment laws and regulations can be exceedingly complex. The impulse is to learn the general rule for a particular statute and apply it across the board in all cases. As many laws as there are impacting the Human Resources profession, learning the general rule for each statute can be a challenge in and of itself. The problem, of course, is that exceptions to the rule can sometimes obscure the rule itself. No one should expect that they should learn every rule and its exceptions for every statute and regulation they may encounter in the HR profession. But every HR professional should at least know exceptions exist and, further, where to go in the laws or regulations to flesh them out.
The overlay of state wage and hour laws and regulations on an already complex set of federal wage and hour rules can make even the simplest of tasks seem unnecessarily complex. The interplay between the daily overtime obligation (a state requirement) and weekly overtime (a federal one) illustrates this point perfectly, especially in the context of pyramiding.
There are a number of reasons people are drawn to the Human Resources profession. The one constant, however, seems to be that people in HR have a good deal of emotional intelligence and/or self-identify as people persons. In other words, they’re a good "read" of others. That skill set is particularly advantageous when interviewing candidates for a position or conducting a workplace investigation. HR’s ability to assess the credibility of the complainant against the accused, as well as the witnesses and their underlying motives, is critical to getting as close as possible to the truth of a matter.
How do the new U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on criminal background checks affect your hiring practices? Actually, the guidelines highlight an already well-established rule under Title VII case law that the use—or rather misuse—of arrest and conviction records can lead to claims of unlawful discrimination under both disparate treatment and disparate impact theories. What the EEOC adds to the discussion with these guidelines, however, is additional clarity regarding the procedures employers should implement when using criminal records if they wish to avoid claims of employment discrimination.
Workplace investigations often play a supporting role in employment discrimination cases but can actually take center stage when an employee or former employee alleges the investigation itself was flawed. The claim is called negligent investigation. The law of negligence holds employers to the standard of what a “reasonable” employer would have done under the circumstances, not necessarily what an exceptional employer would have done. Nonetheless, there are practices all employers should adhere to when conducting investigations if they wish to avoid exposing the company to the risk of a negligent investigation claim.
A frequent conversation we all have on the Helpline regards what the laws and/or regulations tell an employer it may do regarding the extension of leaves, termination of benefits, or even termination of employment itself. Frequently, the employer feels that what the law says the employer may do dictates what it must do. "If the law tells me I may deny leave to an employee, then I guess I must." We would caution employers to take such a myopic look at the relation between employment laws and company policy.
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Topics: attracting employees, Job Applications, talent, AAP, Affirmative Action, Veteran Outreach, human resources, Employers Group, best practices, Job Search, Federal, Audit, Recruiting, OFCCP, Outreach, Diversity, Diversity Outreach
Shipping giant FedEx to pay $3 million to settle charges of hiring discrimination brought by US Department of Labor
Company will pay back wages and interest to more than 21,000 applicants rejected for jobs at 23 facilities in 15 states; reform hiring practices
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs today announced that it has entered into a conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of hiring discrimination by federal contractors FedEx Ground Package System Inc. and FedEx SmartPost Inc., both subsidiaries of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp. The agreement concludes compliance reviews that spanned seven years and numerous FedEx facilities in multiple states, and includes the largest single financial settlement negotiated by OFCCP since 2004.
"We are committed to building an economy that lasts — one in which every qualified worker gets a fair shot to compete for jobs, and every employer plays by the same set of rules," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This settlement is proof that we will aggressively protect workers, promote workplace diversity and enforce the laws governing federal contractors."
During a series of regularly scheduled reviews, OFCCP compliance officers found evidence that FedEx's hiring processes and selection procedures violated Executive Order 11246 by discriminating on the bases of sex, race and/or national origin against specific groups identified at 23 facilities in 15 states. The affected workers include men and women as well as African-American, Caucasian and Native American job seekers, as well as job seekers of Hispanic and Asian descent. The reviews also uncovered extensive violations of the executive order's record-keeping requirements.
Under the terms of the conciliation agreement, the companies will pay a total of $3 million in back wages and interest to 21,635 applicants who were rejected for entry-level package handler and parcel assistant positions at 22 FedEx Ground facilities and one FedEx SmartPost facility. FedEx also has agreed to extend job offers to 1,703 of the affected workers as positions become available. The 21,635 rejected job seekers represent one of the largest classes of victims of any case in OFCCP's history.
"Being a federal contractor is a privilege and means you absolutely, positively cannot discriminate, not when you are profiting from taxpayer dollars," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "Under this agreement, FedEx will have to really examine and revamp its hiring practices across the entire company. The American people ought to have confidence that one of our nation's most trusted brands will not tolerate discrimination."
During a March 22 press call, OFCCP Director Patricia Shiu explained that OFCCP investigations are “not complaint-based.” She said, “These victims didn't know they were being discriminated against. That's the beauty of OFCCP.”
In addition to the financial remedies and job offers, FedEx Ground has committed to wide-ranging reforms. The company has promised to correct any discriminatory hiring practices, develop and implement equal employment opportunity training, and launch extensive self-monitoring measures to ensure that all hiring practices fully comply with the law. FedEx Ground also has agreed to engage an outside consultant to perform an extensive review of the company's hiring practices and provide recommendations to change and improve those practices, to train incumbent and future supervisors and employees, and to monitor compliance with the equal employment opportunity laws enforced by OFCCP. Finally, the company will take necessary steps to comply with all record-keeping requirements.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. As amended, these three laws require those who do business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, to follow the fair and reasonable standard that they not discriminate in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251. Additional information is available at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
“Article courtesy Department of Labor. www.dol.gov”